“People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; repeat it frequently enough people will believe it.”
Yes, it is time to bring out the risky Hitler card. No. I don’t see Trump as a budding mass murderer, but when it comes to unfettered lying the comparison seems more than fair, especially in recent days. Trump is in overdrive to produce that big lie by election day.
I haven’t written since my failed judgement that Judge Kavanaugh would lose his battle for confirmation, not because that devastated me – I figured my prediction was chancy – but because I have been overwhelmed by the wave of subsequent events and Trump’s misleading statements and lies about them.
The issue these days is often not really what occurred, but the ability of one side or the other to shape the narrative. In the Kavanaugh hearing the Democrats saw Blasey Ford as the victim, and her testimony was very convincing, but by the end Republicans had made Kavanaugh the victim of a sneaky last minute attack. The odd situation made it seem like a trial of Kavanaugh, and as such one is innocent until proven guilty.
That wins the narrative battle, as indicated by Trump often sighting Kavanaugh and the Democrats not mentioning Blasey Ford. That event seems to have revved up more Republicans and those “tweeners” than those of us who are already never Trumpers. We just became sicker and angrier.
But what is most striking at the moment is the untethered flourish of hyperbole, fabrications and distortions – yes, even more than usual – that Trump is churning out now. He just makes things up by the hour, such as the middle class tax cut his team is hoping to pass before the election, with no evidence of that, perhaps because there are not enough days before the election to pass anything. It just sounds good.
The lie provides one more mental sugar plum for voters heading to the poles. There is no stated progress with North Korea on denuclearization, either, but he keeps acting as if there were and its better than his ranting. So, one more sugar plum….
Trump creates problems and then boasts about fixing them. But it is the image of his fixing the problem that sticks in our minds. He says we should pull out of a missile deal we have with Russia, so now his Security Adviser Bolton is there talking with them. My guess is he’ll come back with good news, promises of working together. Another sugar plum.
It is the latest flurry of outright lies that is most Hitleresque, though, such as the image he has created of the caravan of refugees heading here from Central America, an image of terrorists and MS13 and rapists (and lions and tiger and bears, oh my!). No matter he has no evidence for any of this according to several sources, including Fox News.
Shepard Smith, the director of news there (real news as opposed to the opinion misshapers headed up by Hannity) examined the situation and reported: “Fox News knows of no evidence to suggest the president is accurate on that matter.”
In doing so, he contradicted the theory of the evil invasion cooked up on Fox and Friends that morning, which quite likely was Trump’s “news source”. (Read this for some details.) In case you don’t know, Trump calls the Friends often giving the impression many of his spur of the moment “insights” originate there.
Over the next two weeks or so Trump will say and do anything to make his administration look good, including more baseless promises and warrant-less accusations. A recent poll shows Trump with a 47% approval rating and reports of early voting suggest Republicans are off to a better start.
So frankly I am scared that too much of the big lie will be bought by too many.