A wise Greek once said that to succeed, a democracy must have a well-informed electorate. So, if you’ll indulge me here, please read the following paragraph and ask yourself which of these statements are true:

Obama was not born in the United States; In 2016, 3,000,000 people voted illegally; Trump’s inauguration crowd was larger than Obama’s; Obama illegally wiretapped Trump Tower; Obamacare is in a “death spiral,” Mexico is going to pay for the wall; Climate change is a myth; Trump doesn’t lie any more than other presidents.

By any reasonable measure, they’re all false. If you believe them, you may be one of about 25 percent of our population who prefer to ignore the truth in order to believe what they want to believe.

Our president is a very smart man. Last November, he was able to win the presidency despite losing by 3 million votes. How did he pull it off? By shrewdly relying on that 25 percent to push him over the edge in the electoral college.

About five years ago, Trump gained national attention by claiming that President Obama was not an American. Smart move since, despite proof to the contrary, he was able to convince about 44 percent of the voting public. Incredibly, almost the same percentage still believe that lie today. Illegal voters? Demonstrably false, but about a quarter of Americans still believe it.

Inauguration crowd size? In spite of photos to the contrary, 41 percent of Republicans still believe Trump had a bigger turnout. Wiretapping claim? More than half of Republicans believe it.

I don’t want to offend anybody here, but one sign of intelligence is the willingness to accept facts, even if you don’t like them. Another is to recognize a liar when you see one.

Bob Thigpen

St. Simons Island