Instigator / Pro



The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
Better sources
Better legibility
Better conduct

After 4 votes and with 18 points ahead, the winner is...

Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
One week
Max argument characters
Voting period
One week
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Contender / Con


TRUMP is the ex-game show host who is current President of the United States.

RELIABLE is "suitable or fit to be relied on; worthy of dependence or reliance; trustworthy"

SOURCE is "the person, place or thing from which (information) comes or is acquired"

INFORMATION is "that which resolves uncertainty; things that are or can be known about a given topic; communicable knowledge of something"

Burden of Proof is shared.

PRO will argue that Trump is not to be trusted as a source of information.
CON will argue that Trump is a trustworthy source of information.

PRO is requesting sincere and friendly engagement on this topic.
No trolls or kritiks, please.

- RULES --
1. Forfeit=auto loss
2. Sources may be merely linked in debate as long as citations are listed in comments
3. No new args in R3
4. For all relevant terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the rational context of this resolution and debate

Round 1


Trump held a rally tonight which often serves as venue for many of Trump's most long-standing lies- the wall, best economy ever, wind energy kills too many birds, etc.  The Washington Post now calls these "bottomless Pinocchio's"- statements for which the falsehood is not even controversial or much discussed anymore among experts, statements for which the which the regular repetition can only be called willful disinformation: repeat the lie until the truth is forgotten. 

There were new lies, too. Lies about his unscheduled trip to Walter Reed Hospital last week and lies about how the media covered that event.  Trump falsely claimed that "they" are trying to rename Thanksgiving.  He also claimed:

"I opened up an Apple computer plant.” 
He tweeted out this same claim on the day he toured the Austin, TX plant which has been assembling Mac Pros since 2013.  In the hierarchy of Trump's falsity, I suppose such a claim does not rank as particularly important but the ease with which the claim is disproved remains galling.  

In spite of the constant fog of falsehood, it still happens often enough that some debater tries to quote the present President of the United States as some evidence in support of some point. 

But how can information from Trump ever serve any point except as from an extremely unreliable source?   

The present President is a liar without precedence in the history of man, if the Washington Post is to be believed when it documents an appalling 13,445 falsehoods in 993 days, a statistic unsurpassed by any other public figure.

Did Stalin tell more lies in his long political career? did Louis XIV?  Augustus  Perhaps, but we can't know for certain.  We don't have thousands of well-documented lies on live TV from those men,  lies repeated in the face of fact-checkers and the truth of videotape.   We do have thousands, ten of thousands now, of well-documented, well-recorded, fact-checked and proved-to-be-bullshit lies out of the mouth of Trump in just the few years of his presidency so far. 

That probably makes Trump the all-time greatest liar but for the purposes of the debate PRO thinks we can afford to be a bit skeptical on that claim. Let's just agree that Trump is certainly the most famous liar of his time, certainly the record holder for most lies on record, most verified lies of anybody who ever lied a lie.

Now it stands to reason that if Trump were the all-time greatest liar, then by definition, information from any other human source would more likely to be reliable than information from the source who has failed the most fact-checks.   By extension, even if we agree that Trump is only one of the lyingest liars evers, we should nevertheless be able to agree that Trump is not a reliable source.

Wikipedia has a special topic addressing Donald Trump's untruthfulness, (which is not true of other presidents or world leaders):. 

"Commentators and fact-checkers have described the rate of his falsehoods as unprecedented in American politics, and they have become a distinctive part of both his business and his political identity. He has a pattern of making controversial statements and subsequently denying having done so.  By June 2019 many news organizations had started describing some of Trump's falsehoods as lies, and that he has repeated some falsehoods so many times that he has effectively engaged in disinformation."
  • Richard Nixon does not require a special Wikipedia category regarding his lies, in spite of picking up nicknames like "Tricky Dick" for the frequency of his falsehoods.   Vladimir Putin, KGB Uber-Oligarch and puppeteer of potentates does not rate a "Veracity of " subheading.  
Social psychologist Dr Bella DePaulo has studied liars for twenty years and explains that Trump's " lies are both more frequent and more malicious than ordinary people's."

"[A] recent study of the lies 1,000 U. S. adults told in the previous 24 hours found that people told an average of 1.65 lies per day; the authors noted that 60 percent of the participants said they told no lies at all, while the top 5 percent of liars told nearly half of all the falsehoods in the study. The most prolific liar among the students told an average of 6.6 lies a day. The biggest liar in the community sample told 4.3 lies in an average day."

For comparison, Trump's average is 13.5/ day during the first 1000 days of his presidency.  We should note that is not total lies per day as in the study, but only lies told to the public per day.  We probably ought to assume that the majority of lies Trump tells are to his family and co-workers, away from fact-checkers and recording devices.

"One category of lies was so small that when we reported the results, we just tucked them into a footnote. Those were cruel lies, told to hurt or disparage others. Just 0.8 percent of the lies told by the college students and 2.4 percent of the lies told by the community members were mean-spirited....The most stunning way Trump's lies differed from our participants', though, was in their cruelty. An astonishing 50 percent of Trump's lies were hurtful or disparaging. "
But the biggest problem with Trump's prevarication is that he seems constitutionally incapable of correcting misinformation, preferring instead to persist in the face of contradiction, controversy, and confusion. 

Consider Hurricane Dorian.  For some unknown (but probably accidental) reason, Trump tweeted on Sept. 1 that the state of Alabama would likely be hit much harder than anticipated by the incoming storm, in spite of the fact that Alabama was no longer in any forecast's impact zone.  Of course, the Chief Executive of the Federal Government telling people that a big storm is coming has significant impact- people buy supplies, plan evacuations, board up houses, change work schedules, etc based on Federal weather warnings.  Within 20 minutes of Trump's fuck-up, scientists in Alabama were compelled by confused phone calls to tweet  out a correction to the people of Alabama

What separates Trump from any other leader is how the correct information infuriated him. 

When a White House reporter covered the correction, Trump insulted the reporter (actually Trump mis-(rage)tweeted at a Kentucky pastor).

"Such a phony hurricane report by lightweight reporter
Three days later, Trump modified a 5 day old projected track of Dorian with a Sharpie National Win an apparent attempt to convince Alabama it was still under threat.  Deliberately falsifying National Weather Service forecasts is a federal felony.  When White House witnesses to the crime told reporters, Trump both denied that he knew how the map was falsified and insisted that the falsification was accurate- Alabama was still under threat.

When FOX news reported on Trump's falsification, Trump summoned the reporter to the Oval Office for a dressing down. 

The next day, the White House threatened to can top NOAA officials if they did not repudiate the correct NWS data from five days before and embrace the propaganda that Trump manufactured.

That night, Trump tweeted out a 10 day old forecast including Alabama in the forecast.  The harm Trump had done to NWS integrity and the people of Alabama counted as nothing against the possibility that Trump might have been caught in a minor mistake.

To this day, a debater could falsely claim that Alabama was at risk from Dorian in early September by quoting Trump when no other source of information makes such a claim.  Now suppose in future you receive a tweet from Trump predicting weather- say a tornado or tsunami arriving in five minutes?  Based on Trump's history, you simply can't just simply react on the president's word- you would have to take the time to consult some other, more reliable source (and any other source is more reliable).  

Trump is not an acceptable source of information for citation because Trump's relation to information is entirely subject to Trump's immediate need.  If the truth is ever unpleasing to our president then we can certain that information will not be broadcast untainted.

Unfortunately, due to time restraints, I am unable to post an argument this round. I apologize for this. I will post my arguments and rebuttals next round.
Round 2
Thanks, PFR

I’ll just extend arguments to R2 and look forward to CON’s reply
Ok it turns out I do not have time for arguments, and won't have any until Winter break.

I concede
Round 3
Thanks to PressF for concession and thanks to voters for their kind consideration.  

Extend all arguments and please vote PRO. 
Here are an assortment of top-quality poems to celebrate Oro's victory (Courtesy of Rob Sears [1]):

I am the best
I predicted Apple’s stock would fall
I will build a great, great wall
I build buildings that are 94 stories tall
My hands – are they small?

I am the least racist person there is
I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks
I remained strong for Tiger Woods during his difficult period
Oprah, I love Oprah. Oprah would always be my first choice
Kanye West – I love him
I think Eminem is fantastic, and most people think I wouldn’t like Eminem
And did you know my name is in more black songs than any other name in hip-hop?
You are the racist, not I

Everybody loves me
Tom Brady loves me
The people of New York, they love me
Upstate New York, I’m like the most popular person that’s ever lived
The bikers love me
You know who loves me? The Tea Party, the evangelicals
My children could not love me more if I spent fifteen times more time with them
The vets love me
The African Americans love me
The Asians love me
Many Hispanics love me
Most conservatives love me
Society loves me
You are going to love me
Or I will spill the beans on your wife!

I’m really rich
I’m very proud of my new crystal collection
I have a Gucci store that’s worth more than Romney
I order thousands of televisions a year
Six people do nothing but sort my mail
Sorry haters and losers!
He who has the gold makes the rules

My hands are normal hands
I buy a slightly smaller than large glove
The five fingers represent the five key factors every
entrepreneur dreaming of success must master

What’s going on? What’s going on?
Does my family like me?
Where are the women?
Why is this reporter touching me as I leave news conference?
What is in her hand?
I don’t know which microphones to hold
My hair – should I change it?
I’m sort of like, what am I doing?
I don’t want to be President. I’m 100% sure