The Trump presidency is ugly, destructive and dangerous in hundreds of large and small ways, so the president’s habitual, uninhibited mendacity might seem like just…well, whatever is the opposite of the icing on the cake (the turd on the top of the pile?). Roger Cohen explains succinctly why it’s much more than that. I quote him without further commentary:

There are many things that concern me about the Trump presidency (in fact, few don’t) but the frivolous blurring of truth and untruth, fact and falsehood, is the most grave. Liberty depends on facts. When the distinction between truth and lies disappears there is no basis for the rational discourse on which the organization of a free society, governed by laws, depends. Disorientation propagates itself — and disoriented people are more inclined to accept a despot as sole font of truth.”


  1. Al Wegener June 24, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    I don’t think the people are disoriented. He lies so blatantly, with such frequency, that he’s not fooling any folks but the ones who are so desperate they voted for him.

  2. Jeffrey Herrmann June 25, 2017 at 3:32 am

    The recent Quinnipiac University poll shows the population splitting into two distinct orientations toward tRump:
    What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Donald Trump? (Numbers are not percentages. Figures show the number of times each response was given.)

    idiot 39
    incompetent 31
    liar 30
    leader 25
    unqualified 25
    president 22
    strong 21
    businessman 18
    ignorant 16
    egotistical 15
    asshole 13
    stupid 13
    arrogant 12
    trying 12

    Idiot, incompetent, liar, unqualified, etc. are inconsistent with leader, strong, businessman, trying etc.
    The first of these orientations toward tRump necessarily generates a form of disorientation, since these are not desirable qualities in a president.
    Who hasn’t asked himself “How can this be happening here?”
    But, contrary to Cohen, even tRump supporters don’t necessarily see him as the sole font — or a font — of truth.

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