As Bill Maher said on his HBO television show Real Time last night, The truth is dead. Maher believes the Internet has killed it by people spreading lies, but GOP front-runner, real estate tycoon and reality TV personality Donald Trump has assisted in its untimely death.
With more lies to his credit than Pinocchio, Trump has admitted he makes it up as he goes along and he simply doesn’t care if fact-checkers have pointed out that almost all his claims have been false. The thing with Trump is that when he’s proved false, he simply denies it. And then he doubles down. Remember the story he told about seeing thousands of Muslims cheering after 9/11 in New Jersey on local TV news? New Jersey authorities and local police all have denied this every happened. So has the local news. Not one single piece of videotape exists showing this actually took place. But it doesn’t matter. To Trump or his followers. If he said it, it must be true.
Like one of his heroes P.T. Barnum, Trump is a showman, and his one-man show of a campaign has become a real circus. We’ve all seen the crowds and the Trump rallies. His supporters are angry, bigoted ideologues. And this is where his showmanship comes into play. All he has to do is scream “let’s build a wall” to keep immigrants out of our country “or keep his coat” when sending a protester out into the freezing weather and they cheer and applaud.
No matter how outrageous his statements, Trump’s followers stand steadfast to their belief that he, unlike all other candidates, is the most genuine, honest Republican because he tells it like it is (which he doesn’t) and will do everything he promises (which he can’t). He is just telling the people what they want to hear so they don’t become bored and ruin his shining moments on TV. Trump doesn’t “tell it like it is.” He tells it the way people want to hear it, and he will say anything to get not just their support, but their mere attention.
Nothing proves this more than Trump’s recent meeting with the New York Times editorial board, wherein he boasted about his blatant disregard for his supporters. Ironically, one of the only things Trump has been honest about is the fact that he’s been tricking his supporters all along.
At the meeting with the NYT‘s editorial writers, Trump talked about the art of applause lines. “You know,” he said of his events, “if it gets a little boring, if I see people starting to sort of, maybe thinking about leaving, I can sort of tell the audience, I just say, ‘We will build the wall!’ and they go nuts.”
Truth is, when other candidates speak the real truth, Trump supporters tune out. They have become the most deceived, gullible people in the entire world.
Just how gullible are Trump followers? The Washington Post has compiled 76 of Trump’s outlandish promises which include everything from building a wall and making everyone say “Merry Christmas” again to ending birthright citizenship and being the greatest jobs president that God ever created.
As poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox wrote, “You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” We hope this proves true come election day.
And no, while Abraham Lincoln is often quoted as having said that, he did not. That, too, has been a lie.
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