By Ryan Rosenberger
Distrust of government is nothing new in America.
According to a 2019 poll conducted by Pew Research Center, 75% of Americans say that trust in government is falling, and 64% said trust amongst people has also fallen, making it harder for problems to be solved, according to the report.
Further illustrating American distrust in government is a 2017 poll conducted by Gallup. Conducted between January 2009 to May 2017, the approval rating for congress fluctuated from 9% to a high of 28%, before leveling off to 20% near the end of the polling period.
By why do politicians, who usually get into public service with only good intentions, lie?
According to Dr. Jim Taylor of Psychology Today, one of the biggest reasons for this is that politicians know their followers will support them no matter what they say.
“Politicians and their adherents live in an echo chamber in which everyone watches the same news channel, reads the same newspapers and websites, and hangs out with the same like-minded people,” Taylor wrote. “There exists an impermeable membrane that prevents conflicting information from entering.”
Even during this highly unusual election cycle taking place in the middle of a pandemic, there has been no shortage of debunked claims from republican nominee Donald Trump, and democratic challenger Joe Biden.
Below is a list of some of the most significant lies both candidate has made on the campaign trail thus far.
Claim: Trump said that a coronavirus vaccine could be ready in just a matter of weeks
During the first presidential debate, President Trump said a COVID-19 vaccine was “weeks” away. However, health experts far and wide have dismissed that claim. Robert Redford, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on C-SPAN that an “initial” vaccine could be available sometime in November or December, but access will be limited and will have to be “prioritized.” Redford said the vaccine will be available to everyone in the spring or summer of 2021.
Claim: Biden said Trump will be the first president in American history to leave office with fewer jobs than when he started
According to an AP report, the first president in US history to leave office with fewer jobs than when he started was Herbert Hoover, who left office in 1932 after being ousted by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the great depression. Trump would be the first president to have lost jobs in office since Hoover if he doesn’t win re-election, however.
Claim: Trump said he has brought trade jobs back to rust belt states such as Ohio and Michigan
Back in 2016, President Trump campaigned on bringing trade jobs back to America. During the recent presidential debate, he once again doubled down on his claims of “bringing the jobs back,” saying he brought foreign car companies to Ohio and Michigan. However, according to a report from the Washington Post, no new plants have opened in Ohio. According to the Detroit Free Press, only one auto assembly plant opened in Michigan. In fact, according to a QZ report, offshoring is happening at a faster rate than ever before under the Trump presidency.
Claim: Biden said we have a higher deficit with China than before
According to a Los Angeles Times report, the trade deficit ballooned from $346.8 billion when Trump took office to $418.9 billion in 2018. However, after Trump implemented tariffs, the deficit fell back down to $345.2 billion, slightly less than when he took office.