Over a decade ago, satirist Stephen Colbert, now the host of The Late Show, coined the term “truthiness,” which rapidly found its way into the English lexicon. Truthiness is the quality of determining “truth” from intuition—“from the gut” or “feels right”—with no connection to information, logic, thought, or facts. In other words, the Republican mindset. When he first used the term in his pilot of The Colbert Report on October 17, 2005, he used George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 as an example of truthiness.
John Oliver spun off this concept in his brilliant analysis of last week’s GOP convention. One example he uses is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s awkward defense of Donald Trump’s claim that crime is rampant in U.S. streets. Confronted with the fact that the last 25 years have seen a steady decline in crime, Gingrich tried to prove that there was an increase because people “feel” that way. Gingrich just ignored this chart showing that the U.S. crime rate is at its lowest rate since the 1970s.
Oliver explained the truthiness of Gingrich’s position:
“I think we can all agree that candidates can create feelings in people. What Gingrich is saying is that feelings are as valid as facts. So by the transitive property, candidates can create facts, which is terrifying, because that means someone like Donald Trump can create his own reality.”
About Antonio Sabato Jr.’s claim that President Obama, a self-identified Christian is a Muslim, Oliver said:
“What is truly revealing is that his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. Because if anything, that was the theme of the Republican convention this week. It was a four-day exercise in emphasizing feelings over facts.”
Desperate to win minority votes, Trump keeps saying “Blacks love me!” and “Latinos love me.”
Desperate to win minority votes, Trump keeps saying “Blacks love me!” and “Latinos love me.” In a Washington Post interview, Trump said, “I’m the least racist person that you’ve ever interviewed.” His history, however, shows exactly the opposite. Blacks in Ohio, a vital swing state, gave W. Bush 16 percent of their vote in 2004. At this time, Trump has zero black support—yes, that’s absolute none!—in Ohio and only four percent nationwide. The 18 black delegates at the 2016 convention said that Trump needs to pull in the black vote to win. A “truthy tweet” last fall that stated blacks killed 81 percent of white homicide victims proved to be both racist and false. The factual number—not Trump’s feeling—was 15 percent; in fact, 82 percent of whites were killed by whites.
“The Hispanics love me. Latinos love Trump, and I love them,” Trump has said. The RNC tried to prove that with signs at the convention stating “Latinos Para Trump.” Unfortunately, the 133 Latino delegates weren’t enough to make an impact so whites had to carry the signs.
Clinton started the convention with a 55-point lead with Latino voters and ended with a 63 percent lead. That’s not a total 63 percent—it’s the lead, leaving Trump with 15 percent favorable rating and 82 percent unfavorable rating among Latino voters. Of the Latino voters, 81 percent said that the RNC convention mob changing “build the wall” is “disturbing and encourages discrimination against immigrants and Latinos.” In addition, 77 percent described the GOP as “dangerous” after the convention, and 85 percent said that the convention worsed their image of the GOP.
So who’s the truthiest of them all? Check out the following charts from Politifact for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates:
And the overview of candidates during the past three cycles.
Who’s lying now?!