Donald Trump may be the closest thing to a human Yo-Yo we’ve ever seen (other than Yo-Yo Ma, of course). It seems like for the past week he has literally flipped his position 100% on Russian interference every single day. First he believes his intelligence agencies, then he denies what they say. And now he’s made his strongest statement yet, calling it all a hoax:
So President Obama knew about Russia before the Election. Why didn’t he do something about it? Why didn’t he tell our campaign? Because it is all a big hoax, that’s why, and he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2018
Only a few days earlier he tweeted, “I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people.” But his intelligence people unanimously agree, after seeing the evidence themselves, that Russian interference was very real and that they’re still doing it. First Trump says he agrees with them — while always adding “but it might be other people too” — then he says it’s all a hoax. Because in Trumpworld, the alternate reality that he and his followers inhabit, the truth does not exist. There is nothing that is true, there is only that which is useful at the moment. Claims are only true when he declares them to be so, and only remain true until he says the opposite, whereupon that becomes true until supplanted by a new truth.
In the book 1984, Orwell includes this passage: “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” Trump has taken that book not to be a warning of a fascist future but a guidebook for creating one.