After being criticised for lowering the course of political discourse by Washington Post writer Amber Phillips, Senator Bernie Sanders fought back with a hard hitting article on Medium.com defending his attacks on the POTUS for the multiple falsehoods he’s been disseminating on Twitter. Phillips took issue with the Senator accusing the President of “being a liar”, but Sanders hit back hard, asking:
What should a United States senator, or any citizen, do if the president is a liar? Does ignoring this reality benefit the American people? Do we make a bad situation worse by disrespecting the president of the United States? Or do we have an obligation to say that he is a liar to protect America’s standing in the world and people’s trust in our institutions?
It’s not a trivial question to ask. After citing numerous examples of Trump’s outrageous whoppers, Bernie got to the heart of the issue, stating:
…the United States will not be respected or taken seriously around the world if Trump continues to shamelessly lie is self-evident. We are the wealthiest, most powerful nation on earth. If we have a president who is not taken seriously by people throughout the world because of his continuous lies, our international standing will clearly suffer.
Oddly, the Washington Post didn’t question the accuracy of any of Sander’s facts regarding Trump’s adversarial relationship with the truth. Phillips simply felt that it was inappropriate for a sitting Senator to refer to the president in such disrespectful terms. Sanders responds with the perfect questions:
But how do we deal with a president who makes statements that reverberate around our country and the world that are not based on fact or evidence? What is the appropriate way to respond to that? And if the media and political leaders fail to call lies what they are, are they then guilty of misleading the public?
Bravo to Senator Sanders for demonstrating the courage to call the President what the media has often danced around with weak euphemisms.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.