Mazal tov! Trump is the greatest ever, in some aspects. The stats are in: President Trump has made 3,001 false or misleading claims so far and counting.
Trump has been accused a lot of varying on the truth and boy does he deserve so!
It is very hard to unpack statements by con artists because every sentence can contain so many untruths, but the Washington Post’s The Fact Checker is doing a beautiful job keeping track and informing us.
Lying has always been a bad habit in politics the world over and has often spoiled or chased away people who kept any integrity from birth. Politicians and lawyers have a particularly bad name when it comes to honesty (“Read my lips“), but Trump has really caricatured it.
However, on a positive note: Lying can be of great value when you’re dealing with an evil opponent, as shows Bibi Netanyahu. Nevertheless, it becomes problematic when one lies habitually to everyone around.
The largest problem is the resulting great isolation that constant lying brings with it because every lie destroys closeness until there is none left. The tremendous self-inflicted loneliness of Trump is greatly overlooked when assessing what makes him tick (go off, really) – as I mentioned before: Lonely Trump the chatterbox — missing Macron.
And for him personally, there is no way out. Since words have lost all meaning to him and as a chronic liar he can’t trust anyone, the wonders of therapy are inaccessible to him. (Theoretically, even a life-long con artist can repent, but as the Biblical story of Pharaoh shows: a too long adherence to wickedness removes the ability to a change of heart.)
For the US, the challenge is clear: Stop valuing pretense: fake Hollywood, fake smiles, fake tolerance, fake honesty, fake closeness and caring, fake humbleness, fake generosity, etc. – and truth in politics will emerge.
And no, this has nothing to do with living in post-truth times. Fakeness in the US has been in place ever since modernity, because its culture somehow didn’t want to face reality. An example is the first hoover ads: these machines would make you happy. (The US is obsessed with happiness — it’s in its Constitution.) In the Netherlands they could never sell a vacuum cleaner on anything but that it would vacuum well! And now its population takes more therapy, anti-depressants and hard drugs than any other in the world, and still has a high suicide rate.
The next candidates who are for real will win all of the working class – they are waiting so long for a representative who is not phony. Choosing Trump was a mistake. They thought to support someone who truthfully professed to hate false politicians. They’ll be more careful next time.