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“But it is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in, and settleth in it, that doth the hurt” — Francis Bacon, “Of Truth”
Which are the lies that pass through the mind and which are those that sink in? In the latter category, I’d put:
That the three-fifths compromise for counting the slave population is clear evidence of just how racist the authors of the Constitution were.
That health care is a right.
That equality of circumstances is possible or even desirable.
That we can and should raise our children to be “citizens of the world.”
That access to abortion is a prerequisite for women to realize their full potential.
That Michael Brown had his hands up and was saying “don’t shoot” when shot by a police officer in Ferguson, MO.
That Mitt Romney’s policies in particular and Republican policies in general were “gonna put y’all back in chains.”
That a person’s subjective belief about his or her gender is superior to the physical fact of his or her sex.
I think the above claims can pass through some minds and sink into others, but that they are particularly attractive lies to many people in this country.
As for the constant line that Trump is the worst because he lies, I generally hear that claim without specific citations of his lies. Here’s a useful guide to Trump’s lies, helpfully compiled by the Washington Post.
Of course, I have not read each of the 13,435 false or misleading claims that the WaPo has fact-checked. Of the ones I sampled, it seems that the truth of the claims could be sincerely debated or that they’re examples or Trump’s hyperbolic, salesman style. As with a restaurant menu that says “World’s Greatest Burger,” we understand that it’s advertising and not a statement of objective fact. To me, those sorts of “lies” are not ones that sink into the mind. If all politicians lie, I prefer lies about the budget and tax cuts to lies about the reality of biological sex.