I don’t recall who it was but there was a kid in our neighborhood who lied all the time. Real blatant tales that everyone knew were lies. No one believed him but it did not stop him from telling them. There was an element of bragging in the lies and an element of wanting to be something he was not so he could fit in. The big thing though they were harmless.
Later on there was this fellow student in law school who did the same thing which surprised me. I wondered at how he ever got into law school his stories were so obviously made up. I liked him and humored him by listening but did not for one second believe him. His stories also were harmless. He busted out after the first year. I just Googled him to see if I could locate him to no avail.
I recalled both of these guys as I again heard or read what Trump recently said. Is it the Washington Post that has calculated the lies he has told and the number is over twenty thousand? I figured the kid in our neighborhood and the fellow law student were destined to have sad lives because a man’s word is his bond, at least that’s how I looked at it, but perhaps I am wrong. It seems the guy who lies all the time can do fairly well as Trump has shown.
Fairly well by reaching a position of prominence. Reminding me of the quote over a downstairs altar at the Immaculate Conception Church in Boston’s South End: “what doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world but suffer the loss of his soul.”
I believe Trump has lied throughout his life. He has learned that you lie and double down on your lie and repeat the lie until others walk away unable to put up with it or believe it against total proof otherwise because of the repetition. As one infamous person said: “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
There in lies the secret genius of Trump. He will never back down from a lie or be embarrassed about lying as I believe most people would. He will just repeat it over and over again disregarding all those who declaim that it is a lie. The problem though is that when you are in a position of power lies are not harmless.
In his campaign he professed he had no business dealings in Russia when it turned out he was trying to negotiate to build a Trump tower in Moscow. When the Mueller investigation came about he called it a hoax from its inception. He continued to call it a hoax which he does up to this day. It was anything but that. There were findings that Trump’s campaign was aided by the Russians and that Trump had committed crimes but that Mueller believed he could not charge him because of his position. The hoax was eventually narrowed to say “there was no finding of collusion with Russia” but that was because of the obstruction put up by Trump and the truncation of Mueller’s investigation by Barr.
The next Big Lie was the telephone call with the Ukrainian president where Trump wanted Biden investigated and withheld aid to that country. Trump lied and said it was a “perfect call.” It lead to his impeachment. Yet, there were millions who went along with his lie about it just like they did about the Mueller matter.
Lies beget lies. We next encountered them in the face of the deadly pandemic. Knowing it was lethal Trump lied about it, admittedly, because he said he did not want to panic the American people. He continued to lie about it to this date having adopted the Herd Immunity idea of letting the weak die and the strong survive while telling folk it was “turning the corner” where we now have over 300,000 deaths from Covid-19.
Then the final big lie. That he won the election. He tells that to this date. Many believe him. His make believe line that he won if “legal votes” are counted and “illegal votes” thrown out would show he won; or that the machines switched the votes somehow switching paper ballots votes that confirmed the machine votes.
Now he repeats he won believing that, like with the Mueller, or Zelinskyy, or Covid-19 lies, his lie about winning eventually will be accepted as the truth. Fortunately this time in inexorable demands of a democracy with a Constitution will not let his lie carry the day. Although amazingly, some will still believe him.