President Donald Trump says things that are not true. I don’t think that many people would contest this simple statement – although there is certainly some percentage of people that would. But for those that will admit that President Trump does indeed say things that are not true, there can be any number of reasons or justifications for why he says these things. While Trump supporters will attempt to justify or obfuscate, those that oppose or are critical of Trump tend to see the things he says as garden-variety lies. But is it a lie if you actually believe what you’re saying is true? Or, more accurately in Trump’s case, is it a lie if you really don’t know if what you’re saying is true or false? Usually, saying something when you don’t really know what you’re saying, is not so much a lie as it is simply being ignorant. Donald Trump being just ignorant is probably preferable to the other option – that he really believes what he’s saying is true, or at worst he just doesn’t care. Because either of these would imply he is likely bat-shit crazy.
The degree to which one currently believes Trump is a moron or has a mental handicap is almost certainly based, in large part, on your political ideology. Conservative-minded folks want Trump to succeed, and to be successful as President, Trump has to be at least moderately credible. Since the things pouring out of Trump’s mouth or pixelated from his Twitter account are a matter of public record, denial isn’t really possible. The the only options are “alternate facts” or spin. While the early part of Trump’s term hasn’t been without made-up facts attempting to support his made-up assertions, most of those responsible for damage control have opted for standard political spin. Misdirection and the manipulation of context to fog the true meaning of Trump’s statements just enough to maintain plausible ambiguity and keep those looking for reasons to continue their support from saying fuck it.
On the other side of the spectrum, you have those who have no doubt that almost everything coming out of Trump’s mouth is a bold-faced lie. Most on the left disagreed with almost all of Trump’s campaign message and general opposition seems to be the goal now that he actually won. So when Trump utters any random questionable statement, it is pounced upon and repeated as many times as possible in the hope that everyone will realize just how duplicitous the man is.
Being a known liar probably isn’t a redeeming quality of a good President, but what Donald Trump is goes beyond someone who doesn’t tell the truth. He is a man who doesn’t have a firm grasp of the concept of truth. When Trump says something about any given topic, the pre-processing that most people do before they speak – is what I’m about to say rational, reasonable and do I believe it – doesn’t enter his head. He doesn’t require supporting facts or consider opposing facts. He just lets it fly, and because nobody has questioned the things he says to any degree throughout his life, he has no reason to believe that whatever he says isn’t brilliant. Is it true? Doesn’t matter. Is it accurate? Doesn’t matter. Is it appropriate? Doesn’t matter. Simply by the virtue of him saying it, whatever it is, it should be given ample weight and admiration in his mind. This is what makes him much worse than a liar. A man whose brain is a bag of cats. A man who has always had power, and whose penchant for not giving a shit about what he says has probably actually helped him. That’s OK if he’s simply another eccentric wealthy prick – we’ve had a number of those type in the history of humanity. But this guy is the President of the most powerful nation in the world. WTF?