The inhabitants of planet Earth are getting a very important communication lesson from the New President of the United States, Donald Trump. To some degree.the carpet bombing of lies is all that is necessary to gain the undying support of the Trump base. The falsities come tumbling out of the air at a rate so fast and an intensity so great as to obscure the fact that almost none of what is being said is true.
Most of the Trump supporters still support their curiously coiffed leader because for the most part they are reasonably honest people who could not force themselves to believe that one person or one group could possibly tell as many lies as the Trump people have, so all this negative publicity must be the fault of the news media. Of course, they have already been inoculated to reject reports by the news media. They have been taught to believe that journalists are the real liars and cannot be trusted with the truth. While I believe in the end, the chickens will come home to roost on this steaming pile of lies, I also believe that Trump has so changed the rules of etiquette, procedure, diplomacy and communication that no one has yet devised a plan to deal with his scorched truth policy.
Donald Trump has taught us that it never pays to tell a lie unless you can overwhelm that lie with a million others in swift succession. He and his team have taken the lessons taught by George Orwell in his book “1984” expanded on them and now own the copyright on the textbook. The lesson is simple. Lie or exaggerate about everything and then do it non-stop around the clock day after day after day. The news media will get so worn out in the time-consuming effort to fact check the claims, that most of the lies will have time to incubate and become truth to the unsuspecting public. In the meantime, in their zeal to correct the lies, the media will make mistakes which will give the Trump verbal engineers more ammunition to support their argument of an unfair, biased and “lying” press corps.
Mark Twain usually gets credit for the following quote, but there is considerable disagreement about that and I don’t want to fall into the Trump “alternative facts” trap so I’ll just say that someone once said, “A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes.” Truer words have not been spoken. One could easily say without fear of contradiction that most politicians bend the truth. Trump, though, has taken the art to a new level. He and his entourage don’t bend the truth, they don’t even ignore it. They go out of their way to invent lies so outrageous that even Pinocchio would not tell them.
The latest whopper told by Kellyanne Conway the Trump administration’s Professor of Prevarication is proof. Last Thursday in an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Conway who’s title is Counselor to the President, defended Trump’s travel ban related to seven majority-Muslim countries. At one point, Conway made a reference to two Iraqi refugees whom she described as the masterminds behind “the Bowling Green massacre.” Then she took the effort to another even more outrageous level when she said, “Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.”
Well, she was right, The Bowling Green massacre didn’t get covered because IT NEVER HAPPENED. There has never been a terrorist attack in Bowling Green, Ky., carried out by Iraqi refugees or anyone else. I cannot think of a more outrageous attempt at justifying an unjustifiable action. It is bad enough to claim there was a terrorist raid when there was none, but to then blame the media for not covering what didn’t happen makes my head want to explode.
The only tiny kernel of truth in the Bowling Green claim is that in 2011, two Iraqi nationals living in Bowling Green were arrested for attempting to provide money and weapons to terrorists in Iraq but I repeat nothing happened in Bowling Green other than the arrests. Then when Conway said “No one in the media covered it,” she lied again. The fact of the matter is that the story was covered extensively. The arrests in Bowling Green were indeed covered, contrary to what Conway initially said. An internet search of major U.S. Newspapers only (no mention of TV, radio and social media) turned up about 90 news stories. The city editor of the Bowling Green Daily news tweeted, “We couldn’t cover the massacre because it didn’t happen, but this newspaper has written close to 100 stories about that case.”
Most people have to work very hard to invent a good lie. I mean you really have to think about it and carefully plan its communication but that’s not true with Trump administration officials. For them, lying is the norm. They would have to think real hard about telling the truth because it just doesn’t come naturally. Trump, being the blowhard that he is, has a habit of inflating every story or lie, “My inauguration crowd was the biggest in history,” or, “I know more about ISIS than the General’s do.”
Ayn Rand might be considered near Deity by many conservatives. Her writings are quoted often as the epitome of correct thought. That being said, it might do well for the Trump administration to refer to the enigmatic Ms. Rand for her views on lying. They are easy to find. Here’s just one of many things she had to say about the subject.
“People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one’s master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person’s view requires to be faked. The man who lies to the world is the world’s slave from then on. There are no white lies, there is only the blackest of destruction, and a white lie is the blackest of all.”
― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Not long ago I wrote a blog titled, Kellyanne Conway is a Fraud. She’s gone beyond that now and frankly, I can’t think of a word that describes her type of prevarication mastery and has given new meaning to the title Ph.D. But the matter doesn’t end there. When Trump people are confronted with the truth, they just lie again. In this case, she did it with a tweet.
On @hardball @NBCNews @MSNBC I meant to say “Bowling Green terrorists” as reported here:
That sounds reasonable until you give it some thought. Why didn’t she correct her statement while she was on with Mathews, there was ample time to do so?
Now, lest you think I am the one guilty of exaggeration and the President is a victim of biased left wingers like me, let me offer some evidence that my truths are real and not alternatives.
THE LIE: “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” tweeted the president-elect.
THE TRUTH: This charge is groundless. There is no evidence of “illegal voting,” no evidence of the mass fraud necessary to give Hillary Clinton a significant lead in the national popular vote.
THE LIE: Thousands of people were on the rooftops of New Jersey on 9/11 celebrating, thousands of Muslims were there celebrating, I saw it on television.
THE TRUTH: Extensive searches have found no evidence that any such thing happened and certainly there is no TV recording to be found to substantiate that claim.
THE LIE: “My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.”
THE TRUTH: Trump is wrong that Obama “banned” Iraqi refugees. After two Iraqi refugees were arrested on terrorism charges, Obama increased scrutiny of new refugee applicants, slowing down the process significantly, but did not ban Iraqis entirely or ban all new refugees. Iraqi refugees were admitted to the U.S. in every month of 2011, government figures show, and 9,388 were admitted in total in 2011.
For a complete list of Trump administration lies since inauguration day click here. https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/02/03/daniel-dales-donald-trump-fact-check-updates.html
We will continue to monitor the Trump administration and report on what they are doing. I will be most happy to report the truth when it is told, a soon as we catch up on fact-checking all the lies. But, like Lava coming down the mountainside from an active volcano we may be consumed before a grain of truth escapes the ravages of the January 20th eruption.
And from where I sit that’s the truth!