Pray Trump is a pathological liar. Convinced of secret media and liberal plots to undermine him, wanting to fight anyone and everyone and everything who he thinks disrespects him and having embraced “alternative facts,” Trump has shown us — in just a few days — that he’s either in the grip of delusions or is a liar or both.
As I say just pray he’s just a liar. The alternative is bleak.
Trump’s only source of information is television and social media. Via Twitter he spreads instant visceral reactions to what he sees moments after seeing it on TV or receiving a Tweet. Trump gives fringe of the fringe “ideas” instant presidential weight that’s usually reserved for long term and carefully researched official reports.
Trump also acts as if what he says at any moment is true—even when he contradicts himself within mere hours or takes it all back. For instance he trashed the conclusions of intelligence professionals… then later denied having done so.
Trump thrives on adrenaline-pumping chaos. As the father of a former US Marine who went into combat in three tours I must say that if my son was in the Marine Corps now I’d be even more terrified than I was as a wartime father when W Bush was president. I believed he was wrong an many issues, I didn’t think he was actually mad. To have a commander in chief this erratic is simply a nightmare. I can’t imagine what military parents are feeling now, let alone responsible honorable career officers.
No president has reacted to and proclaimed so many random bits of unofficial rumor as Trump has during entire presidencies. He’s set a record in days, hour by hour. Twitter posts are churned out to answer whatever happened (or more often than not that Trump thought might have happened or wished had happened) moment by moment, in a real time stream that follows TV news pacing as it caters to the easily bored.
Trump is the commander in chief so far of no more than 140-character pronouncements rarely based on facts.
According to media reports Trump’s advisers say that “his frenzied if admittedly impulsive approach appeals to voters because it shows that he is a man of action.”
Those complaining about his fixation with fictional voter fraud or crowd counts at his inauguration, in their view, are simply seeking ways to undercut his legitimacy.
Yet some of his own advisers also privately worry about his penchant for picking unnecessary fights and drifting off message. They talk about taking away his telephone or canceling his Twitter account, only to be dismissed by a president intent on keeping his own outlets to the world.
You say it there… it comes out here… as the NY Times reported during his 8 p.m. show on Fox News on Tuesday (Jan 25) Bill O’Reilly aired a segment on the crime crisis in Chicago and interviewed an expert talking about whether the president could intervene. The guest called the violence in Chicago “carnage.” By 9:25 p.m., Mr. Trump sent out a Twitter post, using the same statistics that Mr. O’Reilly had flashed on the screen. “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’ going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24 percent from 2016), I will send in the Feds!” the president wrote.
Trump is a TV addict– a reality show star obsessed with Nielsen ratings riding on the back of a Twitter account. Contrast his addiction and reaction to reactions with George W. Bush. Bush was not an intellectual but said he avoided watching television news. (“Sorry,” he would tell television correspondents with a sheepish grin.) Mr. Obama opted instead for ESPN’s “SportsCenter” late at night.
According to many media reports one morning in November after the election as he was preparing to become president, Fox News aired a segment at 6:25 a.m. on college students burning the American flag. At 6:55 a.m., Mr. Trump wrote: “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag — if they do, there must be consequences — perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” And posts about the high cost of a new Air Force One and the F-35 fighter jet came soon after news reports rather than policy briefings.
Trump doesn’t believe in the restraints rational presidents always put on themselves, or for that matter any rational leaders from fathers and mothers to a local fire marshal. The Chicago declaration provided a case in point. A threat to send federal forces is never one issued off-hand.
CNN’s Jake Tapper provided the best evisceration of President Trump’s claim that massive voter fraud, namely millions of illegal immigrants casting votes, threw the popular vote to Hillary Clinton:
The media, understandably, try to understand why Trump would tell such an easily debunked falsehood. Why lie when he is president anyway, by virtue of the electoral college? Why get this badly off track?
Pundits, most Americans and other officials seem to figure that Trump, for instance in his claims about the inaugural crowd size, lies. His staff goes along.
What if Trump isn’t lying? What if he really is truly delusional?
Trump carried on for a long time about the absurd claims of the birther conspiracy theories. He seemed to really be a believer. Ted Cruz angry about Trump’s patently absurd lie that Cruz’s dad participated in the JFK assassination, called Trump a “pathological liar.” He said, “He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And he had a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology textbook. His response is to accuse everybody else of lying.”
That seems increasingly—and terrifyingly—to be the case.
If Trump can’t tell the difference between actual facts and “alternative facts” the USA is in the worst trouble in our history.
Trump’s personal history isn’t reassuring. Trump seemed sincerely convinced that Arab Americans in New Jersey had celebrated wildly right after 9/11. That claim was thoroughly debunked. He never backed down. Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer and others must know Trump is spouting nonsense. So do most government officials. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s job running the State Department will be tough. The entire senior level of management officials resigned Wednesday (Jan 26), part of an ongoing mass exodus of senior foreign service officers who don’t want to stick around for the Trump era.
Senator Schumer calls trumps lies and or delusions that a political problem. This might be the understatement of the century. How about a national survival problem?
“In general” said Schumer, “you cannot run a country unless you know the facts. If you’re going to believe your own facts, whether it’s about what Putin is doing in the world or what jobs or companies are doing here, you aren’t going to be able to govern, so I worry about it.”
Trump’s children seem to have failed to prevail. Trump’s ego seems to be as unhinged as his grasp of reality. No one seems able to intervene.
On Monday (Jan 24), Trump met House and Senate leaders he began the meeting, participants said, by retelling his debunked claim that he would have won the popular vote if not for the three million to five million ballots cast by “illegals.” He followed it up with a Twitter post early Wednesday calling for a major investigation into voter fraud. When one of the Democrats protested, Trump said he was told a story by “the very famous golfer, Bernhard Langer,” whom he described as a friend, according to three staff members who were in the room for the meeting. So much for presidential intel briefings… we’re down to hunches based on anecdotes by golfing buddies.The three witnesses recall Mr. Langer being the protagonist of the story, although a White House official claimed the president had been telling a story relayed to the golfer by one of Mr. Langer’s friends.
The witnesses described the story this way: Mr. Langer, a 59-year-old native of Bavaria, Germany — a winner of the Masters twice and of more than 100 events on major professional golf tours around the world — was standing in line at a polling place near his home in Florida on Election Day, the president explained, when an official informed Mr. Langer he would not be able to vote.
Ahead of and behind Mr. Langer were voters who did not look as if they should be allowed to vote, Mr. Trump said, according to the staff members — but they were nonetheless permitted to cast provisional ballots. The president threw out the names of Latin American countries that the voters might have come from.
Mr. Langer, whom he described as a supporter, left feeling frustrated, according to a version of events later contradicted by a White House official.
The anecdote, the aides said, was greeted with silence, and Mr. Trump was prodded to change the subject by Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, and Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas.
Just one problem: Mr. Langer, who lives in Boca Raton, Fla., is a German citizen with permanent residence status in the United States who is, by law, barred from voting, according to Mr. Langer’s daughter Christina.
“He is a citizen of Germany,” she said, when reached on her father’s cellphone. “He is not a friend of President Trump’s, and I don’t know why he would talk about him.”
She said her father was “very busy” and would not be able to answer any questions.
Either way, the tale left its mark on Mr. Trump. He acted on this far fetched anecdote, and on Wednesday redoubled his efforts to build a border wall and crack down on immigrants crossing the border from Mexico.
Trump is manifestly unstable and unfit. And this is only the beginning…
P.S. If you want to know a little more about where I’m coming from and my perspective on politics, religion and the intersection of faith and life– here’s a new movie about me. (It’s below the poster on YouTube) scroll down and watch it for free…