Remember back in the innocent days of pre-2016 when Steven Colbert coined the term ‘truthiness’ in reference to politicians’ relationships with the facts?
Oh, we were so innocent then.
We are well beyond truthiness now. We are now living in the post-truthiness era where the President of the United States lies on a regular basis.
The Washington Post this week published an editorial about the ‘constant, relentless, remorseless lying” of the Trump presidency.
Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star has made quite a name for himself documenting Trump’s falsehoods in weekly tallies. For instance, Dale says that in the first week of August, President Don made 132 false claims (just call them lies, cuz that’s what they are). 132 lies in one week!
The Washington Post also keeps track and in August said that Trump had made 4,229 misleading claims (again, lies) in 558 days.
CNN reports that Trump’s interview this week with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes was a “master class in deception and denial”. Of course, Fox News had a different take, saying that Stahl (a reporter whose business is asking questions) had no business asking the president so many questions.
In most countries, we still have this quaint notion that your leaders should not lie to you, and if they do, for example, break a campaign promise, their opposition should hold them to account for it.
Why doesn’t it matter in Trump world?
To be fair, Trump made it clear from day 1 that he was going to go on as he began.. lying. His first huge whopper as president was the size of his inauguration crowd. Trump, who most would classify as a raging narcissist, cannot let anyone have anything bigger or better than his. So even though photographic evidence of his crowd size was available, Trump just flat out lied about it.
He lies about things he has said — denying saying them despite the fact that video exists of him saying that exact thing.
I think it has been well established that the President lies like a rug. The question that I keep coming back to is.. why doesn’t it matter?
Trump has told his followers not to believe what they see and hear, to only listen to him. And they do!
Why is there this alarmingly large number of Americans who will believe whatever this man says despite the proof offered that much of it is lies?
Is it just the comfort of wanting to believe that your little world will get better despite evidence around you? That global warming doesn’t exist and will not affect your life, despite the incredibly alarming UN report issued this week? That coal is making a comeback and will be king again, creating jobs for all, despite the fact that investment in renewable energy continues to grow? That the America First message that’s creating retaliatory tariffs and hurting Americans isn’t really happening, and soon all countries will bow down to the might of the U.S.? That demographics aren’t changing, or if they are, if you deport enough people they’ll change back? That America is somehow going to return to those fabled day of the 1950s?
Whatever it is, its roots are deep.
Trump’s supporters do not care that he has shown little or no empathy to those affected by recent hurricanes. They do not appear to be concerned that migrant children are still being housed and forcibly separated from their parents. They are cheering the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court so that he can go about the business of advancing a conservative agenda that will affect women’s reproductive rights, and are simply ignoring the fact that many credible allegations about the justice were simply not investigated. Doesn’t matter. None of it matters.
Trump says North Korea is denuclearizing. That’s not true. Doesn’t matter.
Trump says Putin didn’t interfere in the 2016 election. That’s not true.
Trump says that he doesn’t want to press Saudi Arabia over the piddling matter of a murdered journalist because of a $110 billion arms deal. That number is a complete exaggeration. Doesn’t matter.
Trump says his crowds at his endless campaign rallies are bigger than any crowd ever. That’s not true.
And it’s all becoming the accepted norm. Trump lies. Doesn’t matter. The more he lies, the less exceptional each lie becomes.
Is it all part of a deep, Machiavellian plot that is slowly hardening the general populace to what’s right in front of their noses? Or is Trump just a lying liar who can’t help lying?
It’s the post-truthiness world.