Trump and his minions shoot blobs of B. S. (distortions of truth in various ways) up in the air like a string of clay ducks in never ending rapid fashion. The main stream press does a good job of shooting many down, but does not handle well the problem of how they keep popping up like zombies.
Trump’s plan is based on continually lying until voters get totally bamboozled and don’t bother to listen to anyone, except for those fanatics who think of Trump as the lone purveyor of the truth.
How ironic, one of history’s great snake oil salesmen as the one guy to be trusted.
The press can’t keep shooting the same ducks down as more and more keep popping up and there is only so much time for them to report. In short we are facing a unique problem: A strategy based on an overwhelming effusion of B. S. repeated until reified as an alternative reality can overpower the truth when a society ceases to believe there is such a thing in the realm of politics.
This is scary.
What I think is needed is a concentration on which of Trump’s multitude of falsehoods need to be smashed again and again, because they form the key pillars of Trump’s false reality. To allow them to stand is to allow him to keep building upon them. A good example is the notion that despite his obsequiousness before Putin in that press conference at Helsinki, Trump’s policies have actually been tough on Putin’s Russia.
Few Republicans defend that mealy mouthed performance in Helsinki, but they often are quick to point out that his policies have been tough even if his words have not.
Most often cited are the sanctions on Russia…… as if they prove Trump’s toughness in terms of policies. This is a great example of how something can seem on the surface to be true, but is not. Many of these sanctions have been applied, not because of Trump but despite him. He deserves no credit for them.
Here is a thumbnail sketch that links sources that can give you a more complete picture if you want one.
Back in June of 2017 the Chicago Tribune reported the Senate ” voted overwhelmingly on sanctions including restricting Trump administrations from altering them”, in other words weaken them. Obviously, almost the entire Senate did not trust Trump to be tough on Russia. Then that August the entire Congress passed a bill mandating sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea.
The Trump administration dragged their heels at enacting these sanctions until January of this year. They finally enacted some of the sanctions, but not others as reported in Politico.
Finally in May the Washington Post reported: “The top Senate Democrats on the Foreign Relations, Intelligence and Banking committees asked the inspectors general of three federal agencies Friday to launch formal probes into why President Trump has not fully implemented congressionally mandated sanctions against Russia.” Yes, still the ones passed last August in Congress and some since then.
And Trump supporters want to give him credit for these sanctions? Yes, these sanctions were enacted while he was president, but he deserves no credit for them. Just the reverse. They are more evidence of Trump’s tendency to go soft on Russia. One Trump supporter, obviously grasping at straws in a TV interview, gave Trump credit because he did not veto the sanctions.
The interviewer should have pointed out to that nebbish that vetoing the measure would make Trump look silly as Congress was almost totally united on the issue. It took Trump to unite them for once…. against him.
My hope here is to make the case that the political media must refuse to allow fabrications like Trump’s toughness with Russia to remain standing while they move on to other topics in their interviews. And we can help by pointing out such things to the media we attend to.
Some key untruths must not be allowed to stand as we approach the fall elections and this is one of them.