Saturday, November 3, 2018

Trump's Caravan of Lies

Trump's incessant lies and savage insensitivity fuel the divisions that are so prevalent in America today. Trump is the most dishonest president in American history and his capacity for deception is eclipsed only by his capacity to make people hate. He deceives to whip Americans into a frenzy of passionate xenophobia.

By the most recent count Trump has lied 6,420 times in his first 649 days of office. That is an average of around ten lies per day.  He kept lying after the assassination attempts against more than a dozen leading Democrats. He continued to call the mainstream media the enemy of the people after 2 pipe bombs were sent to CNN. Disparaging the truth-tellers is a pillar of Trump's strategy of disinformation and manipulation.

Trump portrays himself as a victim even though he shown time and time again that he is a bully who has lashes at anyone or anything that disagrees with him. The includes the pillars of democracy contained within the Constitution, things like an independent judiciary, and a free press. Trump has also repeatedly cast aspersions on US intelligence services and the FBI.  He said he would like to toughen up the legal system to go after those who disagree with him.

His lies are legendary and this includes accusing others of the very thing that he is guilty of, most recently he has taken to calling people evil. He uses the same tactic with his nicknames (crooked Hilary, or lying Ted). He also supports a number of conspiracy theories.

Unwarranted concerns about immigration are the focus of Trump's message just ahead of the midterms. This panders to his base and keeps people from talking about his policy and personal weaknesses. Although such diversionary techniques were not invented by Trump he has used them to full effect.

Although immigration is not a real issue it is an authentic representation of a policy position held by an administration that has a history of ginning up racism and xenophobia (the Muslim Ban and the elimination of the DACA program, and the forced separation of children from their parents at the border are but a few examples).

Trump's message is amplified by Fox News. CNN reports that Fox appears to be working with the White House to craft "false narratives about the migrants heading toward the country."  Trump has even stated that he can unilaterally disregard the Constitution to prevent babies born in the US to non-citizen from getting citizenship. Although most, including the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, claim this is simply not true, the president's mouth pieces at Fox News report it as fact. 

Unwarranted fears on immigration is a key part of Trump's support. "I think Donald Trump is President because of the immigration issue," Scott Jennings, a former campaign aide to Bush, told CNN on Monday. 

Trump has been a fear mongering zealot since before he was elected. He knew that his hatred for immigrants would resonate with a large swath of Americans.  Much of what Trump does is theater designed to reinforce his messaging. One recent example involves his plan to send 15,000 troops to protect a border that is already well defended.

Trump is trying to exploit the migrant caravan by making outlandish claims that they are an invading hoard full of middle eastern terrorists aided by the Democrats. "The Democrats have launched an assault on the sovereignty of our country, the security of our nation and the safety of every American," Trump said, blaming Democrats for "the crisis on our border." Such lies are a crucial part of Trump's strategy.

Trump's lies about democrats include things like:  "They want to turn America, these Democrats — and that’s what they want — into a giant sanctuary for criminal aliens and the MS-13 killers," or "Democrats want to abolish America’s borders and allow drugs and gangs to pour into our country unabated" and "Democrats want to … turn us into another Venezuela, take away your health care, destroy your Second Amendment, and Democrats want to throw your borders wide open to deadly drugs and ruthless gangs."

Trump is the divider and chief, he has capitalized and exacerbated divisions that have arisen because of global and technological changes.

"Trump paints for his supporters an apocalyptic picture of the horrors Democrats want to bring to the United States, presenting the most horrific fantasies as fact." Paul Waldman said in a Washington Post article. "That picture is so terrifying that if you were to actually believe it, violence against Democrats might be a perfectly appropriate response." 

Former Vice President Joe Biden accurately called Trump's rhetoric "hysteria". However, this is another installment of fear mongering that will resonate with some voters. "He’s got elderly women in northern Minnesota worried that immigrants are going to go up there and invade their home. He’s doing just fine in scaring people," Daniel Benjamin said.

While immigration is not a genuine threat in the US xenophobia is. Keeping people out of the country has led to worker shortages that have prevented harvesting causing tons of crops to rot in the field. As reported by Fortune the losses amount to millions of dollars and the net result will be higher produce prices for consumers.

There is no bottom with this man no matter how bad things get he can always sink to new depths and make the situation worse.

At a recent rally Trump said this election is about "common sense". Although he may be a perpetual liar this remark suggests that he can occasionally tell the truth.

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