As a fairly new father I often think about the example I’m setting for my daughter and whether she is recognizing the moral norms her mother and I model for her on a daily basis. Whether it’s being kind to a stranger or showing empathy toward a person in distress, our little lady is quickly learning the importance of benevolence and compassion. I used to worry constantly about the bad influences she could pick up when leaving our home or supervision. Wondering whether the norms we were establishing with her would be reinforced by society or diminished.
It wasn’t long until I began to realize that she didn’t have to leave our presence or household in order to be exposed to a bad influence. All she had to do was listen to her president speak on television. It’s troubling knowing that my daughter will spend a portion of her formidable years being governed by a president who finds it difficult to be honest and blatantly lies as easy as a normal person would tell the truth.
During a meeting this week at the White House with Sheriffs from across the country, Mr. Trump yet again falsely claimed that the murder rate in this country was the highest it has been in over 40 years. Trump made the same claim during his campaign and was widely condemned for touting false information. The government began keeping track of national murder rates in 1957, when the rate stood at 4.0 per 100,000 residents. The rate hit a high in the 1980s of 10.5 per 100,000 and drastically declined since then to a rate of 4.9 per 100,000 in 2015. While the rates for 2016 have not yet been complied they are expected (based on local data) to differ slightly from the 2015 totals.
Knowing this, Mr. Trump made a conscious decision to ignore facts and once again lie to the American people. And believe me, I would give him a pass if this was the first time. However, in the two weeks since taking the oath of office, Trump has lied about numerous things including his inaugural crowd size, claims of widespread voter fraud, stating that the media isn’t reporting terrorist attacks and a host of other issues. Every reputable non-partisan fact check organization tracking Trump’s statements have his list of lies far outweighing any remote truth he may tell.
This is troubling! Is this the example we want to set for our children? Is this what we have degenerated to as a nation – where our Commander-in-Chief cannot be trusted to tell the American public the truth? I personally think we deserve better, if not for our own sake, for the sake of our children. A central and traditional role that the president has always played in this country has been the role of setting the national tone and serving as a role model. Unfortunately, Mr. Trump cannot be trusted to live up to that standard.