Lies, Damn Lies, and Trump Lies

  1. The Lie: When a politician makes a statement like “no new taxes” or “you can keep your doctor”, these statements reflect a directional commitment or a reflection of their intent — their initial position from a negotiating standpoint. They may not be able to follow through on the commitment completely and projecting to voters that they can still qualifies it is a lie.
  2. The Damn Lie: This is the lie that conceals a truth that a person doesn’t want want to acknowledge or believe but, when it is clear the truth will become public, the person finally acknowledges that which can no longer be denied — reality. Clinton’s moment came when the blue dress appeared and was tested. He acknowledged his lie publicly when the truth was going to be revealed. Reagan did the same thing when he said “A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions tell me that’s true, but the facts and evidence tell me it is not.” In these cases, the politicians acknowledged the facts when they became known. The facts drove the narratives surrounding the events.
  3. The Trump Lie: This is a lie that has no basis in fact or reality. It is simply a statement that he makes up to support a narrative that he is putting forward. Narratives — stories that tie together different ideas, experiences, and facts — are how we understand the world. Trump is very effective in creating them to motivate (and manipulate) people. One of those narratives is a projection of his strength. He has a strong need to be the best and to have the most — this projection of strength is important to him and to his believers. It is so important that he made up a narrative and facts about his inauguration being the biggest ever. Conway famously referred to these sorts of lies as alt facts. He also uses immigrants and others as the boogeyman so he will make up statements about them without care or concern for reality. Another example involves Soros. They have worked on a narrative in which Soros is the evil mastermind behind many “sinister” things. As a result, Trump and others will accuse Soros of doing horrible, specific things even though there is no evidence and, even more disturbingly, no care or concern about provable facts before these statements are made. Trump and others who support him have become very comfortable in allowing their preferred narratives to dominate — completely unhinged and disconnected from reality. Even worse, they will use these fictitious examples to strengthen the narrative so more and more people will become more and more convinced that the narrative is correct and accurate. They will become so convinced that they consider the narratives facts.

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Lisa Thinks…

Lisa Thinks…

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I work to understand and explain the world in a very simple way. I have written Mind, Media and Madness, Embrace Life/Embrace Change (by Lisa Snow)