By Jason Taylor
It’s impossible to suspend disbelief and conclude that nearly half of America’s voting citizens elected him president. One can list all of the circumstances that occurred just prior to election day, but the facts remain, how could any thinking person have voted for someone whose life as a public person be so riddled with so many horrendous violations of the truth. We wake up every day, and ask that fundamental question” “How can this be?”
Let’s face it, Trump has always been only one component of a vast lying army. As President, he symbolizes how far the rot has reached in our society.
Fox News certainly deserves a lion’s share of the credit and is most often the originator or most effective propagator of untruth, especially the most egregious. Talk radio, alt-right social media and now, Russian cyber operations continue to manufacture this poison like Purdue makes opioids. But I regularly encounter people who see themselves as foot soldiers in the Army of Untruth, eagerly repeating this garbage in casual conversation as if unconcerned about the damage to their own reputation. And Obama, the most honorable and internationally respected President in a long time, remains the #1 target of the Army of Untruth. And Trump’s #1 priority to date is undoing the legacy of Obama, to the absolute glee of Planet Trump.
But Trump is so unhinged and reckless, he just might be the One who brings the GOP crashing down, much as Nixon did.
Many of us don’t live in a post-truth world. I hate the term. We live in a world where some people now accept lying from the President as either truth or unimportant. The truth is still true and as has been said, facts are stubborn things. One of those facts is that Trump is a liar. He is also a cruel tyrant who apparently wants to turn reality on its head because it serves him or, more likely, he’s been lying for so long he cannot recognize the truth.
There’s a very good reason for Trump’s lies: people tend to believe what they WANT to believe. If you can provide them with “alternate facts”, muddy the waters enough so that people can’t decide what the truth is anymore, they will almost always believe the “truth” they want. This is nothing new. Trump is following the same game-plan totalitarian Governments have used for years. When people start deciding what is true solely because it supports their political agenda, that is the end of democracy. If people on different sides of an issue can’t even agree on what the facts are concerning that issue, how can you have any kind of meaningful dialogue?
Trump lost the popular vote by three million votes. His positions do not reflect the values of the majority of Americans, and they never will. His installation as president is a failure of democracy, and we have a duty to resist and correct the systems that allowed it.
The war against the truth has gotten so bad that Trump’s people flock to him because “He tells it like it is.” What they mean is that he speaks his mind “sincerely”. They don’t even care if what he says is the truth or not. Trump speaks his mind, even his words are all lies. Trump supporters love him for it.
They have even created their own vaccine to immunize themselves from the lies. They say, “Don’t listen to his words, just listen to what’s in his heart”. That’s how he gets away with it. In fact, that’s how he won the election. Trump is riding a wave a mass starvation of sincerity, even if he behaves in a heartless manner. They approve of his brutality and even rejoice in it.
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is perceived as the biggest liar on the planet. The number of fibs she exclaimed in a year was often outdone by Trump in one day. But she is the big liar. This is because she was perceived as being insincere. That’s where our world is now. Lie constantly and people flock to you if they think you truly believe your own lies. Or, lie a few times a year and act like you don’t believe it yourself and get rejected. In short, we don’t know how to differentiate between telling lies and believing in lies. We chose belief over truth. Politics is not religion.
Donald Trump is a liar. He fits right into the current time, for we live in a time in which alternative facts or one’s own reality are what matters. Although Conway is now identified with the concept of “alternative facts,” she merely gave a label to what has been true in the media and on the web for a number of years. As we have become balkanized into more and more homogeneous opinion groups, “truth” as such has ceased to exist. What we have is now opinion masquerading as truth. My “facts” and your “facts” may no longer match up. Facts as offered on Fox News or Breitbart are not the same as the facts on NBC or in the NYT.
I do not dispute that Trump is a liar, but only that he is unique. Perhaps he has been a liar for most of his 71 years, but now increasingly society at large recognizes few truths upon which we all agree. To his core supporters he is not a “liar” at all, but merely “telling it like it is.” The world has gone crazy; we have a crazy “leader.” God help us all.