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Prince of lies: Donald Trump’s contradictory remarks about “violence” reflect his power to distort reality

“أمير الأكاذيب”.. تصريحات ترامب المتناقضة عن العنف تعكس قدرته على تشويه الحقيقة

Donald Trump is the textbook example of a demagogue. He is a bully who pretends to relate to the “common man.” He is bigoted, crude, grandiose, charismatic, egomaniacal and obsessed with personal loyalty and betrayal.

Because he is a demagogue, Donald Trump is expert at telling both the “big lie” and the “small lie.” The former amounts to a gross and obvious effort to bend reality to his will. The latter is more difficult to counter; Trump’s mountain of small lies (due to the sheer volume of them) overwhelms and exhausts those of us who believe in empirical reality.

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Trump’s voters and other supporters contribute to his cult of personality. Out of fear, devotion, willful ignorance or some mix of the three, the Trumpthuglicans wrap themselves in his lies like a blanket, one that protects them from the harsh realities of their lives.

And Trump has taken a guiding principle of authoritarianism to heart: The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.

To wit: During a rally last Friday in Orlando, Donald Trump finally admitted the obvious:

You people were vicious, violent, screaming, “Where’s the wall? We want the wall!” Screaming, “Prison! Lock her up!” I mean, you are going crazy. I mean, you were nasty and mean and vicious and you wanted to win, right? But now, you’re cool and you’re not nearly as vicious or violent, right? Because we won, right? You’re basking in the glory of victory.

On the other hand, during Trump’s presidential campaign, he repeatedly denied that his supporters were violent and had physically attacked protesters and other people deemed the enemy.

Trump’s contradictory statements about violence are part of a much larger pattern. He also promised his supporters that he would “drain the swamp” of Washington lobbyists, financiers, bankers and other “special interests.” Instead, Trump has filled his Cabinet and other senior-level positions with people of this type — whose collective wealth is greater than 30 percent of the American people.

To the bloodthirsty howls of his supporters, Donald Trump promised to imprison Hillary Clinton and encouraged personal violence against her through “Second Amendment” remedies. Trump has now admitted that was all hyperbole and that Bill and Hillary Clinton are “good people.”

Trump also proposed building a huge wall to keep undocumented immigrants from entering the United States. His subsequent statements about this have been contradictory as well, but he now says such talk was metaphorical and that there will be “doors through the wall.”

Following the cowardly surrender of the Electoral College, on Jan. 20 Trump will become president of the United States. His lies paid great dividends during the presidential campaign. They were a potent weapon against Hillary Clinton and were one of the decisive factors in him winning the White House.

Trump’s lies also served to train the corporate news media as well as too many members of the American public to embrace his “post-truth” reality. To that end, Trump — borrowing from his idol and apparent sponsor Russian President Vladimir Putin — has created a state of perpetual disorientation and confusion among the mainstream news media and the public.

Whether through “fake news” (which is really black or gray propaganda) or the disinformation circulated by Fox and the right-wing infotainment media, a situation is created whereby basic facts are transformed into disputes and the nature of reality becomes a matter of constant debate. If everything the president does or says is, by definition, “news,” then Trump’s lies are amazingly dangerous and irresponsible. They will cause further harm to America’s civic culture and also the security, safety and prosperity of the country.

Apparently, Trump’s voters do not care about his lies and how he has already betrayed his promises to them before taking office. His voters, like other Republicans, are stuck in an echo chamber where conservatism is a type of religion and lies are transformed into truths: In this bizarro world Trump has a mandate to lead the country and is immensely popular and widely respected. Yet, polling data and other evidence have repeatedly shown that such conclusions are not true.

www.salon.com

 

سمير يوسف

أول صحفى فى النمسا منذ سنة 1970 عمل فى الصحافة وعمره 18 سنة فى جريدة الجمهورية والمساء وحريتى ثم الجرائد الألمانية دير إشبيجل وفى النمسا جريدة الإخو تسليتومج لمدة عشرون عاما وفى سنة 1991 اصدر اول صحيفة باللغة العربية والألمانية وهى جريدة الوطن لمدة 11 سنة ، عمل مراسل جريدة الجمهورية والمساء فى النمسا لمدة 31 سنة.

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