The Growing Threats to Truth — And How to Deal With Them in Donald ...

Arnold Isaacs compares current US attacks on journalists (who are not mere propagandists) and other watchdogs like fact checkers to an immunodeficiency disease -- a disease which feeds on our tendencies to like comfortable political lies more than facts, and how expectations are shaped by lies that we know are lies. Corey Stewart exemplifies the GOP attitude that blatant lies are normal. But Trump's "I'm always right" orientation comes from a far deeper rabbit hole.

 "Of course it was Photoshopped." 

Corey Stewart, the Republican candidate trying to unseat Virginia's Democratic senator,...unapologetically told the Washington Post about a doctored photograph his campaign distributed, "Of course it was Photoshopped."

image source

... an image of a much younger Kaine is spliced in to make it appear that he is sitting with a group of armed Central American guerrillas. 

In reality, the guerrillas in the original photograph (which dates from well after Kaine's time in Central America) were not leftists and not in Honduras, but right-wing Contra insurgents in Nicaragua. So the visual was a double fake, putting Kaine in a scene he wasn't in and then falsely describing the scene. [emphasis mine]

Trump's Funhouse Mirror Mind (my term)

... at a March 2017 White House meeting between the president and representatives of leading veterans organizations, Rick Weidman of Vietnam Veterans of America brought up the subject of Agent Orange,...

Trump responded by asking if Agent Orange was "that stuff from that movie" -- a reference evidently to the 1979 film Apocalypse Now. Several veterans in the room tried to explain to the president that the scene he remembered involved napalm,... 

Trump wouldn't back down, ... "and proceeded to say things like, 'no, I think it’s that stuff from that movie.'" His comment directly to Weidman was, "Well, I think you just didn’t like the movie."

..., he seized on a fragmentary memory of something he'd seen on a screen years earlier, jumped to a wrong conclusion, and was then immediately convinced that he was correct solely because he had heard himself saying it -- not only certain that he was right, but oblivious to the fact that everyone he was talking to knew more about the subject than he did.

In effect, this story strongly suggests, Trump's thought process (if you can call it that) boils down to: I am right because I am always right.

... the president’s ability to twist the truth, consciously or not, is extreme. So is his apparently unshakable conviction that no matter what the subject is, no one knows more than he does, which means he has no need to listen to anyone who tries to correct his misstatements. In a person with his power and responsibilities, those qualities are truly frightening. [emphasis mine]

Arnold never shares a helpful strategy to counter our collective immune disease.

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Replies to This Discussion

Yet, Trump demands that people tell him the truth. Amazing.

" In Trump's world, those who expose his lies are the liars and facts that show he was wrong are “fake news.”

"Trump's outlandish untruthfulness, an increasingly chaotic media landscape, and the decline of traditional habits of political speech unquestionably represent a new and deeply alarming threat to public discourse and the foundations of democratic government."

~ Arnold Isaacs

So, what needs to happen to Trump when his lies cause people physical, mental, emotional, financial pain? Does he just get away with his blatant unfair, unjust, illegal, exploitive, manipulative actions?

Joan, I agree with you.

I don’t agree with Arnold Isaacs; what Trump does is not new. While it’s a threat to democratic government, it’s typical of oligarchic and other non-democratic government.

Politicians of both parties do it but they don’t have Trump’s style.

Do you remember how quickly he disposed of the other Republican candidates?

Candidates, more often men than women, with sociopathic traits are more skilled at sales and more easily win elections.

It's not equivalent, Tom. Democrats aren't using baldfaced lies in their political ads the way quite a few Republicans are. This isn't just a stylistic difference. This article has many examples of Republicans outright lying about their votes to bring back preexisting conditions to health insurance. 

Republicans test whether ‘lying to the voter’ is a pre-existing con...

And it’s not just House races. Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), who is facing a tough re-election challenge from Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, also released an ad earlier this month claiming that he is “fighting to protect pre-existing conditions,” despite his votes for the Senate Trumpcare bill that would also have destroyed those protections.

He and the GOP seem to get away with blatant lies that directly harm their base, over and over.

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