Smart People Ask for Evidence

Written by Mark McElroy

By now, you’ve heard the CIA says Russia tried to sway votes toward President-Elect Trump. Have you seen any proof of that?

If I tell you I can fly, you shouldn’t have to take my word for it: you should ask me to buzz around the room. If I tell you I can turn water into wine, you should hand me a glass of the Chattahoochie River’s finest and say, “I prefer pinot noir.”

When smart people hear big, weird claims, they ask for proof.

And when the big, weird claim strikes at the very root of our nation — our votes, our voices, our democracy — anyone who loves America, no matter who you voted for — should ask for proof.

Here are the four sentences Mr. Trump’s team used to respond to this story:

  1. “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”

Did the CIA say that? No. The Bush White House lied about Iraq having nukes (935 times)!


By the way, one of those liars was John Bolton — the man Mr. Trump picked for Deputy Secretary of State!


  1. “The election ended a long time ago…”

On the day they said this, the election had ended thirty days earlier. Is thirty days a long time?

  1. “… in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history.”

Trump’s Electoral College win was 37th out of 58 — not even in the top 50%:


(For an example of a truly historic win, see Regan vs. Carter. Regan won with 489 electoral votes to Carter’s 49, with an 8 percent margin in the popular vote!)

  1. “It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’”

By pretty much any measurement, America is already a great nation. But if, instead of asking to see the facts, we lie, give power back to people who lied, and shout slogans instead of looking for facts, America may not be a great nation for long.

You are too smart to fall for this. You deserve better. We all do. So when leaders lie, call them liars. When they say one thing and do another, point it out. Speak up. Act up. Make a fuss.

That is how we make America great again.

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