Lies shouldn’t be tolerated


To the Editor:

I watched when Donald Trump finally went to visit the troops in a combat zone. Not surprisingly he put the spotlight on himself to get a few rounds of applause. This time by telling the troops that he had “just gotten” them a 10 percent pay raise. He claimed that other people said “give them less,” but I said “no — give them 10 percent or more, I got you a raise.”

Of course, that was not true in any sense of the word. But the troops loved it and cheered.  Trump got his ego fed.

I think that was a pretty cruel hoax to play on our hardworking troops that are putting themselves on the line for Americans and what America stands for. Especially the day after Christmas. I would imagine that many of those people believed him. He even said they had not gotten a raise in 10 years. The fact is the troops have gotten a raise every year for the last 30. The fact that we have a president that is willing to lie about nearly anything is pretty disturbing, but the fact that his supporters defend his lying as truth is VERY disturbing.

A case in point: I wrote to an evangelical Trump supporting acquaintance and asked how he could tolerate this. He quoted Obama, saying that “you can keep your doctor.” What a crock, I responded.

He wrote back stating that the troops would get a 10 percent raise (about 2.5 percent per year) over the four years that Trump is president, better than they did under Obama. Therefore Trump was not lying and the liberal media was lying again.

I urge readers here to watch the video. You can google “Trump tells troops 10 percent raise”

Then, while the government is shut down and Congress is away, Trump, by executive order, canceled a scheduled pay raise for all federal employees.  

What about that? I asked the same person.

“Most federal employees are part of the swamp, so I don’t feel sorry for them.” “Give Trump the 5 billion dollars and all will be well,” he said.

We should give in to an extortionist? I mused to myself…

I am totally appalled by this attitude, as I think every American should be.

So, I have a few thoughts that I wish to share with my fellow citizens.

First, let’s start calling a lie a lie. I was raised in America, I was told that lying is not right, a sin, shameful — whatever you want to call it, but it is not OK.

It is one of the moral foundations that our society, our nation, and our civilization are built upon. Our politicians and the media lie to us every day. It is not tolerable. No matter which side you are on, a lie is a lie is a lie and needs to be challenged. Call your government representative and challenge them when they lie, even if they are not from your district or state. If someone defends a lie, challenge them. When you read something that is questionable, verify it before you share it…  ( is a good site).

Educate yourself about the facts — we literally have the world’s information at our fingertips. Use it.

And most important of all — vote.

Don Keller
Vineyard Haven



  1. Good letter, Don. I disagree with you that Trump is “willing to lie about nearly everything”. The bonespur draft dodger is willing to lie about ANYTHING, big or small. The support for Trump by the evangelicals is astonishing to me. It makes no sense. It is so un-Christian to lie and justify what they justify. (Obama built a 10′ wall around his house, lol.) There is a term now, not made up by me, that is applied to the fact that 71% of evangelicals support Trump. It’s called “toxic Christianity”. Evangelicals are the only religious group in our country that supports Trump. Every other religious group steers clear. I wonder what the percentage is of born-again Christians who were alcoholics? My experience with “born-again” people, is that they approach their discovered religiosity with the same ferver alcoholics had when they needed to go after a drink. They believe that god somehow hit them over the head, and the ones who used to abuse acohol, believe god took away their desire to drink. It’s like switching addictions, going from booze to god. Of course, not all born agains were alcoholics and not all sober alcoholics are Trump supporters who believe god hit them over the head. But why do so many evangelicals have a big problem believing in factual science, but not in irrational beliefs? I can’t figure it out. Not only that, the evangelicals want their (irrational) beliefs to be imposed on everyone else, the way the drunk guy down the bar insists everyone get drunk with him. What a job it must be for “toxic Christians” to spin the lies and immoral behaviors of Trump. Imagine, Trump did not even offer condolences to the families of the immigrant children who died in US custody, but he tweeted how dems were to blame for the deaths. How could any human being support that? How could anyone spin that? My theory is that Trump has all the symptoms of active, full-blown, nearing end-stage alcoholism without ever having touched alcohol. That would explain a lot. It certainly helped me understand the insanity of GW Bush’s, a born-again, sober alcoholic. Evangelicals are a far greater threat to our country than illegal immigrants. Asking people not to accept lies and not to continue to spread them, is not even on the radar of the damaging evangelicals who wouldn’t exist without lies. But the rest of us are with you. Appreciate what you had to say. I haven’t lost hope.

  2. Back in 1980, evangelicals chose to support a twice-married Hollywood actor who was a known womanizer in Hollywood. His name was Ronald Reagan. They chose to support him over Jimmy Carter, a born-again Baptist Sunday school teacher who had been faithfully married to one woman. The reason we supported President Reagan was not because we supported womanizing or divorce. We supported his policies. We are choosing to support Trumps policies. We’re not under any illusion that we were voting for an altar boy when we voted for President Trump. We knew about his past. And by the way, none of us has a perfect past. We voted for him because of his policies. He has African American and Hispanic unemployment to a record high. He has done more for the poor than Obama ever did. He has reduced the three strike penalty for drug felonies and retroactively limits the sentencing disparity for crack cocaine that disproportionately targeted African Americans. He hasn’t gutted the welfare system and he wants trade deals to benefit the middle class. The border wall is to protect American jobs. If Trumps tweets have been annoying so has the liberals policies. Identity politics that judges people by color, the speech codes that silence conservatives on campus, the punishment given to religious believers for their convictions, the group rights that trample individual rights. These define the liberalism that Trump wages against. Liberals have abandoned the concept of your kids being better off than their parents, support teachers unions and oppose school choice, and supports a broken immigration system that manifests economic immobility. Liberals love regulations that burden job growth. Evangelicals believe all are sinners and some saved by Grace. Some say that we believe in fairy tales and don’t support science but those tell us what bathrooms we can enter and don’t support the X and Y Chromosome science that defines gender. We support him for his unfailing support of Israel, his supreme court judges, immigration, the Johnson Amendment and his pro growth policies that have us to more than 3 percent growth when others said 2 percent is the new normal. Religious and spiritual leaders are obligated to be righteous so they don’t lead God’s flock astray. Their morality is of primary significance, and the lack of it will bring devastation to the entire community. Political leaders, however, are not spiritual leaders with the same responsibilities, burdens, and covenantal obligations of leaders within Scripture. God’s purposes are manifest through fallen men, whether they’re in the church or in the world. Think of all the secular leaders we’ve had in America and consider their fallenness. Trump has had moral failure after moral failure but the Bible is full of immoral characters who fulfilled Gods plan including David and Solomon and many others.

    • Will start this in tiny bits so as not to lose anything. This is not meant as an attack on your views, rather confirm your phrasing.
      Quote: “He has African American and Hispanic unemployment to a record high.”

      You meant to say unemployment of some groups is up?

    • Andrew–let me remind you of the 10 commandments:

      1. “You shall have no other gods before me.
      2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above.
      3. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
      4. “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
      5. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
      6. “You shall not murder.
      7. “You shall not commit adultery.
      8. “You shall not steal.
      9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
      10. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
      So 1,2,and 3, are about god’s ego.. trump’s is bigger.
      4) How often does trump go to church ? or Pray ?
      5) Even after dad transferred billions to trump illegally, he tried to swindle him out of all of it in the end.
      6) Maybe not murder, but his business practices have likely resulted in early deaths.
      7) Oh well, Bill Clinton did it– never mind that one
      8) I guess “stealing” is open to interpretation. Not paying your contractors ? Taxes ? using your foundation for personal use ? He never got busted for shop lifting after all.
      9) “Obama was born in Kenya” “Obama is a Muslim” “Obama built a wall around his house”
      10) nope– I am Shure trump never did this one– he just walked up to them and grabbed them.. And none of them were married, so it’s ok..

      In short, Jackie is right on the money– And don’t forget– every one of those priest involved in the pedophile scandals will tell you they were called to the priesthood by god herself. Andrew, you have often told me that there is no morality except through god. The implication is that since I am a Pastafarian, I have no morality– yet you, and the evangelical community in general let trump slide as he routinely tramples over the bedrocks of Christianity. He is also trampling over the bedrocks of democracy- I, and my fellow liberals will not let him slide on that one.

    • Let’s start off lightly: identity politics that judge people by color. Examples include black people being arrested for going to a Starbucks, meeting a friend in a hotel, shopping in a supermarket, buying Skittles candy. Jim Crow laws.

    • Andrew, this is what is politely called, “word salad”. It is a confused rant of untruths, bizarre conclusions, way out there assumptions, a few facts, and a few more alternative facts. You have shown us in this tossed salad exactly how the far right justifies their immoral support of immorality. One of the least offensive examples of how confused you are is the claim that a border wall is to protect American jobs, No, it’s not. The segue from politics to religions is a rambling and desperate mess. Your bible is not the Constitution. Our elected officials now do not have to take an oath of office on your book that you worship as if its something that all must accept. The far right seems to forget that one, the Constitution, trumps the other, your bible, in our democracy. This imposition of your religious beliefs on democracy is why the far right is such an ugly threat to the values of our national honor. Toxic Christianity is alive and well.

  3. dondondon. If you really understood the ten commandments you would know that none of us are capable of keeping any of them. All of us have broken them.

    • None of us are capable of keeping any of them? Huh? Most of us have no problem following the big one, Thou shall not kill.

    • This is how you justify a president that has no moral values ? — You have the rules as put forth by god herself, but you can justify not keeping any of them because you are not capable of following them. And the really great part is you can criticize everyone else for not being “moral”. But you will get to heaven because you believe but break all the rules, and I will go to hell because I don’t believe in you “jealous” god (Exodus 34:14) even though my moral character and honesty far exceeds your wretched set of values.
      You are an embarrassment to your god and your religion… And you think Pastafarianism is a joke — HA ! Ha ! ha!
      May god have mercy on your soul…

      • One might be careful not to place any gender on the Divine. Imposing either male or female, or any other human identity just sets one up for eternal disappointment. Humans of all gender(s) have faults. To assert that God is either male or female is to understand God, and understanding God puts one on the same level as God. The only being that understands God, is, well, God, and to comprehend the Divine completely would make us God. We have one of those already. The position has been filled. It has taken some discipline to refrain from thinking of my Boss as he or a she, and an ‘it’ just doesn’t seem to work, either.

  4. “Trump has had moral failure after moral failure but the Bible is full of immoral characters who fulfilled Gods plan including David and Solomon and many others.” This is the crux of the problem with evangelicals. They believe that Trump is their god’s plan, a plan that they’ve gleaned from words in the bible they worship. If this doesn’t strike fear into the heart of every American who loves our country and loves our democracy, it should. There is a reason Andrew brought up kings of Israel as part of an evangelical’s immoral defense of immorality. There is a reason why evangelicals support Israel so fervently, and it has nothing to do with a love for Jews and their rights to their own nation. It’s all about the christian bible, the christian messiah, and waiting for the big apocalypse that they’re banking on. And no one gets out alive unless they convert as they gather in Israel. Israel is to an evangelical, what a drink is to a drunk.

  5. Jackie, I dont think you have anything to fear from Evangelicals. We are entitled to our faith and our opinions and our faith is not subverting the Constitution one bit. On the contrary, secularists like you are trying to constrain our beliefs. We love the Jews and Israel because we believe that Gods promise to Abraham is yet to be fulfilled and they are his Chosen people. How what I believe should strike fear into every American is puzzling. No one in America is in danger of how I believe since I am not imposing it on anyone simply expressing my conviction. Am I allowed to do that in a democracy? Yes God is sovereign and he has his hand on everything. ”Not a single sparrow can fall without God knowing it”. Is that statement going to elicit your rage?

    • Actually Andrew, you are imposing your beliefs on others– lets just take a look at abortion , fetal tissue research and which bathroom someone can use. All controversial because of religious beliefs. But the issue here is lying– all 3 of these examples are driven by all manner of insinuation, disinformation, half truths and outright lies. Words matter– They have consequences-
      And your statement about the sparrow elicits no rage from me, but I would bet that god is not happy about it when someone could care less about her piping plovers getting run over on the beach.

    • 1) If a President you’ve defended for his immoral behavior caters to Evangelicals for votes, how can we not be concerned about Evangelicals? Evangelicals are trying to subvert the Constitution by not respecting freedom of religion for those they disapprove of. Bad word choice: for those they hate.

      2) I am both scientist and Christian. I am not trying to constrain beliefs of the religious in this country. Problem is, a number of those so-called Christians do not follow their scripture; worse, they use it to hurt others. Why should I indulge a group defining itself as good to others while discriminating to the point of doing harm?

      3) A better question, “Do humans care about the sparrow?” Now ask whether it matters whether God knows about that sparrow.

    • Andrew, I find the Evangelical’s fairly recent love for “the Jews” curious. Where were evangelicals in the 1930’s and 40’s when the Nazis were executing their final solution? Or before that during the pogroms of Eastern Europe earlier in the 20th century or the latter part of the 19th century? Or. Any. Other. Time. When. Jews. Faced. Persecution? Oh, wait…now that they’ve forced Palestinians off their land and in to ghettos and created a government, Christian evangelicals have a use for them and therefor they are the “Chosen people” once again.

      • Jbnorton, you are confusing “Jews” with Israel, and that gives more power to the rising anti-semitism in this country and all over the world. Israel is not “Jews”. When you accuse Jews of something, without even realizing what you’re saying, that’s not a good thing. There are a lot of people who get people like you to spread their anti-Semitism by accusing “Jews” as you just did, instead of stating a disagreement with a government of a country. Slip of the tongue? (or typing fingers?) I don’t think so. It’s a slip that is made all too often by people siding with the Jew haters in the world. And, believe it or not, not all Jews live in Israel. Some even live on the Vineyard and have nothing to do with Israeli government policy.

        • Jackie– while are correct about the distinction between Jews and Israel, I think you are incorrect that because someone uses the term “Jews” while referencing the Jewish state, they are anti Semitic . I just posted a reply to whale oil and used the word “dwarf”. That does not mean I somehow don’t like short people. Part of the reason we debate things is to enlighten the other side. Accusing people of things they likely are not guilty of is not helpful, and will not advance your/our point. I know, there are ingrained biases, and we should be mindful of them. I think you could have made your point to JB with a little more love..

          • I disagree, Don. Using “Jews” as a synonym for Israel government policy is wrong. Sorry, my friend, but you also thought coming down hard on LeRoux for using blackface was not necessary and people needed to let it go. I disagreed with you then, too and see it as a microagression that you are not aware of as a white male. As a Jew, I can tell you that there is not a strong enough reaction to incidents that encourage the anti-Semites which is what confusing a bad government policy with a religion. Do you know how many white people think Muslims are dangerous terrorists and get mad when they see clothing that identifies them as such? Not making the clear distinction between having a problem with Israeli government policy and “Jews” encourages all those on board with the Pro-Palestinian movement who indeed hate Jews, and would like to see Israel annihilated– along with every Jew in every other part of the world. If I don’t come down hard on people condemning Jews when they really mean a government policy, Jews are the ones to lose. Just like the black community loses when the white community dismisses the degradation of black people when they do not condemn, 100% and in no uncertain terms, the use of blackface to sell merchandise. And “dwarf” is never used as a slur and no one is trying to kill people of small stature. “Jew” can be a slur– “Midget” on the other hand is unacceptable.

        • I’m considering this confusion with labels applicable here as it applies to how Evangelicals seem to consider Jews vs Israel.

    • Andrew, so, according to you, not a single Jew went to the ovens without your god knowing about it. That’s some god you’re worshipping. Chosen, indeed.

      • Yes Jackie God knew about it because he is omniscient. I thought it was man that created the Holocaust not God. Are you suggesting that God must stop all sin and depravity?

        • Wait, evangelicals believe donnie is god’s plan, but they also believe there is no god’s plan to help starving tortured people all over the world? Nice. So much for all those wasted “thoughts and prayers”. What a scam.

  6. Why write letters like this?
    Obviously the majority of the readers of this paper, the island in general, will blindly agree with you. The island is an echo chamber . And obviously those that disagree will boast their point as well as equally over simplified as your own.
    Stick to the corruption and/or stupidity of our own local selectman and reps. It’s far more pertinent and isn’t discussed by panel on CNN nor Fox.

    • whale oil. I wrote a letter like this because I think the amount of lying that is going on, starting at the top and working it’s way down into all aspects of our society is a serious problem. My point is not over simplified. It is simple in every way. Lying is becoming the social norm in America, and that is not a good thing. If I ever feel that my local reps are corrupt and liars, I will certainly “stick” to that topic. In the meantime, if you are worried about local corruption and /of stupidity, perhaps you should write a letter. While local politics is important , the magnitude of federal politics dwarfs any local decisions.

    • Many are concerned the leader of this country lies to the people. Is this to be blindly accepted, something that would enable more lies, and worse make it seem to some that there is truth in those lies?

  7. When Hilary lies none on the left say a word but now because of your unhinged hatred for Trump, lying has now become the cause celebre. Politicians have been lying since civilization began. Your favorite news agencies lie every day and night. Chill out. Trump is there for two more years, your group will do everything they can to resist and by 2020 you will have Booker as your President. Wonderful. Or maybe AOC.

    • I’ve been stereotyped and told to accept it while you continue with your agenda. That sums up your position, am I right?

    • Nothing to do with Hillary. Once again. Also, AOC isn’t old enough. But facts aren’t your strong suit are they?

    • Andrew Politicians lie, that is true– but nothing on a scale like trump– and he just makes stuff up.
      It is astounding that virtually every news agency and anyone who listens to trump understands that lying is not a side issue for him. It is his everyday life- Yes, most politicians lie sometimes, but trump is a lying machine– 24 / 7. And for no reason– it is constant pathological lying, and that undermines our country and our safety. Time to impeach.

  8. Trump is our greatest President since Lincoln, and all in the face of entrenched bureaucrats who fear his reforms, their media lapdogs, and the weak-minded who parrot them. An absolute LOCK for reelection.
    So, please, impotent ‘Resisters’: Continue to wail, moan, pull out your hair, & rend your garments.
    It’s amusing.

    • @Bart : In case comments do not align as intended, the question about Mr Fields is directed at you for a response.

  9. Do you believe James Alex Fields Jr. was justified in driving his car into a crowd of people who supported the proposed removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one and injuring 29?

    • Do you believe James Hodgkinson was justified in shooting a crowd of people, targeting Republicans, practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, in Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia, injuring 4, including a gravely wounded Rep. Steve Scalise?

      • No. I answered, you didn’t.

        Two questions. Did you believe James Hodgkinson was a sufficiently responsible to own and carry firearms? Presuming yes, do you still believe it?

        Reflects poorly on you.

      • Bart– no one is justified to shoot into a group of people– no matter what. And no one is justified to drive their car into a crowd of people.
        the question here is was the dot justified to give him a drivers license ? I would say yes.
        but, if you look at the history of mr Hodgkinson, he should never been permitted to possess a firearm.
        toggle down to the “perpetrator” section– there was every reason to deny this man a gun permit… but the nra and republican politicians think everyone should have a gun. This tragedy may have been prevented with sane gun control laws

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