Donald Trump is still a liar. He still lies about everything, big and small, in nearly every appearance. He lies about things he’s lied about before. He lies about new things. The press catches him numerous times a day, because he lies about unsubtle things, such as how many people fit into a stadium or what his own publicly stated administration policies are.
This isn’t new, and that’s the point. Trump has fully embraced the authoritarian practice of declaring reality to be whatever is most convenient at the time. He’s likely doing so due to mental illness, not as a coherent political plan. Is that better, or worse?
“They [Hillary Clinton] had a tiny, little crowd, and I had I’d like to say more, but I can’t have more than this because every seat is gone, and outside you have 25,000 people. And I remember leaving, and I said so she’s got 500 people, and I had 32,000 people including the people outside. So she’s here at prime time 7:30, I’m here at 1 in the morning. She has 500 or 600 people, I have 32,000.”
It’s just gibberish. Not a single crowd number in the whole bit is true. And Lake Superior does not have “record deepness,” and the nonbinding Green New Deal resolution does not ban cows or airplanes. The border wall is not simultaneously both being blocked and being built, depending on the audience and time of day. The economy was not a hellscape before Donald arrived, and it did not turn around again the moment Donald gained power and declared it to now be Good. Current immigration rates are not out of the ordinary, and certainly not so off-kilter as to constitute an “emergency.”
It’s like talking to a meth addict, if the meth addict was also cradling a suitcase carrying the nation’s nuclear launch codes.
The Washington Post marks Trump’s new falsehoods as stacking up at the rate of nearly two dozen per day; this does not include the ravings of enablers like Kellyanne Conway or others who gaudily stab the truth in the eyeballs of their own volition. We are now well into the mire of setting actual federal policies based on fictitious things in Trump’s head, whether it is re-examining emergency aid due to California failing to “rake” its forests or dispatching the United States military to counter refugee families.
So this is still fine, then? Nothing to see here? No concerns about a man who demonstrably cannot help but to announce, to the nation, things that are absolutely and provably untrue? No concerns about mental health? About presidential “norms”? About the uncanny mirroring of the language of despots? Of the insistence, when pressed on his falsehoods, on declaring that the critical press is an “enemy of the people” for pointing them out?
There are a great many pundits in America with not a damn thing to say about this, nearly all of them would-be “conservatives” who have made a good bit of coin and a fine career out of their status as self-appointed gatekeepers of our national norms and morals. But not a peep, even now?
Then we will keep going, apparently. We will keep going until he or we can go no further, and then have hand-wringing postmortems afterwards as to how this could have happened, and how all the pundits—and lawmakers—who made both careers and cash as guardians of our national norms egged the crisis on each step of the way.