- Pathological liar
- Compulsive liar
Our president is labeled a pathological liar because of his amazing frequency of lies. He seems to lie so often that one is tempted to reach a conclusion, to whit:
“How does one know Trump is lying? Well, when he opens his mouth and words come tumbling out, he is lying.”Now, it is likely not the case that Trump lies every time he utters words in sentences. But he lies with such frequency, about issues large and small, that it seems safer to assume he is lying. We also know he is a narcissist, and a sociopath, terms that describe someone who focuses exclusively on himself, and who cares not at all about the effects of his actions on others.
Now, how does this matter in day to day life?
Well, first, our president is in the habit of tweeting every morning, very early, before most normal humans are up and about—we think he does not sleep well, which could explain part of his behavior. So, he awakens and he begins tweeting. Why tweeting? Well, for one, he can do it without consequence. He cannot call anyone because nobody is awake. He also has many, many followers, millions perhaps. So, when he tweets, his followers see his messages as soon as they become awake. Tweets also do not require one to have command of the English language. One can be an English ignoramus and still tweet in sort-of English.So, with his tweets, he is always on the front pages of our collective minds.
He is also, of course, the President. So, whenever he tweets, or actually talks in public, his words are instantly broadcast to the world. That matters, as it turns out. For example, when he calls names (rocket-man, or, worse, “little rocket-man”) his name-calling has consequences; at a minimum, rocket-man, will respond in a similar vein and the two-year old temper tantrums begin in earnest.But his lies also pose another problem, namely, negotiations. If our president engages in negotiating with anyone on any subject, the people with whom he is negotiating cannot sensibly believe him. If he says, “I promise to . . .”, or “I agree with you . . .”, he should not be believed.
We know that, before he was president, he engaged routinely in behavior with people, especially people who did work for him that is consistent with the pathological liar. He routinely stiffed people. Now stiffing the carpenter who completes work on your office is different from stiffing the leader of Iran on nuclear negotiations. But the carpenter will be rightly pissed when he fails to get paid. The leader of Iran might well begin assembling his missiles, or his weapons of nuclear destruction. And if he negotiates an agreement with Congressional leaders (of either party as it turns out) his words should be treated as just words. His words, his terms of agreement, have zero credibility. His stance on the Iran nuclear agreement stand as an example. He is currently repudiating the agreement reached by an earlier president, thereby throwing into doubt all agreements with US presidents. His statements on the deal are either just completely ignorant—all of his advisers assert that Iran is living up to the terms of the agreement and that the agreement is at least reasonable. He asserts the agreement was an awful pact, perhaps the worst in the history of pacts. Now his conclusions are either simply ignorant, or he is lying to achieve some other end.And therein lies the problem. Because he cannot be believed, he can be dismissed, whether he may actually be correct (unlikely in the extreme) or not. One cannot believe his assertions, so they will be dismissed, and people will act accordingly.
Now that leaves us with a leader who is totally, 100% useless, as a negotiator, on any subject, large or small. It means that we should not take him into any venue wherein negotiating is to be completed. Congress cannot really “negotiate” with our President on any subject. They should simply reach their own conclusions and then inform the President of their position. He may accept that or reject it. Period.And, when foreign negotiations are in the offing, they need to leave him at home. That may not be possible, since he does love traveling in style. But it should be their starting position. No, we can handle this one, Mr. President. We need you at home minding the store.
If he is party to any negotiation, the agreement will be tainted, by definition.It is too bad Mr. Trump doesn’t drink. It would be very helpful if we could get him to just stay at home and have his servants feed him gin and tonics all day long. Or maybe pot. I wonder if he smokes pot? If we could keep him high all the time and never allow him into any negotiating venue, we would all be better off. Yeah, groovy Mr. President, really groovy, dude.