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Liar-in-Chief

January 2, 2017

Is there such a thing as “truth”?  “Reality”?  (Does it matter?)  Or is there only a Supreme Winner, who tells us what is operatively “true” (i.e. what he wants us to think) at any given point in his negotiation of his reality?  Can the Winner be a liar?  Can a statement be a lie, if the President says it?

Currently a major portion of American journalism is negotiating with Trump about that.

As Greg Sergent put it today (in his WaPo column):

In this and many other instances, Trump barely even tried to make a fact-based case for his version of reality. Rather, he seemed to be trying to obliterate any possibility of shared agreement on what constitutes an authoritative source, and even on reality itself.  [And on 3-21, “deep rot of bad faith”] 

And with the loss of that “shared agreement” comes the loss of the possibility of human civil community, to be replaced by authoritarian organization of our lives.

Sargent cites this powerful essay by Marsha Gessen (NY Review of Books) about Trump’s Putinesque move to “assert power over truth itself.”

The pages of this episode [Index] chronicle the Republican effort to bring us to this extraordinary test of our democracy.

1-12-16  Bernie and others are right, T is a pathological liar, by which I mean that (1) he lies impulsively and spontaneously, whenever he thinks that, in the moment, what he says best serves his own interests, (2) his brain is unable, objectively, to know the difference between fact and fiction, internal and external, subjective and objective:  if he thinks a thought, obviously it is real, and therefore it is as true as any thought,  (3) he does not possess an anchoring set of criteria for assessing truth claims, (4) he has no understanding of why this is important, and (5) he does not care, anyway.

I’ve known two such people well.

So rather than try to keep up with him, page by page, I’ll keep a list of some of his greatest hits (on reality).  He lies:

About his relationship with Russia.

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