Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Lying


We seem to have a problem . . . one might call it a serious problem.

We have a sitting President who seems rarely to speak the truth. Instead, some estimates suggest that he lies 75% of the time he speaks---75%. That means he rarely tells you something that is factually correct.

He also, perhaps because of his personality disorder, is in the habit of routinely accusing others, his opponents mainly, of committing the sins that he commits routinely. For example, he seems to know that he lies routinely, so, to distract attention from that little problem, he accuses others, again his opponents mainly, of lying. When he called Hillary, “lying Hillary”, or “crooked Hillary”, he was really trying to shift attention away from his common problem, that he lies, and is of a crooked mind.

Now we all assume that politicians tell “porkys”, or that they, at the least, exaggerate.  But with our President, something different seems to happen. He lies, even when it is patently clear to even the most disinterested observer, that he is lying. It was raining, during his inaugural address, yet he asserted that God had cleared the air for him.  He lied about the size of the crowd watching him, even when photo evidence said that the crowd was modest at best compared to the crowd that had watched Obama. He lies about the issue of illegal voters casting votes for Hillary, even though he has no evidence, and all observers tell us there is no such evidence.

He lies about issues such as murder rates, unemployment rates, when we have fairly objective evidence, available to one and all, telling us that he is lying.

So, we have a new bottom line regarding our President. That is:

We cannot trust anything Donald Trump tells us.

Nor can anyone with whom he comes into contact. That would include:

Congress persons,

Judges,

Foreign officials,

Military leaders,

Business leaders.

I failed to mention church leaders, but that seems unimportant, since so many of them no longer tell the truth either.

Now, why is this serious, you might ask? Well, in normal human encounters, we all make certain assumptions about the encounter, assuming it includes some form of human communication.  One assumption is that the people with whom we converse, will communicate most of the time in words that bear some semblance of reality. That is, they will not simply make stuff up out of thin air and pretend they are communicating factually. We might look askance, for example, were we to meet a friend at night, and have him comment on how wonderful the sunshine was at the moment, when in fact there is no sunshine and the night is very dark.  Or should we meet a friend who is 450 pounds, and he comments on how slim he is looking, and would I not agree?

See, I am not talking about opinions, where there is some room for multiple views. No, I mean that there is an objective truth, and the other person denies that obvious truth. That is our President.

So, why is this important?

Well, the President speaks to the people periodically to tell us about the state of some reality—the world, our relative safety, the state of our economy, or the state we observe in the world outside our nation. He “informs” us about those states of reality. And, although, those realities are always subject to multiple opinions, because they are neither black nor white, we need to able to trust that our President will at least approximate the truth of those reality states. That is, even if he shades the truth to one side or the other, he will not simply lie about the truth.  If we cannot trust what he says, then he cannot and must not be our leader. He must be led outside and removed from his high office. Mainly, if you cannot believe what some person tells you, then you cannot have a human relationship with that person.

Again, we know that periodically most folks will tell “porkys”, bend the truth in some way that favors them, or their perspective on something. But most folks do not simply lie about almost everything. Mainly, lying is too burdensome. It requires complex webs of tales that attempt to support the lies, but only make one appear terminally stupid.

So, why would someone, especially someone as public as our President, tell us so many obvious lies? Well, apparently, this is what he has always done, so he simply is continuing his normal pattern of abnormal behavior. But in the past, i.e., before he was President, it mattered less.  Oh, it mattered doubtless to his contractors, when he hired them to do some work, and then, on completion, he simply refused to pay them, inventing some tale about their inadequate work, forcing them to sue him in order to retrieve their money.  But largely, the public was unaware and unharmed by those lies.

He apparently lies, because he is mentally out of touch with reality much of the time.  His reality differs from most of the rest of us.  His friends and associates keep making excuses, telling us that he “believes” things and so speaks according to his altered state of reality belief system.  And we are not to take him literally. We should evidently take him seriously but not literally. Now what in heavens name does that mean?  He says he will act so as to have a wall erected between the USA and Mexico. And we are to deduce that the wall might be a fence, a wall, some other kind of electronic barrier, or maybe just make believe. He says he will Make America Great Again, implying that America is not now great. But he fails to tell us in what way he will make us great again.  He says he will rearm us, return our military to its former great state, instead of whatever pathetic state it is now in.  He says he will abolish “Obama-Care”, but introduce an even greater health care system. His hyperbolic language is so extreme, that it is now the stuff of comedy dreams. Comedians everywhere are being handed a daily dose of comic material such as they could only dream of.

And this pathetic state of affairs has occurred in less than a month. Whatever are we to do for the next four years? 

He has appointed arguably the worst cabinet in the history of our pathetically ungreat nation.  Almost without exception, he has appointed people who are antagonistic to the very purposes of the institutions they will lead.  One can only assume that he intends ridding the nation of Education, Energy, Environmental Protection, Health Research, and health care for the elderly, income assurance/supplementation for the elderly, protection of the working man through labor protections, and the entire judicial system (he does hate those pesky judges always interfering with his whims).

And this is what the entire Republican Party has come to. It is now the pathetic party of Donald Trump and his circus clown car rule. Wouldn’t Lincoln be proud? One might imagine some stirrings of a sense of horror and doom out of at least some of them. But no, they are no longer a party of principles. Instead, they are the great destroyers of a once great nation. 

They cannot even address the relationship between Trump and Vladimir Putin, or even perhaps between Trump and the Russian mafia.  They seem incurious about his tax returns, even while absorbed for years about Hillary’s e-mails. 

Curiouser and curiouser.

What are to make of all this? Well, for one, it seems clear that money has taken over our political system completely. The current party in charge is the best government money can buy—thank you Citizens United.  Thank you Supreme Court.

We can and doubtless should continue to protest the ongoing stupidities perpetuated by Trump, Ryan, Bannon and the rest of his corps of pseudo-Nazi leaders.

We can hope that leakers will continue to leak information being withheld about the inner doings of the Trump carnival or the republican serfs who now serve his purposes, whatever they may be.

Mainly, we will need to work on voting and getting folks out to vote in 2018 and then again in 2020.  Voting is truly our last refuge, assuming republicans do not remove our ability to vote . . . and they will and are trying, since they no longer have any shame.

So, think and work on 2018 and then on 2020, assuming we are not all dead by then.

Til then, continue watching anyone on TV who still is allowed to make fun of our dilemma and of the Drumpf especially. He is a buffoon, and we all need to make sure he realizes that, on a daily basis. Maybe begin to write the Drumpf frequently, telling him that he is a clown. He won’t like that, but it doesn’t matter any longer. He is what he is. Call a clown a clown.

Ta ta . . .
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