Editor’s note: And so it begins.
“If the Republican Party’s reflexive disdain for eggheads and elites found its purest expression in the nomination of a former reality-TV star for president, Donald Trump’s inauguration address Friday was its crowning achievement,” writes Vanity Fair. “A dark, raw, populist dirge, Trump’s speech was the ultimate middle finger to Washington’s elite, a full-frontal attack on Republicans and Democrats alike for transforming America into a broken-down, post-industrial wasteland where ‘rusted-out factories’ are ‘scattered like tombstones,’ and where ‘the crime and the gangs and the drugs’ bleed the nation’s children of their ‘unrealized potential.’
“Needless to say, Trump’s rage-filled, ‘America First’ battle cry was also filled with half-truths and misinformation, to say nothing of tired clichés. Here, we’ve chronicled the worst of Trump’s hyperbole and mistruths from an otherwise platitudinous campaign-style speech.
Crime in America
“Trump: ‘. . . And the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.’
“Fact-check: The U.S. crime rate is near a 20-year low, and while the use of some drugs is increasing, drug use among American teens dropped to an all-time low in 2016.
“Trump: ‘You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before.’
“Fact-check: While Trump won the electoral college, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. Photos from Trump’s inaugural speech seem to suggest that several hundred thousand fewer people turned up to watch his swearing-in.
“Trump: ‘Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.’
“Fact-check: ‘Economists are not so sure. According to a Moody’s Analytics report released on Friday, Trump’s trade, immigration, and tax proposals would dramatically decrease U.S. economic output and result in the loss of 3.5 million jobs. Similarly, Capital Economics estimates that Trump’s proposed 45 percent tariff on Chinese goods would result in a 10 percent increase in U.S. retail prices.'”