Monday, August 1, 2016

Clinton is honest, Trump is the liar. Here's the evidence.

If you are a Trumpite, you believe the opposite. Why? Because Donald told you so. (That being only one of his lies.)

If you are a Berniecrat, you may want to believe the opposite. Why? Because you are disappointed. (And you may want to believe that the primaries were rigged. They weren't.)

But if you are a thinking person, willing to listen to reason, and willing to rely on facts when you make your political (and life) decisions, then this article, WHY CAN’T YOU BELIEVE HILLARY CLINTON IS INHERENTLY HONEST?, is for you. Read on.

Like me, the writer (Charlie Barrel) is a scientist who believes in evidence-based decision-making. He consulted analyses of political statements by Politifact, 202 by Trump and 225 by Clinton. (The most recent numbers of statements are 207 and 236.)

For each candidate, "statements that were rated in each of six categories: Pants-on-Fire lie, False, Mostly False, Half True, Mostly True, True."

To make my presentation of the data simpler to grasp, I combined the first three categories (mainly false) and last three categories (mainly true) for each candidate. More of Trump's statements were mainly false (70%) than were Clinton's (27%), but more of Clinton's statements were mainly true (71%) than were Trump's (30%). A chi-square statistical test on the 2 x 6 table of frequencies produced a chi-square value of 106.21. That means that the likelihood of the imbalance between Trump and Clinton's true and false statements being an accident is, for practical purposes, zero.

Here is more from Barrel.

However you figure it, Donald Trump consistently rates in the top 5 biggest liars of the 3,390 people and organizations that PolitFact has tracked. He added another lie in the time it took me to write this. The conclusion is inescapable: Trump is a voracious liar. On the other hand, Clinton always places in the top 10 for honesty. Out of a sample of 3,390!

Another way to look at it is by arranging all 3,390 of Politifact's observations along a straight line where the leftmost point is completely false and the right most observation is completely true. Trump's score is 5/3390 = 0.002 and Clinton's score is (3390-10)/3390 = 0.997. That is as close as you come to night and day, black and white.

Barrel continues.

Those aren’t my opinions, by the way, nor my beliefs or convictions or the way I want the world to work. Look, I didn’t want Clinton to be the Democratic nominee. I actually supported Martin O’Malley. So I’m not writing this as an ardent Clinton supporter. I grab the data, I analyze it, I report it. Trump is a liar. Clinton is not.

You know what makes a person smart? It doesn’t matter whether or where you went to school. GPA, SAT, GRE, MCAT, JD, MBA, MD, Ph.D., FRS, MENSA, Nobel Prizes be damned. Smart people listen to evidence, think critically, and change their mind when that evidence shows they are wrong. If it weren’t for smart people, you’d be living in the dark ages instead of reading this on your smartphone.

Doesn’t it seem just a little odd that it is overwhelmingly Trump – our current liar-in-chief – who calls Clinton crooked and dishonest? He’s a marketing genius. How else do you rip off so many people for so much money such a long career? Well, it’s working. The latest CNN poll has 68% of respondents saying Clinton isn’t honest and trustworthy.

There are loads of news analyses on why that is the case, which mostly boil down to people disproportionally fixating on the small number of lies that Clinton told, while essentially brushing all of Trump’s under the rug as inconsequential. They insist that Clinton’s few scandals are more damning than Trump’s many. It seems that people want Clinton to be a liar, and really don’t care that Trump actually is one.

In the face of overwhelming evidence, there is nothing noble about dogmatic stubbornness. Do you hate Hillary Clinton? More power to you. But you can’t buy Trump’s bogus claim that she’s “perhaps the most dishonest person to have ever run for the presidency.” You certainly can’t go repeating it.

Not convinced? Look your mother, your sister, your daughter in the eye, and tell her “I’ve just been shown the evidence that Trump is the biggest liar in current American politics, and Hillary Clinton is one of the most honest, and I refuse to accept it.”

If you succumb to Barrel's challenge, I would add: try using the data presented here to make your case. Please let me know how that works out for you.

Appendix

Here are the Politifact numbers as reported on their web site as of August 1, 2016.

Numbers are for the categories Pants-on-Fire lie, False, Mostly False, Half True, Mostly True, True, respectively.

Trump: 37 76 32 32 22 8

Clinton: 5 27 34 50 67 53

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