Whatever else critics may have against him, Donald Trump should be disqualified from the presidency by his careless disregard for the facts, writes Max Boot, a conservative historian of U.S. foreign policy, in the New York Daily News.
"All politicians spin and twist facts to some extent," Boot writes, "but Trump’s lies are so epic and recurring as to put him in a whole other universe of dissembling — a place where facts are meaningless and the truth can be anything he wants it to be at that particular moment."
Trump's propensity to treat "rumor as gospel" and his refusal to "acknowledge flat falsehoods" would be a disaster for the country, Boot says.
Trump has shown himself incapable of sorting through complicated, competing claims to get at the best course of action, Boot said. He pointed to a Politico examination of a week's worth of Trump's speeches that found he makes misstatements of fact every five minutes. And The Washington Post's fact checker said that 70 percent of Trump's statements he investigated are completely false.
"These are not simply errors of ignorance. They display a determined desire not to learn anything," Boot said.
He cited Trump's telling of a story about Gen. John Pershing dipping bullets in pigs' blood and shooting Muslim terrorists, releasing one to tell the story. Despite corrections from historians the story was an untrue legend, Trump continued telling the story.
He also has said he saw Muslims in the United States celebrating the 9/11 attacks on television, cited a National Enquirer story that Ted Cruz's father was involved in the JFK assassination, said vaccines cause autism, raised questions about President Barack Obama's birth certificate and suggested Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia may have been smothered with a pillow.
While some of Trump's backers say he would pick advisers who make up for his shortcomings, Boot said, Trump's "proclivity for embracing falsehoods and denying reality suggest that he is, literally, uneducable," and that makes him "the most terrifying potential President that we have ever seen."
Democrat Hillary Clinton is "at least rational," Boot said.
Boot has previously said he would vote for Clinton over Trump.
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