Wednesday, December 02, 2015

December 2, 2015--Lies: The New Facts

Among the many intriguing things about Donald TRUMP's pursuit of the GOP nomination is the fact that he doesn't seem to get hurt in the polls when he lies.

As when he tells big ones like having seen "thousands and thousands" of Muslims in Jersey City celebrating at tailgate parties as the World Trade Center "came tumbling down." And then doubling and tripling down when confronted with the "facts"--that there is no documentable evidence that such a monstrous thing occurred.

Traditional candidacies would have already collapsed under the weight of lies of that magnitude, much less been able to survive after the things he said about illegal immigrant Mexican "rapists," Carly Fiorina's "face," and Fox News' Megyn Kelly's loss of journalistic objectivity because "blood was coming out of her wherever."

If anything, the more outrageous he behaves, the more he lies, the more his supporters love him and the better he does in the polls. (See, for example, today's Quinnipiac national poll where he has a 10 point lead.)

He left Chuck Todd sputtering Sunday morning on Meet the Press when Todd pressed him about the importance of the president telling the truth and TRUMP refused to budge or recant some of his whoppers.

As quoted in This Week, the exasperated Todd said, "Just because somebody repeats something doesn't make it true. You're running for president of the United States. Your words matter. Truthfulness matters. Fact-based stuff matters."

TRUMP continued to hold his ground, refusing to back down, act contrite, or much less show embarrassment. In effect reversing reality by propounding that it's the liberal media that does the lying. It is as if he is saying, "If I believe it to be true, if I say that it's true, it's true and more reliable than anything coming from biased broadcast outlets such as Meet the Press."

For decades now, the right-wing alternate media system of conservative talk shows and Fox News have been peddling lies as truth. And like TRUMP savaging what they see to be the progressive, socialist agenda of the "mainstream media."

This assault on the truth, where lies become the new truth, sets the table for a candidate such as TRUMP who is comfortable living in a world of lies masquerading as facts.

Thus poor Chuck Todd's frustration. He lives and operates in a universe where, as he put it, fact-based stuff matters. He is uncomfortable in a world where this is no longer true, where people make up facts, especially facts fabricated from lies that are so elaborate--like "seeing" thousands of jihadists partying in New Jersey--that to the predisposed can only be true.

The most influential of the new media operatives, Rush Limbaugh, when discussing climate science, said--
If you know what's good for you, if you know they're leftists, you won't believe anything they say any time, anywhere, about anything. . . . So we now have the Four Corners of Deceit, and the two universes in which we live--the Universe of Lies, the Universe of Reality, and the Four Corners of Deceit: government, academia, science, and media. These institutions are now corrupt and exist by virtue of deceit.
So there you have it--the context in which TRUMP is operating. A culture in which the former sources of truth are now fully compromised and untrustworthy.

It may be that because of this delusional strategy he will not be able to defeat Hillary Clinton in the general election where for the majority of the full electorate facts do count, but with so many Republicans living in the world in which embraceable lies abound, lies that confirm their own biases--like jihadists dancing in the streets of America--he to me is still looking like the most likely GOP nominee.

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