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That Trump knew better makes his misinformation even worse

Rogue Valley

Putin = War Criminal
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That Trump knew better makes his misinformation even worse

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9/11/20
All dictatorships must suppress inconvenient truths and spread convenient lies. We still live in a democracy, but President Trump displays a dictator’s aversion to the truth. Indeed, his whole administration is built on a foundation of lies. In a way, Woodward’s book is almost reassuring. It shows that Trump was not entirely delusional. He actually realized that the coronavirus was far more threatening than the flu. He just chose to deceive the American public by playing down the disease at least 108 times. His explanation: He is “a cheerleader for this country,” and he didn’t want to cause “panic” or a “frenzy.” That’s pretty rich given how hard he has worked to generate panic about exaggerated threats such as refugee “caravans” and antifa goon squads. Trump is more often a doomsayer than a cheerleader. On Thursday, for example, he tweeted: “If I don’t win, America’s Suburbs will be OVERRUN with Low Income Projects, Anarchists, Agitators, Looters and, of course, ‘Friendly Protesters.’ ” So why lie to play down a genuine threat while hyping largely imaginary threats? That is the biggest mystery of Trump’s catastrophic covid-19 response. He would have been far better off leveling with the public. Not only would this have saved countless lives, it also might have saved the Trump presidency.

But he just couldn’t break the mendacious habits of a lifetime. No doubt he imagined he could bluff and spin his way through the pandemic the way he had done with countless crises in the past, from corporate bankruptcies to his impeachment. He did not seem to realize that a virus could not be banished with happy talk. Whatever Trump’s motivation, his falsehoods are criminal and inexcusable. On second thought, that he knew better actually makes it worse. Trump is like the captain of a ship who knows it is about to hit an iceberg but doesn’t tell the passengers to make for the lifeboats. That is an offense even more serious than simply falling asleep at the watch. Most of the president’s men and women also joined him in touting quack cures such as hydroxychloroquine while denigrating what really works — mask-wearing and social distancing. What makes Trump’s lies particularly pernicious is how they seep through the entire infrastructure of government like a corrosive acid, eating away at governmental capacity to respond to the real threats we face. When this president denies reality, so do all of his mini-Trumps. Now the lies are unraveling, but Trump supporters have become so habituated to his double-think that it may be too late for them to acknowledge reality.

This country will not and cannot return return to its lofty place upon the hill until Donald Trump and Trumpism are banished.
 
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