Why Americans are suckers for political lies

I’m not going to use his name, because I am not looking for a Twitter X war, I am looking for honesty and transparency.

Former President Donald J. Trump (left)., President Joe Biden.

The host of a Philadelphia radio station Wednesday morning stated as fact “most people aren’t in the stock market.”

That statement was used to dismiss Joe Biden’s claim that the stock market keeps hitting record highs, and that the U.S. economy is fine.

The fact is that “most Americans,” 58% of them, are in the stock market. They may not own individual stocks, but their 401k and retirement accounts are invested in the market, according to the Wall Street Journal and other sources.

I don’t think the radio host was lying. He was just misinformed, working off his internal biases.

Another inconvenient fact — the U.S. economy is doing well, far better than other industrialized nations.

Oh, you don’t trust CNN?

How about Business Insider?

As Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

The facts are most Americans are in the stock market and the U.S. economy is zooming.

Does that mean it is the best ever? No. But better than anyone else’s now? Yes.

So why do so few Americans understand that?

Because most Americans are stupid. Oops. I mean most Americans are lazy. Oops again. I really mean — believe it or not — most Americans don’t care that much about politics, and they are fed lies and/or misinformation, such as by the morning radio host.

Most people who do give a crap — a minority — tune to publications and stations that agree with their opinions. They live in information silos and don’t have the time, energy, or interest to seek opposing information. We live in the greatest information age in history, when facts are literally at our digital fingertips, yet we seem as vulnerable to big lies as were Germans under Hitler.

There is a difference between lies and spin.

When Biden says inflation has fallen in a couple of years from 9% to 3.1%, that is true, but does not add that inflation was less than 2% under Trump. 

That is spin, but not a lie. More a half truth.

When Donald J. Trump says the U.S. economy was never stronger than when he was president, that is a lie. It was stronger when Dwight Eisenhower was president, and probably when Ronald Reagan was president, too.

Those are lies because facts are easily available.

When Trump says under Biden the U.S. is a “third world country,” that is rhetoric and spin, but not a “lie.”

What Americans should do is consult more than one news outlet.

At the very least, find a reputable analyst who honestly calls balls and strikes.

That’s why many of you are here,

31 thoughts on “Why Americans are suckers for political lies”

  1. Why, Stu, a whole column of actual facts (remember them?). Just love you pointing out the obvious differences between a lie and spin. Virtually all politicians will spin things to serve their needs. However, only ONE politician will consistently and grandiosely lie 24/7/365 and watch his minions lap up the falsehoods like chilled Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. And we all know who that politician is. I’ll sit back here and laugh as I watch his supports on here bend themselves into pretzels to try and justify their insane belief in that lying sack of shit despite a literal MOUNTAIN of evidence that shows exactly who and what he is. It’s hilarious.

    I will routinely disqualify ANY politicians who maintains, with ZERO evidence, that the 2020 election was “stollen”. To me, that shows the person either has a complete lack of character or is simply too dumb to hold public office.

    As I’ve said many, many times, I have no issue with true conservatives or actual conservative beliefs. I disagree with them, but I accept the difference of opinion. However, at this point, if you still support Trump, you are either the dumbest mothereffer on the planet (and yeah, and I know there are a lot of them) or you are simply okay with ending Democracy and supporting pure evil. I would hope most people (sadly) fall into the first category, but I just ain’t sure.

    1. I don’t support Trump, but given the opposition I have some sympathy for those who will choose to vote for him in November. It is a terrible choice between the candidates of the major parties.

  2. Many people are in the stock market. Most are unaware that they are. Almost all of of pensions, 401K’s, Deferred compensation plans etc. are invested in the stock market. I guess when the mortgage rates are over 7% and food prices are through the roof the stock market does good.

  3. Stu, that’s exactly why I subscribe to multiple news sources including both the Times and Wall Street Journal as well as others. Reading them all sometimes seems like reading about different countries even though the stories may be about the same topic, but it leaves me free to make up my own mind.

  4. Inflation and high interest rates were caused by Bidens bad polices. All Americans have suffered because of them. They are not going to forget the last 3 years of his terrible presidency.

    1. Did you not read Stu’s article?….I’m not sure if your comment is an outright lie or simply spin, but it sure as hell ain’t factual.

      1. The real people in America know it’s true because they are living thru it. It didn’t happen under Trump. Asshole know it alls like you don’t get it.

        1. The real people know. Get out of your ivory tower and talk to people who have been hurt by his policies People like you look down on real Americans. You have enough money to ride thru this miserable presidency most people don’t.

  5. Thank you, Stu for this piece. And I don’t even have a “but”….

    1. Truly, a sign of the apocalypse.
      P.S.: Don’t waste time with Daniel. He is impervious to facts. I believe he is a bot and read none of his comments.

      1. Here’s a fact. You are going to vote for Biden even though you know he is mentally incompetent. You claim to love the country but you will vote for a village idiot . You don’t have to vote for Trump. But why would you vote for Biden . You also said you would vote for Biden so if he dies in office Harris will become president and we will get the female president issue out of the way. Most people on both sides think she’s incompetent. You are one stupid asshole.

  6. In baseball, three strikes and you’re out, but not in politics, unfortunately.

  7. Stu,

    58% are in the stock market, leaving 42% that are not in the market. For the 52%, most are in it in a passive state and are not realizing the gains in the form of liquid cash to pay for groceries and gas.

    These are the folks that will decide if they are benefiting from the Biden Presidency.

    The news sources like to quote reductions in year over year inflation. Question if January 2023 had year over year inflation of 9%, and January 2024 had year over year inflation of 3%, is that equal to12% inflation over 2 years or 6% over2 years.

    Answer: doesn’t matter when I go to the grocery store and feel like I have been robbed.

    Biden, is not necessarily to blame for this, that is a fact, but emotions drive votes and both these idiots, their handlers and the talking heads play on our emotions.

  8. Here’s some forecasted spin (is that even possible?) – most people voting for President in November will actually be voting against “the other guy.” Very few people will happily cast a vote in favor of either guy. Suggestion to make the process more tolerable – every poll will have a supply of clothespins for voters to wear as they vote; easier than holding one’s nose as they cast away. Then, instead of wearing the paste-on “I Voted,” the clothespin says the same message and easily clips to a lapel, pocketbook, etc.

    1. I don’t know of ANY poll reporting that most Americans are happy with this rematch. I DO believe this will be an ekection animated by hate of “the other guy.”

  9. Im happy that you and your commentators are thriving comfortably in retirement.Your investments are doing just fine,Im alright Jack,Good for you,Me-Im self employed.I dont have stocks.Eggs-gas -utilities etc. are a concern.I have plenty of wealthy friends that no matter what things cost at Wholefoods dont sweat it.I have no resentment.But listen to yourselves.Its kinda ugly.Im alright Jack.And should your orange bete noir win you might rethink your stance.But I doubt it,.

      1. Im not disputing what you say,but I am merely pointing out that just because your stocks are doing just fine is completely irrelevent to alot of people.Next time I go to the grocery store I will console myself that Stu is doing just fine.Is it any wonder that the kids think socialism is cool?Empathy people.

        1. My column talked about TWO things — stocks are high and U.S. economy is better than ALL our peers. You can’t disprove either.
          A whole OTHER matter is high prices. I don’t argue that isn’t true, but it is just NOT part of my subject.

  10. Look at it this way, yes some of us are retired, but we had good jobs, that had good pensions, and if we were smart, we invested along the way. Wealthy, most by no means, comfortable yeah, some just getting by. We went through Presidents, wars, recessions, putting kids through school, deaths, setbacks, and still managed to be where we are. You say you’re not resentful, but I doubt it. I’m never going to tell anybody to vote because of propaganda,either side. For years now that’s all it amounts to. I’ll choose the best man or woman that I see fit for the job. If the country agrees, great, if not. Got willing we get another shot in four years.

  11. What makes anyone think the USA will always survive its self-inflicted injuries? The country is so deeply in debt it will never climb out of the hole; those leading the country are inept, venal, and interested only in holding onto power; the military is being turned into a woke parody of itself, and the country has been Balkanized into ever-smaller and smaller pockets of us-versus-them. But hey, spring is in the air and in nine months or so we’ll be given the choice of choosing between a serial liar and a zombie to lead us to nirvana. And we’ve managed to achieve this level of success in a mere 248 years.

    1. You nailed it for me, Vince. I have said in response to this column that I find it truly sad that in a country of 335 million people, give or take a few million, that these two aged men, one who is mentally in decline, the other also mentally in decline and additionally morally bankrupt are the best we can find? I’ll vote for Biden. I’ll really vote for anyone, including the Philly Phanatic if he were to run. But I won’t be particularly happy with the choices.

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