“When some large number of the people in a country buy into this [presidential lying] — if they make up their own narrative — then a society begins to fracture in the deepest way. That is what is going on, and he’s doing this day after day after day, and it’s taking a terrific toll — a political toll, and a civic toll, and a social toll.” Peter Wehner who worked in the administrations of Presidents Reagan and both Bush’s, and now is Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative think tank.
“You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” Jesus who gave his life for the world.
If truth frees, it follows that lies enslave.
Everybody lies. No one is entirely honest all the time. Everybody knows that politicians are expert liars. They say what they need to say when they need to say it in order to get what they need, and most have little-to-no compunctions about it. They tell themselves that their lies are utilitarian. They have to deceive the public for the greater good.
My opinion of President Trump is not formed by party affiliation. I’m neither a Republican nor a Democrat. I just happen to think lying, a talent he has perfected, is morally bad and socially destructive wherever it is practiced, especially when you lie to 300 million at once on average of 5 times a day.
A Whole New Category of Crapola
It’s not as though the 45th president invented the art of misinformation, but he’s taken it to a whole new level for public servants. When it suites his need for adulation he exacerbates the human tendency of bending the truth into shattering it. One article claims he lied 3,000 times in 466 days. Pretty good clip I’d say.
- “Obama is a Muslim not born in America.”
- “Thousands of Muslims celebrated on 9/11 on rooftops.”
- “Senator Cruz’s father may have been involved in the Kennedy assassination.”
- “Millions of people voted illegally.”
- “President Obama had my phones tapped.”
- “We had the biggest audience in the history of inaugural speeches… a sea of love!”
- “Mine was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan.”
- “The unemployment rate may be as high as 42 percent.”
- “I never said Russia did not meddle in the election.”
- “Our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they’ve ever been in before. Ever. Ever. Ever,”
- “I’ve been on the cover of Time Magazine more than anyone else.”
- “The murder rate is the highest it’s been in 47 years.”
- “Did you know about the $13,000 payment made to Stormy Daniels for her silence?” “No!”
For the longest list of lies in the history of the lying read this. (Okay, I might have just been channeling someone there, but it’s a pretty long list.)
After the slogan “Make America Great Again,” when the president preaches to fawning fans in mass rallies he is particularly fond of the phrase, “Believe me!”
- “Believe me, folks, we’re building the wall, believe me, believe me, we’re building the wall.”
- “I love women. Believe me, I love women. I love women. And you know what else, I have great respect for women, believe me.”
- “So let me say this right up front. A Trump administration, our Christian heritage will be cherished, protected, defended — like you’ve never seen before. Believe me.”
- “I am he least racist person you’ve ever met, believe me.”
Forget about sentence structure and grammar for the moment and believe me, this is, for you poker players out there, our president’s “tell”!
READ ALSO: Trump and a “Christian Worldview”
John Adams said, “Facts are stubborn things!” Apparently not for our man in Washington. Facts, as in things that are actually real, have sunk to irrelevancy in this administration, so they invented the all new and novel idea of “alternative facts.” You realize the oxymoron there, right? It’s like saying, “A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on,” or “Include me out.”
Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “You’re entitled to your own opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts.'” We get to make up our own minds, but not our own reality. Someone said, “My theory was attacked by a gang of ugly facts,” and presumably changed their mind as a result. That doesn’t seem to be the case with our president, who seldom seeks the counsel of people smarter and more centered than himself. He either escapes the gang of obnoxious facts, or simply overlooks them for his own personal and political gain.
“Facts inform opinions,” wrote political theorist Hannah Arendt, “and opinions… can differ widely and still be legitimate as long as they respect factual truth.” I fear that much of the American public, a large portion of which claims faith in Christ, has long since left forming their opinions on the basis of factual truth. Feelings more than facts and party loyalty over propositional truth drive their opinions.
If there are no agreed upon facts, then it becomes impractical, if not impossible for people to make judgments about their government or hold it accountable. Destroy the foundation of factual truth, and lies will be normalized, which is the constant case in Trump territory.
Brothers and sisters, let’s make truth-telling great again!
IF YOU HATED THIS, YOU’LL ALSO HATE THIS: Kim Jong Un: “Great negotiator… Good personality… Loves his people.”
Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3…
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. Do you think Donald Trump be trusted and does it matter?