Overwhelmed by Trump’s Unfettered Lying and Worried About the Election

“People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; repeat it frequently enough people will believe it.”

Adolph Hitler

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.

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Donald Trump: A Hitler for Our Time?

I have thought for weeks now about writing a post with that title, taking a cue from Donald Trump about how to attract attention.  However, I waited too long to be outrageous.

Since the “keep out all Muslims” comments,  comparisons with the vile dictator abound, even among Republicans.  Hitler is not mentioned as often as fascism, totalitarianism and racism, but who do those words conjure up more than the fuehrer?

I actually began recalling Hitler weeks ago when Trump stated we must deport some 11 million illegal Mexican immigrants and that he would develop a force to do that.  Later he tacked on doing it “humanely ,” but the image of Nazi storm troopers rounding up Jews remained.  Since then he has seemed a little more Hitler-like with each passing day.

With the recent comments about barring Muslims from visiting this country Trump set a new low in outlandishness, so much so that many Republicans decried his words, including the god father of Republican tough talkers, Dick Cheney.   One might think Trump had finally, finally gone too far.  But wrong again.  Not for his base who see the media and the political establishment of both parties as the enemy.

So what if the Donald exaggerates and generalizes to the point of incomprehension.  He gets the gist right.   I saw a poll that 56% of American voters believe that the principles of Islam conflict with American values.  With that sort of sentiment around  refusing Muslims access to this country doesn’t seem so far fetched, especially after the recent massacres by Muslim jihadists in Paris and San Bernardino, CA.

And it would only be temporary until our government sorted things out, says Trump.
What does that mean?  Two months?  Two years?  Two decades?   Well, we’d have to see.

One might reasonably point out that we need Muslim support in the Mid-East to destroy ISIS and that actions here at home against Muslims are not likely to help in that, not to mention it plays into the scenario ISIS vividly describes through social media that this is a war between religions and all good Muslims must pick a side.

But a demagogue like Trump does not appeal to reason.  He appeals to  prejudice, fears, resentments and accumulated anger.   So many are so sick of so much in present day America, they are particularly susceptible to a demagogue.   This especially because we have reached a stage of what has been called fact-free politics.

Since those who support Trump don’t give credence to the reasoned statements of main stream media  nor the Republican establishment, the more he is criticized by them the more they like Trump.   He alone is willing to toss out political correctness and speak the truth to power.  His supporters are so sick of so much they are willing to roll the dice and take a chance that Trump’s leadership  can “make America great again”, as he promises to do every day.

That is the promise of every demagogue.

In his ability to voice the anger and frustration of these people, feelings I’d say a  majority of Americans share to lesser degrees, Trump is very much like Hitler.   Like Hitler he knows there is a lot of fear and resentment throughout the land and like Hitler he is great at portraying himself as the only man smart enough and strong enough to really make things right again.

Having said that I do not think Trump is a megalomaniac like Hitler.   Nor do I think he is a hater like Hitler.   He does not want to conquer the world nor commit genocide. What he is a narcissist willing to be as reckless in his statements as need be to continue to command  the spotlight and to energize his base.

Of course, recklessness tends to cause harm and in Trump’s case it could be harm to many in different ways, including the Republican party.   From the point of view of the Republican establishment he is like a rocket out of control and since criticizing him appears to only provide more fuel, the hope is somehow he’ll run out of gas before blowing the party completely apart.

It makes for bizarre politics but captivating reality TV.