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THREAT TO DEMOCRACY: Truth becomes irrelevant Comment on this post ↓
December 18th, 2017 by Warren Swil

Torrent of lies

spewing from officials

has no consequences

House Speaker Paul Ryan: Liar in Chief

OF ALL THE many existential threats to American democracy, none is as immediate and dangerous as the lack of truth in our public discourse.
Even more threatening is the apparent absence of consequences for those who tell blatant and provable untruths.
The torrent of lies coming from the White House and Congress seems to have no consequences for the liars.
If we, the voters, don’t know or care about the truth, what hope is there that we can make intelligent choices at the ballot box?
Alas, there is little, and what remains of hope is diminishing every day.

IN THIS CASE, it is true that a fish rots from the head down. In a stunning New York Times presentation on Dec. 14 headlined Trump’s Lies vs. Obama’s the bleak picture is laid out, literally, in graphic detail. Just look at the graph at left.

The NYT graphic showing Trump’s lies vs Obama’s. Click image to enlarge.

“In his first 10 months in office, [Trump] has told 103 separate untruths, many of them repeatedly. Obama told 18 over his entire eight-year tenure. That’s an average of about two a year for Obama and about 124 a year for Trump,” the article explains.
Not only is Trump quantitatively one hundred times worse than Obama, but when he lies he never acknowledges it.
“When he is caught lying, he will often try to discredit people telling the truth, be they judges, scientists, F.B.I. or C.I.A. officials, journalists or members of Congress. Trump is trying to make truth irrelevant,” the New York Times reports.
And he is succeeding beyond his wildest dreams.

One need look no further than the totally sham “debate” currently on display as Republicans in Congress try to ram through their tax cut for the richest Americans as a middle class Christmas present.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has for years employed what then Vice President George H. W Bush called Ronald Reagan’s economic policy: “voodoo economics.”
Ryan never pretended his numbers would make any sense. His tax plan – if it can be called such – was always a giveaway for the donor class at the expense of all wage earners, especially those in the middle of the income range.
His current version, embraced so enthusiastically by the GOP in the Senate, is transparently the biggest redistribution of wealth in history from the poor to the rich. And we haven’t even seen the full consequences yet; wait until they bleat that spiraling deficits force them to cut Social Security and Medicare.
What’s alarming is that all these blatant lies are having so little effect amongst almost one-third of Americans.
According to most polls, Trump’s approval rating is stuck in the mid-thirties. It has barely budged in the past six months. Trump supporters either don’t know he is lying through his teeth, or they don’t care – or both.
The apparent lack of any real immediate political consequences for the lying liars is an existential threat to our way of life.
Truth is so far the most serious casualty of the Trump era. Domestically and on the world stage, if no one can believe the leaders of America – and they have repeatedly shown they cannot be trusted – then real damage has been done.
The consequences are incalculable and very scary.

 

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