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article imageOp-Ed: Are 'Senior moments' the reason behind all the POTUS falsehoods?

By Karen Graham     Feb 7, 2017 in Politics
Trying to sort through POTUS quotes, deciding which one is true and which is a bald-faced lie, is getting to be a pain in the rear-end. And the thing that bothers me is that there are ardent followers that believe Trump is speaking the gospel truth.
At a "listening" meeting this morning with representatives from the National Sheriffs Association, a group which has over 3,00 members across the nation, Trump held sway over his captive audience as he blasted the press again for their lies and again repeated a falsehood he had made on the campaign trail about the murder rate in America.
Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal, who attended the meeting as part of the press, filed a pool report: “At one point POTUS said the country’s murder rate is highest it’s been in 45-47 years. He singled out Chicago. He said Chicago is worse than some places in the Middle East where there are wars going on.”
On October 28, 2016, Fact reported Trump had been making the bogus claim that the murder rate in the U.S. is the “highest it’s been in 45 years” and “the press never talks about it.” The story went on to quote part of Trump's campaign speech in Charlotte, North Carolina on Oct. 26 where he was talking about his "new deal for Black America." Trump said: "The problem is not the presence of police, but the absence of police. We need really a great group of people to keep you safe, to keep us all safe, to keep us all safe. You know the murder rate in the United States, I don’t know if you know this because the press never talks about it, is the highest it’s been, think of this, in 45 years. Nobody knows that. The murder rate, highest it’s been in 45 years."
In all seriousness, Mr. Trump does have an understanding of how to read facts and figures, because after all, he has been a businessman for many years.
And I certainly hope he isn't becoming prone to those "senior moments" older people are prone to sometimes. But listening to his outrageous "alternative Facts," well, let's just say it's scary, actually because there are people just dumb enough to believe him.
But let's look at the facts, and these are from The Federal Bureau of Investigation for 2015. By definition, in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
In 2015, based on the FBI's report on violent crimes, the murder rate is plummeting and so is the violent crime rate. Violent crimes, including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, peaked at 758 such crimes per 100,000 residents in 1991, and was about 373 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2015, again a decline of more than half.
Criminologist Dr. James Alan Fox, from Northeastern University, says that Trump is “dead wrong” and “misunderstanding the situation.” Additionally, at a GOP retreat held in Philadelphia last week, Trump talked on and on about Philadelphia's “steady, I mean just terribly increasing" murder rate.
The murder rate is increasing in Philly? Really? According to the Philadelphia Police Department, Homicides totaled 277 in 2016, down from 280 in 2015. Either figure is a heck of a lot better than the 331 homicides in the city in 2012.
So come on, folks, don't believe everything the guy in the White House is spouting, because, like all of us 70 year-olds, he too sometimes has a "senior moment." Or possibly, in his case, many moments.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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