Sunday, December 04, 2016
The Washington Post attempts to understand how Donald Trump's disdain for the truth earned him the White House.
That is a 1967 quote from Hannah Arendt included in this WaPo article which may help to explain Trump's bizarre popularity more than just about anything else.
Since Donald Trump fashions his message for the audience he is addressing, and tells them what they want to hear, they could not care less if it is all bullshit or not.
Somebody is speaking their language, reinforcing their prejudices, and essentially complimenting them on their lack of education and poor critical thinking skills.
It must feel like heaven to them.
This from the article:
First, quasi-fired Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski at Harvard University, making the astonishing assertion that the media’s failing during the campaign was not that it scorned Trump — it was that it believed him.
“You guys took everything that Donald Trump said so literally,” he said. “The American people didn’t. They understood it. They understood that sometimes — when you have a conversation with people . . . you’re going to say things, and sometimes you don’t have all the facts to back it up.”
Translation: The press expected their future president to tell the truth, and that was just silly of them.
Trump supporters however did not care about the truth, only that what was said made them feel validated.
Second, this eye-popping assertion from Trump supporter/CNN commentator Scottie Nell Hughes on the Diane Rehm Show:
“People that say that facts are facts — they’re not really facts . . . there’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore of facts. And so Mr. Trump’s tweet amongst a certain crowd . . . are truth.”
Translation: The truth is no longer determined by facts, but rather by who said it and the number of people who are willing to accept it without scrutiny.
Then there was this:
Finally, the president-elect himself, who at a rally to celebrate his successful bribing of Carrier to keep some jobs in the United States, explained that he was impelled to act by a Carrier-employed supporter who had been naive enough to take Trump’s promises seriously.
Watching the evening news, Trump said, he saw the Carrier worker say “‘No, we’re not leaving, because Donald Trump promised us that we’re not leaving,’ and I never thought I made that promise. Not with Carrier.”
Then, Trump said, “they played my statement, and I said, ‘Carrier will never leave.’ But that was a euphemism. I was talking about Carrier like all other companies from here on in.”
So now we know that if Trump is caught in a lie by a supporter, he will simply fabricate another lie to cover for that lie.
This the reporter behind this article labels "truthphemisms."
And THAT is what it will be like to report on a Donald Trump presidency for the next four years.
Fact checking will have no value, and lies will only matter once they pile up high enough to tumble over the wall of ignorance his supporters have erected to protect themselves from the truth.
In the meantime those of us firmly planted in actual reality will stare aghast at virtually every decision made Trump and his "Cabinet of Deplorables" while actively trying to find a future candidate with the skill set to repair the damage left behind by this administration.
Hopefully there will still be something left for them to repair.