Comparative Falsehoods: Obama v. Trump

Trump Obama HandshakeVia the NYTTrump’s Lies vs. Obama’s.

We applied the same conservative standard to Obama and Trump, counting only demonstrably and substantially false statements. The result: Trump is unlike any other modern president. He seems virtually indifferent to reality, often saying whatever helps him make the case he’s trying to make.

In his first 10 months in office, he has told 103 separate untruths, many of them repeatedly. Obama told 18 over his entire eight-year tenure. That’s an average of about two a year for Obama and about 124 a year for Trump.

[…]

If we had used a less strict standard, Trump would look even worse by comparison. He makes misleading statements and mild exaggerations – about economic statistics, his political opponents and many other subjects – far more often than Obama. We left out any statement that could be plausibly defended even if many people would disagree with the president’s interpretation. We also left out modest quantitative errors, such as Trump’s frequent imprecision with numbers.

We have used the word “lies” again here, as we did in our original piece. If anything, though, the word is unfair to Obama and Bush. When they became aware that they had been saying something untrue, they stopped doing it. Obama didn’t continue to claim that all Americans would be able to keep their existing health insurance under Obamacare, for example, and Bush changed the way he spoke about Iraq’s weapons capability.

And why does this matter?

Trump is different. When he is caught lying, he will often try to discredit people telling the truth, be they judges, scientists, F.B.I. or C.I.A. officials, journalists or members of Congress. Trump is trying to make truth irrelevant. It is extremely damaging to democracy, and it’s not an accident. It’s core to his political strategy.

Methodologically, I will say that there is heightened attention being paid to Trump on this topic, but even acknowledging that, this is a stunning comparison.

It is often said that all politicians lie, and that there is therefore no difference between them, although we tend to be more forgiving of politicians on “our” side.  But, the reality is that a good bit of what politicians say that we will call “lies” are spin or interpretation, not blatant untruths.  We call them lies because we disagree.   And sure, sometimes totally self-serving whoppers are told.  But, really, even when Bush made certain claims about Iraq or Obama about Obamacare, they were saying what they thought to be true at the time and, as the piece notes, they changed their public statements as it became clear that their original statements did not comport with reality.

If you surf over to the linked piece, this is clearly not the case with the sitting president.  Observers will not be surprised that he is not the most truthful, but both the graph and the list are remarkable.  This is disturbing behavior, and as noted above, it is bad for democracy.

Let me repeat a quote from above:

He seems virtually indifferent to reality, often saying whatever helps him make the case he’s trying to make.

And I would add:  he often appears not to understand whatever policy case he is making.  Ignorance plus untruth is a terrible formula for policy-making.

A note:  I recognize that any binary comparison between two presidents of different parties leads to the team mentality setting in–I would say look at the list.  There is a quantitative and qualitative difference in those lists.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Steven Taylor, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. SKI says:

    Is anyone remotely surprised by this?




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  2. MarkedMan says:

    Trump is not an anomaly. He is the logical outcome of conscious choices made by the Republican leadership starting with Ronald Reagan. Saint Ronnie frequently told lies and then continuously repeated them. (“Trees cause more pollution than industry” is just the most ridiculous. There were many, many others.) Reagan, coached by Lee Atwater, realized that 70-80% of the voters believed what he said, and paid no attention to the fact checkers, so if something got a good reaction he kept it in his stump speech regardless of whether or not it was true. And over the years as Ronnie was gradually beatified, more and more followed his example and the average Republican pol gradually morphed from someone who didn’t care about the facts to what we have today: most Republican politicians are incapable of differentiating reality from nonsense. They “believe” that tax cuts for the rich will supercharge the economy, “believe” that there is no climate change, “believe” that businesses will police themselves and not pollute or sell dangerous products, inasmuch as what goes on in their heads can be described as “believing” anything. Like moths to a flame, they are attracted to pretty concepts and cannot evaluate whether or not they are dangerous.

    So Paul Ryan, who is actually touted as the Republican’s chief policy wonk (by people who don’t actually know anything) lied about having a great Obamacare replacement plan ready to go, lied about having a great middle-class tax plan waiting to be implemented, and was apparently believed by his Republican colleagues (and the policy-illiterate press) because the lie he told was so beautiful and perfect compared to what all real accomplishments turn out to be – a muddy ugly tromp through a swamp leaving everyone sore and stinking before they reach the other side. Think about it: the Republicans are too shiftless and lazy to do the real work, so they just lied about having done it. The results of this fictional effort? Perfection! Everything they believed in was proved out!

    This is the Republican framework now, though. A real accomplishment will have to be based in, well, reality. It will have awkward and ugly compromises as theory is bent to fit in with the possible. How can such a misfit toy be loved by the modern Republican voter? Remember, since Ronnie, the party has attracted people who want to be told pretty lies, and pushed away people that value reality and competence. When Mitch McConnell says “We have to make this compromise to get this deal done” he is instantly a RINO. Republicans don’t have to compromise!




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  3. becca says:

    This reminded me of a Goya wood-print .

    It’s title: When Reason Sleeps Nightmares Become Possible




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  4. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Taken with the episode earlier this week, of Sarah Sanders saying the media intentionally spreads untruths to discredit he of fake hair, fake tan, fake teeth, this analysis is incredibly ironic.
    This administration debases the entire Republic.
    You have to be a complete moron to support this man-baby. Even if you are one of the 5% of the nation who benefits from the tax cut…that is short-sighted…a couple bucks is just not worth the wholesale degradation of our Country.




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  5. michael reynolds says:

    Who forms the bulk of Trump supporters? Evangelical Christians raised from infancy to believe that a man rode around inside a whale, among other nonsense. If you raise people on lies and fantasies they lose any capacity to judge reality. Without Evangelical Christians Trump would be at about 15% support. This is religious fanatics dragging the country down to their level of imbecility, the triumph of ignorance.

    If we made even the slightest honest effort to teach people basic logic, some notion of epistemology, we would not have this vile creature in the White House. We have failed to teach people to think, to judge facts, to prioritize truth. And the reason we can’t teach kids to think is very simple: Christianists won’t allow it, and our deference for these simpletons has cost this country dearly.




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  6. CET says:

    @michael reynolds:

    And the reason we can’t teach kids to think is very simple: Christianists won’t allow it, and our deference for these simpletons has cost this country dearly.

    I’ve been thinking about Christian fundamentalism more than usual since last November. On the one hand, it would be great if our culture could raise fewer credulous fanatics who yearn for a higher authority to tell them (and everyone else) what to do. If only we hadn’t destroyed the public school system….

    On the other hand, I worry that human nature makes those fanatics inevitable. If fundamentalist Christianity fades, those fools may just latch on to something even more toxic – like volkisch national socialism, or Cthulhu-worship.




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  7. george says:

    Politicians lie. All of them, its as much part of their trade as punching people in the head is part of the trade of boxing. Machiavelli explained why it pretty much has to be this way.

    But Trump takes it to a new level, at least by modern standards (some of the crazier Roman emperors still outdid him, though he’s hot on their trail).

    More scarily, most politicians are quite aware when they’re telling lies (just as boxers are well aware when they’re punching someone in the head). Trump seems to be able to convince himself that his lies are in fact the truth.




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  8. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I think there’s something in the water passed around in American evangelical churches. I know quite a few Canadian evangelicals, many of which vote for the NDP (far to the left of even Bernie Sanders on social issues – they seem to take Christ’s statements about giving your shirt, turning your cheek and helping the poor literally), none of which think the world is only 6000 years old (tho’ most think God started the whole Big Bang 13 or so billion years ago), and who generally don’t talk about religion unless you ask them about it. In theory they have the same beliefs as American evangelicals, but in practice they’re worlds apart.




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  9. michael reynolds says:

    @CET:

    Okay, that does it. I am reporting you to Great Cthulhu as an unbeliever. On your head, dude.

    I love Lovecraft. I used to have him on audio any time I went to Costco. Guy can’t do dialog or plot and was an amazing racist besides, but he’s also the father of open source, and no one – not even Stephen King – can build dread like Lovecraft. I actually set out to write a YA horror trilogy I wanted to model on Lovecraft, but it just didn’t work on the page. YA audiences don’t know nearly enough adjectives or adverbs to cope with neo-Lovecraft, and I’m not sure I know enough to write it.




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  10. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @michael reynolds:
    @CET:
    I don’t have a real problem with fanatics. The Amish, in all my interactions with them, seem to be quite lovely. I used to date a woman who rode a bicycle 250 miles a week; dudes, you don’t know fanaticism until you’ve met someone like that.
    What disturbs the fvck out of me is Evangelicals who claim to be Christians and use the mantle of Christianity, but are something way, way more malevolent. Let’s face it…some of today’s Evangelicals are not that far removed from radical Islamic terrorists. They have so bastardized what Christianity is, that what they profess to believe and what they actually practice are polar opposites. I have zero doubt that more damage has been done to this nation in the name of Evangelical Christianity than Muslims will do in the next century.




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  11. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Without Evangelical Christians Trump would be at about 15% support.

    Nah….most evangelicals have a more complicated relationship with Trump, and many of them are turned off. The ones who still think of Trump as some kind of evangelical fellow traveler –the kind of womanizing playboy who, after marrying the model, is now some kind of anti-abortion crusader– are just idiots, and idiots have always accounted for the bulk of Trump’s support.




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  12. MarkedMan says:

    There is almost an exact corollary to Paul Ryan in the British Government, one David Davis, Brexit Secretary. For months he’s been extolling the 57 (or 58) detailed sector analyses the government has been doing to understand the effect on various sectors of the British economy. How much detail? “Excruciating detail”. Exact quote to Parliament. Several months ago, after Davis testified that almost 60 of these analyses were complete, Parliament asked to see them. “Can’t release them”, Davis said, “It would tip our hand in negotiations.” So Parliament told him that was OK, just show them to the committee chair. Back and forth like that for a couple of months, until last week when, under threat of a contempt of Parliament sanction and getting carted off to jail, he admitted that none of them exist.




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  13. Pete S says:

    Not to be harsh, but of course Republican politicians have to lie shamelessly. Even the Republican base is probably not quite dumb enough to vote for someone who says “I am going to take your money and give it to the rich, while paying lip service to the social issues which matter to you only long enough to hit you up for fundraising money. Of course I am never actually going to give you everything you want because then you will stop sending me money.”




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  14. Scott F. says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I think your account of the evolution of the Republican Faith over Fact framework is spot on and I’d upvote more than once if I could.

    But I do think Trump is anomalous and not in a linear progression of this trend over the last 35 years – he represents a paradigm shift. It’s as though Reagan and his ilk were beta testing a product that Trump has now fully launched. And the information environment has evolved at the same time in such a way as to make some of the checks that mitigated the damage from early Republican fictions completely toothless now.

    I fear this post-factual current state more than anything that was happening under Reagan or the Bushes. I see societal upheaval, even massive revolt, as a real possibility when the Feds start dropping indictments on Trump and his inner circle. This customization of truth is something new and more pernicious than what’s come before.




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  15. michael reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:

    You ever think about reading opinion polls before offering an opinion on public opinion?

    According to Pew, Trump’s approval rating among white evangelical Protestants dropped 17 percentage points from February to December, down from 78 percent to 61 percent. Eighty-one percent of white evangelical voters backed Trump in the 2016 presidential election, NPR reported.

    In the 2016 election Trump got 81% of evangelicals. Evangelicals are about 26% of the American electorate and Trump got 8 out of 10 of them. My math tells me that’s a bit under half of Trump’s initial 46%, and I think it reasonable to guess, given the other surrounding demographic factors, that it’s at least half of his current support.

    Half of his current 37% is what? 18.5? Not quite my initial guess of 15% but awfully darn close, and that is his ‘non-evangelical’ base, what he’d be left with if you took out the religious nuts.




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  16. Tyrell says:

    @george: Politicians and the news media took the term “Evangelical” and turned it into a political group. Evangelicals are in most, if not all Christian denominations and churches. Most are non-political as far as their church activities and focus goes. They ascribe to a strong spiritual life and are passionate about spreading the Gospel, Biblical theology, outreach to help people. Martin Luther would be classified as an evangelical. The Pope is evangelical. There is a strong community in the “priesthood of believers” as expressed in the traditional creeds of the church. Luther believed that all Christians are priests.
    Many whole denominations are evangelical: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for one. Their members and pastors are across the spectrum in political leanings, but are committed to the Holy Christian Church and the communion of saints. It is “sola scriptura”: thy Word alone.




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  17. Kylopod says:

    @michael reynolds: @CET: The irrationalism among Christian fundamentalists is definitely a big part of the problem. But there’s another element to it which I’ve long found remarkable, which is how much they’ve bought into the GOP’s corporate agenda.

    In the early 20th century William Jennings Bryan was defending creationism at the Scopes Trial. But as a political figure Bryan was the Bernie Sanders of his time, and probably the most left-wing presidential candidate ever nominated by a major party. Indeed, his attack on evolution was partly based on his equating Darwinism with Social Darwinism, in line with his disgust at the runaway greed underlying laissez faire capitalism.

    In point of fact, if you’ve ever read histories of capitalism, one of the biggest obstacles in the path of its development wasn’t Marx, it was the Church, which found the idea of free markets amoral.

    What often gets overlooked when people talk about the rise of the Christian Right in the 1970s is that it wasn’t just happening over social issues like abortion or gay rights. When Pat Robertson ran for president in 1988, one of the centerpieces of his campaign was a proposed Balanced Budget Amendment. And now you have Christian Right leaders arguing that God believes in a flat tax. William Jennings Bryan would be scratching his head.

    This background is necessary to understand the symbiotic relationship between the fundamentalists and the Chamber of Commerce crowd. The irrationalism flows in basically one direction. For example, elite conservatives like George Will and Charles Krauthammer have got nothing but contempt for creationism. But then they go on to bash climate science using arguments that are not, to my mind, altogether different from those of Duane Gish. But creationists increasingly are turning to global warming denial in addition to evolution denial. There’s no particular reason why a Bible literalist would deny global warming (a topic that isn’t addressed in the Bible), except that it fits into their overall anti-science worldview, and their entire political outlook has become so intermeshed with American political conservatism that they sometimes sound like they’re pocketing Ayn Rand.

    It’s not a coincidence that the Christian Right emerged around the same time as supply-side economics. That’s where the bizarre relationship was first cultivated, and the way it works is that the corporate world comes up with its nonsense to justify their agenda of low taxes and deregulation, and the fundamentalists eat it up like it was the Gospel itself.




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  18. Ben Wolf says:

    @michael reynolds: Trump got 81% of white evangelicals. What nobody talks about is 69% of PoC evangelicals voted for Clinton. There’s a clear racial issue here when it comes to religion.




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  19. Kylopod says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Trump got 81% of white evangelicals. What nobody talks about is 69% of PoC evangelicals voted for Clinton. There’s a clear racial issue here when it comes to religion.

    Very good point. It’s part of the insidious racial coding that the mainstream media engages in. They do it also with the term “working class,” which is treated as though it were an abbreviation for “white working class.” (Because poor blacks and Latinos don’t work, y’know? They’re just all lazy welfare cheats.) For people who hold to this framing, it can come as a surprise to learn that Clinton beat Trump among voters making less than 100K and trounced him among voters making less than 50K.




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  20. CET says:

    @Kylopod:

    But there’s another element to it which I’ve long found remarkable, which is how much they’ve bought into the GOP’s corporate agenda.

    I agree that it’s a strange alliance. I’m sure there must be a parable in the New Testament somewhere where Jesus draws a Laffer curve, says ‘blessed are the job creators’, and then throws all the lazy single parents out of the welfare office. I haven’t found it yet though…perhaps they forgot to include it in the NRSV translation.

    In all seriousness, my sense is that a big part of the problem is that there is a very high overlap between ‘people who identify as white fundamentalist Christians’ and people who equate white identity politics with ‘traditional American values.’

    I think the alliance between fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Capitalists is fraying. But I also think someone (say, folks like Dreher over at TAC) would do well to try and guide that split so that the result isn’t a white, ‘Christian’, socialism. I don’t have any trouble imagining those folks changing their tune from ‘kick (black) people off welfare’ to ‘use the resources of the state to protect western civilization by providing for honest white folk, and honest white folk only.’

    tl;dr version: I think that if the current alliance within the GOP cracks, we’re going to get a more economically statist white, Christian, working class movement. I am very concerned it will turn into an American Falange party.




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  21. @Tyrell:

    Politicians and the news media took the term “Evangelical” and turned it into a political group. Evangelicals are in most, if not all Christian denominations and churches.

    This is not the case. While media/political usage of the term can be imprecise (something that is true of most terms, in fact), we are talking about a distinct, self-identified group. Moreover, it was that group that turned the word “Evangelical” into a political term starting the late 1970s, but especially in the 1980s.




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  22. SC_Birdflyte says:

    Properly speaking, “Evangelicals” believe in the supreme authority of the Bible and in active proselytizing. What is often termed “Evangelical” nowadays should properly be called “Fundamentalist,” the central tenet of which is the inerrancy of the Bible. By that standard, Catholics and Episcopalians (including yours truly) are neither evangelical nor fundamentalist.




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  23. JohnMcC says:

    Regarding the use of the word ‘evangelical’ – there is a WaPo front page story currently up on the topic based on interviews with quite a few who are thinking of giving up the title because of political associations. “It Can Really Be Ostracizing: After Trump and Moore, Some Evangelicals Find Their Own Label Too Toxic to Use”

    It’s like every other religious label, really. It reeks of exclusivity. By claiming it a certain small segment of the Christian world is asserting that they — in particular and exclusively THEY — are spreading the Gospel. All those others? Whatever they’re doing, God doesn’t like it as much as he likes us.

    That’s the actual business that religious people seem to be busy at, finding ways that the circle that surrounds the truly good people contains me but not them.




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  24. @SC_Birdflyte: Sure.




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  25. george says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Its still interesting how different the Evangelical movement is in America compared to Canada – and how differently it is politically. As I said, about a third of self proclaimed evangelicals I know up here vote for the NDP (left-wing even by Canadian standards both fiscally and socially – considering that Sanders would be a centrist Liberal in Canada it gives you an idea of where that is along the spectrum), and another third vote Liberal. There were a lot in the peace movement in the 70’s and 80’s.

    Perhaps the most far right element of the American Evangelical churches just took over their denominations, chasing everyone else out?




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  26. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You ever think about reading opinion polls before offering an opinion on public opinion?

    No.




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  27. Kylopod says:

    @SC_Birdflyte:

    “Evangelical” nowadays should properly be called “Fundamentalist,” the central tenet of which is the inerrancy of the Bible.

    One problem is that while Evangelicals usually self-identify as Evangelicals, the word “fundamentalist” is regarded as pejorative by many of the people it might apply to. Furthermore, the term is vague, especially when it’s applied to non-Protestants, where doctrines such as Scriptural literalism or inerrancy are not necessarily part of the tradition in the first place. (A rare example of a non-Protestant group self-identifying by the term “fundamentalist” are Mormon Fundamentalists, best known for advocating and practicing polygamy.) Nowadays, even Protestant fundamentalists generally resist the term.




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  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell:

    Politicians and the news media took the term “Evangelical” and turned it into a political group.

    Head? Meet desk. Those evangelicals politicking from their pulpits had NOTHING to do with it.




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  29. CET says:

    @george:

    Its still interesting how different the Evangelical movement is in America compared to Canada – and how differently it is politically.

    When I lived in BC, my sense was that although Canadian culture is similar to US culture in some ways, it has avoided a lot of the racial conflict and the incessant need to identify and scapegoat a ‘them’ that is such an integral part of US political culture.

    If I had to guess, I’d chalk it up to a combination of demographic and historical factors. Canada doesn’t have a large region that’s nostalgic for institutionalized racism (if not outright slavery), and that probably helps. But I also think it’s likely that many of the domestic issues in the US are an unavoidable side-effect of being such a demographically large and diverse culture. By comparison, Canada seemed to me to be a little more like taking Western WA or VT/ME/NH and stretching it across the upper half of the continent.




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  30. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Kylopod: You’re correct, but here in the South, there are still a lot of them that don’t shun the label. I would guess that it’s still in common use in Alabama (to cite one example).




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  31. @James Pearce: That is an oddly refreshing answer.

    But also more than a tad problematic…




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  32. James Pearce says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    But also more than a tad problematic…

    Problematic? Like Huck Finn?

    I base my opinions on “public opinion” by talking to people and reading what they write. It’s how most people gauge “public opinion” and for the purposes of a casual discussion, it should be enough.

    Show me a poll and I’ll show you another one, and then after we argue over that, we can talk about the outlier.




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  33. @James Pearce: Well, I was trying to be polite.

    So, “problematic” as in wrong and not a good way to approach the subject.

    What you are talking about is basing your views on a handful of anecdotes.

    And while polling is not perfect, there is solid work out there that can establish some empirical baselines for conversations.

    What you have essentially said is that you don’t base your opinions about medical issues on medical studies, but on what you hear from individuals you encounter.

    It is like saying that smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer because your grandpa and uncle smoked and they lived into their 90s!




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  34. James Pearce says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    So, “problematic” as in wrong and not a good way to approach the subject.

    What subject? The subject of polls? That subject is a distraction.

    Michael originally said :

    “Who forms the bulk of Trump supporters? Evangelical Christians raised from infancy to believe that a man rode around inside a whale…”

    And to back it up –while hitting me for not consulting polls- he quoted this: “Eighty-one percent of white evangelical voters backed Trump in the 2016 presidential election, NPR reported.”

    Which is not a poll and also doesn’t support his “Evangelical Christians form the bulk of Trump supporters” statement. (Wasn’t it “racists” not that long ago? If not, it was surely someone “deplorable.”)

    And while you’re talking about an “empirical baseline,” this is Michael:

    My math tells me that’s a bit under half of Trump’s initial 46%, and I think it reasonable to guess, given the other surrounding demographic factors, that it’s at least half of his current support.

    “Reasonable” guesses and back of the envelope math about “demographic factors?”

    I think I’ll stick with talking to actual Trump supporters.




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  35. @James Pearce: Gotcha.

    At least I fully understand where you are coming from.

    I will admit: it does not bolster my confidence in your reasoning.




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  36. Tyrell says:

    @Kylopod: There are many in the Episcopal Church and Roman Catholic Church who would certainly consider themselves as Evangelical under the theological meaning.
    The people I know who consider themselves to be Evangelicals are not political activists. The main line news media (agenda) would have people believing that all the Christian churches are political organizations that have nothing but political rallies on Sunday mornings and Sunday evenings. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are some exceptions, but most church members are against politics in the pulpits and lecterns. Pastors who show and espouse political favoritism will usually find themselves in hot water with their flocks. That is not to say that there are not some occasional political chats at the coffee tables on Sunday mornings in some churches. But most chats are usually centered on the latest football and basketball results from Saturday. Occasionally I will hear radio sermons with some political opinions thrown in, but most services stick to the Bible.
    I would say that most fundamentalists are not Evangelicals. They are much too closed off and separated. I see more Evangelicals in main line denominations, and including the Roman Catholic Church. (In Christian theology the Holy Catholic Church is the universal body of Christian believers, not the RCC, but is inclusive of Roman Catholic leaders and members)
    Sometimes these categories can get confusing, especially to people not involved in the Christian Church. See ELCA – a denomination of Evangelicals with wide ranging political and theological standings. They talk, think, and work the mission as expressed in the creeds and Gospels. That is typical of Evangelicals in every Christian denomination and organization.
    This quote by Dr. Luther is a good description of Evangelicals:
    “If he have faith, the believer cannot be restrained. He betrays himself. He breaks out. He confesses and teaches this Gospel to the people at the risk of life itself.” I would venture to say that most people who describe themselves as authentic Evangelicals would agree with that description. The word Evangelical comes from the word “angel”:”bearers of good news”. This is especially important at this time in the Church year: Advent.
    The Protestant Reformation was a movement to reform and return the Church to Biblical theology and to eliminate a lot of abuses. The three giants of Protestantism were Calvin, Luther, and King Henry VIII (Defender of the Faith”. They shaped the Christian church as we know it today. Henry, even though he had his faults, gave order and strength to the Protestant movement. Later the reform movement in England moved into a destructive, extreme phase under the excesses of Oliver Cromwell, a Christian leader who lost control of his forces.
    The Evangelical arena of today grew out of the Charismatic movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Then some Evangelicals had the notion of trying to use politics to achieve their goals: misguided.
    Evangelicals are about the mission of the Christian church, not some political party. That is their focus, drive, and passion. Not some political agenda or party.




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