The New York Times published a list of Trump’s lies over the past 10 months of his Presidency. Trump apologists, unable to refute the published lies (The Times only published statements that were demonstrably and totally false as distinct from misleading or partly true statements) complained that Obama lied too. There’s a surprise – the last resort of Trump supporters is to divert attention to Obama or Clinton. The Times then published a similar list for Obama using the exact same criteria and the results were not what Trump supporters hoped for. In the first 10 months of each Presidency, Obama had 18 clear lies vs. 103 from Trump.
Every president has lied to Americans from time to time, but Trump is different qualitatively as well as quantitatively. He lies about everything at a pathological pace and pattern. That’s not the worst of it though. The lies are damaging, but even more damaging to our Democracy is the response of Trump when caught with lying. He never admits the truth. Instead, Trump attacks the people who expose his lies, be they individuals or media, with one notable exception. On several occasions, the Russian government has directly contradicted Trump’s account of meetings and Trump remained silent in response. The danger to our Democracy is two-fold. First and foremost, attacking the truth and those who expose government lies is eroding any sense of objective reality. “Alt.facts” is an intentional policy and strategy of Trump to gain power and permission. A democracy cannot exist if there is no agreement on objective reality. “Fake news” begs the response of “facts matter”. Even most Trump supporters admit that he has a problem lying, but it doesn’t matter to them. There is something truly frightening about tens of millions of Americans who act in contradiction to objective reality.
Secondly, the lack of any response by Trump to any Russian actions is another piece of evidence that something very untoward is happening there.