The List

A friend of mine cautioned me that Trump has no corner on scandalous behavior. He meant to imply that Biden and the Democrats are no better. In many of our discussions, he’s diverted from the latest Trump scandal by detailing wrongdoing by Clinton, Obama, or Biden. I’ve argued that there is no equivalency, even if you accept his allegations. (I usually find them meritless when I check the sources.)

Wanting to come up with actual verifiable evidence of Trump’s excesses, I remembered an article about the work of Amy Siskind. She’s made a list of thousands of acts large and small perpetrated by the 45th president since November 2016. The Washington Post published a feature (Outlook 10/16) by her.

The website catalogs the wrong things Trump has done EVERY WEEK for 207 weeks. The total number of items is in the thousands and it fills volumes. You can scan the whole ugly catalog on the website.

https://theweeklylist.org

This is far from the only list of misdeeds. The list published by McSweeney’s is up to 954 as of 10/30.

Of course, there is WaPo’s list of lies that will exceed 25,000 by election day. You can search the database by topic here (click).

The Poynter Institute

Politifact also keeps a running list of the President’s mendacity. Here’s the scorecard as of 10/31/2020

There are books being sold on Amazon purporting to list all of Trump’s acts of generosity and compassion. The top listing is actually a blank book – a cover with no inside printing. It’s yours for $15. Another is a collection of apocryphal stories about Trump’s excessive modesty about his selflessness. It’s published by an evangelical preacher/author (Michael Yeager) with more than 10,000 sermons and 100 book titles to his credit who claims to have helped start more than 25 churches. Among his titles is a book wherein he recounts his personal two-hour visit to hell and how it informed his life and the lives of others who heard his report. I have no information about his journalistic integrity or his motives.

Visit https://www.promiseskept.com/ to see the official list (by Trump) of his accomplishments. But you’ll want to fact check carefully, his veracity is highly questionable. Here’s a less partisan review:

Civic Literacy

About 40% of American’s are loyal supporters of Donald J. Trump. Almost none of them are aware of the facts these various lists present. His fans are focused on the President’s personality, or they have a narrow self-interest that overrides any concerns about character or deceptive behavior. They listen selectively for information that supports their affinity for the President. They revel in the emotional buzz of crowding into the bleachers at rallies with like-minded people experiencing the affirmation of hundreds who resonate with the words of their President. They are often described as “low information voters.” It’s not about facts, or lists. It’s about belonging and being uplifted by a successful and powerful man who promises to be their champion, one who never talks down to them. One who isn’t afraid of anything. Not even COVID-19.

With the manipulation of social media networks by foreign powers and political activists using coordinated disinformation (propaganda) campaigns, it is clear that most of us are poorly equipped to discern what’s real and authentic (the truth) in the torrent of lies and deceptions.

The book Sue Mehrtens and I wrote is a guide to civic literacy despite the mendacity. Credible? is available at Lulu.com and major booksellers.