The most established fact checkers at Politifact have found that Clinton and Sanders told the least lies (28%) of the major presidential candidates. Ben Carson (84%) and Donald Trump (76%) told the most and some people believe every lie out of Trump’s mouth. Clinton and Sanders were also the only two who scored at or above 50% on truthful statements, while Trump scored just 7% on telling the truth.
The public believes Clinton is the most untrustworthy candidate because that’s what they hear on cable TV all day long because their so-called journalists repeat this false Republican talking point 24/7. The press does the same.
Conspiracy theories tend to be ginned up by people with a political agenda, and the rumors surrounding Hillary Clinton’s health are no exception. Their spread relies on a lack of critical thinking skills and patience. A rational response to the questions surrounding Mrs. Clinton’s health problems might be: “I would like to know whether there is anything seriously wrong with her, but until her campaign releases some medical records and makes her physicians available for questioning, I really can’t judge.” A conspiracy theorist’s response would be: “If Hillary Clinton were not seriously ill, she would not have collapsed on Sunday night. Now any medical records the campaign releases obviously will contain lies.” Transparency will not work as a disinfectant for those who have already made up their minds.
I suppose it’s just too much for some white people, especially men it seems, to face the possibility of our first black president being followed by our first woman president so they’ll believe anything, no matter how bizarre or untruthful.
For years I’ve been lamenting the rise of the 24-hour news cycle, and the commercialization of news delivery on television. Now social media has blurred the lines further, for conspirators don’t care if they present fact or fiction “as long as its out there” and serves their purposes. News is not a commodity, and should never be exploited for profit, yet the bombardment of too-much-information continues unabated, which is enough to confuse even the most intelligent among us.
Non-commercial news still dominates in much of Europe, where tax-payer funded news organizations remain impartial and certainly less sensational. It is not enough to “choose” the information you wish to believe, for truth is sacred, and conspiracies theories are a result of too many talking heads, many of whom are unqualified and motivated for profit or by their political agendas which trump the truth.
Let there be a clear separation of news and editorial (like on PBS) and enforce the Fairness Doctrine in news delivery so that people can make clear-headed decisions based on fact, free from all the hysterical a,nd polarizing rhetoric. We should all demand the integrity of a Walter Cronkite and reject the profiteering (bad news sells!) of a Rupert Murdoch.
President Obama’s election unfortunately unleashed racist conspiracy theories by the alt-right fringe that the Republican Party embraced. Now, we’re seeing those same “deplorables” spreading misogynist conspiracy theories regarding Hillary Clinton that are being again embraced by the RNC and many elected Republican legislators and governors.
Donald Trump said just this week that he would start a shooting war with Iran over Iranian sailors using disrespectful hand signals against our Navy vessels. Hand signals! And we’re worried about what Clinton says about her health. Give me a break!