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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Who’s more ‘careless with the truth,’ Donald Trump or his enemies?

“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” -- Thomas Paine

If that’s the case then President Donald Trump must not worry a whole lot about offending anyone because he’s never been one to withhold his own special version of honesty. Of course Trump’s enemies Dishonesty(#NeverTrumpers, Democrats, the media and everyone else who despises or envies success) claim he’s about as dis-honest as they come. But to Trump’s supporters and foes alike, honesty is in the minds of the believer.

Former President Jimmy Carter recently weighed-in on the subject and found today’s commander-in-chief lacking in the truth-telling department.

Tal Axelrod reported at The Hill, “Former President Jimmy Carter had some harsh words for President Trump, telling CBS News he is ‘careless with the truth.’

“’I think it’s well-known that the incumbent president is very careless with the truth,’ he said.

“’I think I went through my campaign and my presidency without ever lying to the people or making a deliberately false statement, and I think that would be a very worthwhile thing to reinsert into politics these days,’ Carter added.”

Axelrod further reported that Carter does wish Trump well and hopes the current president succeeds (and prays for him too). The Hill writer also relayed the results of a poll (from May) that found “94 percent of Democrats think Trump tells the truth at most occasionally or less frequently, while 66 percent of Republicans think he tells the truth all or most of the time.”

That’s a rather large disparity. Nearly all Democrats believe Trump lies all or most of the time while two-thirds of Republicans think he’s dead down the center accurate whenever he speaks. The difference between the two groups explains why one side is “offended” when Trump tweets while the other hardly notices. Objectively speaking it appears honesty doesn’t make a whole lot of difference when it comes to policy – Trump’s administration has achieved some terrific results…and that’s no lie.

After observing Trump closely for the past three years I admit he does tell his share of half-truths – but I also believe he’s not doing so intentionally. It’s evident from his round-the-clock work ethic Trump has a very active brain and intellect – but sometimes he gets things a bit jumbled. Toss in his considerable ego and never-retreat convictions and whatever comes out of his mouth is the gospel in his own mind.

And because Trump doesn’t care in the slightest about “offending” anyone he’s up at the microphone telling you exactly what he thinks at any given moment. Isn’t that the very definition of honesty?

Besides, Carter didn’t come right out and say Trump lies, only that the New Yorker is “careless with the truth.” There’s a difference. A lie implies malice and intention; being “careless” could just be negligent or unthinking. Even those closest to the president would likely concede he isn’t precise all the time, so “unthinking” might be a better fit to describe him.

One way or another it’s not for Jimmy Carter to say considering he hasn’t occupied the Oval Office’s big boy chair for almost four decades and it’s a very different world now than in the late 70’s. Carter reigned at a time when communications were slower and one could keep secrets apart from social media. With universal use of the internet these days there’s no such thing as privacy and it seems like everyone’s a liar of some sort. Trump just doesn’t worry about the absolute to-the-decimal accuracy of all of his statements.

To be fair, neither do Trump’s opponents. Anti-Trumpers impart all kinds of motives on the president and often do his thinking for him. They also project motives on him where there clearly aren’t any. Take his reaction to the Charlottesville riot last summer when Trump said there were “good people” on both sides of the issue and that all shared blame for the tragedy of what occurred there (a violent clash where a woman was killed). Because of Trump’s unwillingness to condemn just one group for the melee his enemies claimed it was simply further evidence he’s a racist and stealthy neo-Nazi.

Trump’s “enemies” are so blinded to reality they appear incapable of fair commentary on the president. Jimmy Carter’s critique sounds logical and reasonable compared to those who swear Trump is bent on bringing down the republic and rules as your garden-variety tyrant would.

Their hyperbole makes them sound nutty and removes their credibility. Roger Kimball wrote at PJ Media, “Trump has actually governed not as a tyrant but as an energetic democrat. Under his watch, the economy is booming, unemployment is at historic lows, consumer confidence is skyrocketing.  He has made scores of enlightened judicial appointments and is on the threshold of rescuing the Supreme Court from its long flirtation with radical jurisprudence.  He has taken major steps to rebuild our military, roll back the regulatory state, and reassert the prestige of the United States on the world stage.

“I suspect that, come 2024, when President Trump completes his second successful term, Americans will indeed look back, but to the election of Barack Obama and the prospect of a second President Clinton in 2016. They will then wonder how they could have been so misguided as to have elected a naive, anti-American race-hustler like Barack Obama not once but twice, and they will thank their lucky stars that they dodged the bullet of a Hillary Clinton administration, which would have completed the anti-freedom agenda of the deep state and assured generations of economic lassitude and dependency.”

That’s the truth. Obama’s eight years in office dramatically lost their luster with many people. It’s safe to say millions were taken in by the Democrat “chosen one’s” promises when the smooth-talking neophyte politician claimed he would halt the rise of the oceans and unite the planet. As the would-be first non-white president Obama seemed to be the perfect balm to heal the nation’s festering wounds leftover from the civil rights struggle in the 60’s and the still smoldering racial fires after the Rodney King riots and OJ Simpson trial of the 90’s.

If America was willing to elect a black man president it meant racism was no longer around, right? Unfortunately for many who favored Obama precisely because he wasn’t white – or rich -- it turned into a disaster when the one-term senator-turned-president only fanned the flames of division rather than bringing people together.

Obama summed up his warped worldview in one sentence when he said the police “acted stupidly” before even learning the facts of what happened during an incident in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2009.

Trump’s opponents often chastise him for being light on policy details and leaving the major elements of his Make America Great Again agenda to his aides to devise and implement. But what about Obama? He campaigned on a platform of “transforming America” but wasn’t specific either. He repeatedly claimed to be against same-sex marriage, for example, but then switched because he said times had changed.

Obama the campaigner said he’d champion the middle class yet imposed one of the largest tax increases through his monstrous Obamacare fiasco. Therefore, the little guy’s best friend literally forced people to buy health insurance or pay a fine (or as Justice Roberts called it, a tax). And his harsh environmental regulatory schemes cost people jobs and hurt the poor by making them needlessly pay more for energy and consumer products.

As if all of this weren’t bad enough Obama bowed to kings abroad and conducted a feckless foreign policy that neither impressed allies nor deterred enemies. It’s almost as though foreigners recognized Obama was a lightweight long before many Americans did. International leaders didn’t care about the color of the American president’s skin but they did put weight on what he did. Obama never impressed upon anyone that America was serious about its exceptionalism.

Hillary Clinton would’ve perpetuated the policies and made it nearly impossible for the country to recover from massive regulatory intervention in the economy. Her judicial appointments alone would have made a mockery of the Constitution’s restraints on government power.

Trump’s reversed much of the sickness in just two years, earning contempt from the elites and their media friends the likes of which this nation has never seen before. Thanks to the ridiculous Mueller “Russian collusion” investigation, impeachment remains a constant threat.

To do so – impeach Trump – would be catastrophic to the future of America. Victor Davis Hanson wrote at National Review, “As cynics, we have grown accustomed to personal shenanigans from politicians — a JFK, LBJ, Clinton, or Trump; we do not expect flagrant lying, obstruction of justice, conflicts of interest, and violations of the law from our ‘professional’ overseers at the CIA, FBI, DOJ, and NSC. And yet in the last year of the Obama presidency, they were unleashed to use likely illegal means to destroy a perceived threat, assured that a Clinton presidency would provide de facto amnesty.

“The elite media, the Democratic party hierarchy, the intellectual establishment, the entertainment industry, the Never Trump punditry, and the identity-politics industry have all created a vast echo chamber. Inside it, each seems to vie with the other to adduce the most creative end-game scenarios surrounding the hated Trump…

“Outside of their bubble, our elites have no idea of what half the ‘peasant’ class thinks of them, or what it will do if they succeed, or the untold paradoxes and ironies that they will bring upon themselves.”

As usual Hanson hits the nail on the head. The real “carelessness with the truth” was on behalf of the Democrat swamp dwellers and their hatchet men in the intelligence agencies and federal law enforcement who sought insurance policies against Trump’s potential election. In a sense we’re fortunate for the Mueller investigation now – without its bungling incompetence we might never have discovered just how rotten the highest reaches of the federal bureaucracy are today. We can’t fault Trump for being angry about the whole scenario and for lashing out at Attorney General Sessions for recusing himself from it.

Those are very human reactions to being attacked. What president wouldn’t respond in a similar fashion? Perhaps George W. Bush wouldn’t have been as bold in declaring it “fake news” or tabbing the media as the “enemy of the people,” but the “witch hunt” that’s taking place in our times needs a rejoinder. Some might take issue with Trump’s chosen methods – and his words – but the heart of the matter remains the groundless investigation itself.

The Democrats’ calls to impeach Trump are not only meritless, they’re dangerous. As Hanson pointed out in his piece, no president has ever been threatened with impeachment for conduct that took place before he entered office. If Democrats are successful in removing Trump for something he did over ten years ago (that isn’t even illegal) it sets a horrible precedent; no president would be safe from the snooping of future Muellers and their opposition party enablers.

Again, everyone knows Trump was no saint in his prior life, and if he’d carried over his sleazy personal habits perhaps his political opponents would’ve been justified in questioning his worthiness to serve. But there’s precedent for skirt-chasing in the White House that goes back decades if not hundreds of years. All the “lying” is being offered by the people investigating Trump, not the president himself.

Accountability is key here. Trump’s taken responsibility for all his actions since assuming office. Shouldn’t it be the same standard for everyone? NFL legend Jim Brown says the black community should focus on its own problems instead of blaming Trump. Jessica Chasmar reported at The Washington Times, “In an appearance on ‘Fox & Friends,’ the former Browns running back called Mr. Trump an ‘exceptional’ president who genuinely cares about the country, but that he isn’t responsible for the black community’s troubles.

“’We should look at ourselves first before we look at the president,’ Mr. Brown, 82, said. ‘The black community … has a responsibility regardless of what the president does. And if you have a homicide rate within your black community, then it’s not the president that’s created a homicide rate, it’s the black community itself that needs to address it.

“’So I don’t want to just put everything on him,’ he continued. ‘And I’m sorry to say that the black community is not doing what we should do, and that includes myself. We have to be able to, as citizens, bring something that the president can join forces with and triple the effectiveness of it.’”

Brown’s words will no doubt “offend” a lot of liberal black Democrats, but as Paine famously wrote, “He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” Speaking truth to power is what leaders do. Jim Brown – and Donald Trump – exemplify the type. We need more Browns and Trumps, not fewer.

In today’s political environment people see the concept of “honesty” differently. One side sees the other as “careless with the truth” while themselves pursuing an investigation into a matter that was fabricated from the outset. Honestly speaking, things will never change in the swamp.

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Jimmy Brown

As a kid growing up in Cleveland, Ohio rooting for the Browns, Quarterback Jimmy Brown #32 was my hero. Now at age 66, he still is! Keep speaking the truth, Jimmy!