Defective Trump and Imperfect Hillary

October 17, 2016 at 10:45 am | Posted in Conceited, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Enemies of Planet Earth, Fairness, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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Line art representation of a quill pen. Archives of Pearson Scott Foresman, donated to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Line art representation of a quill pen. Archives of Pearson Scott Foresman, donated to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Hillary Clinton is an ordinary fibber, like you and me.

Trump is not an ordinary liar. Trump is a psychopathic liar.

Here is the evidence.

We are polite to people we don’t like. We invent a reason why we “can’t” accept an invitation. Again and again, we tell our children a suitably sanitized version of the truth about something. We tell a garishly dressed friend that they look good. “No, it doesn’t make you look fat.” A minister warmly greets a secretly less-liked member of the congregation. A teacher responds to an annoying question by saying “that is a good question”. An elected official enthusiatically welcomes a disliked constituent. A server in a restaurant, a sales person in a store, … The list is endless.

Probably no one can go through live without telling many fibs – at least, no one who keeps friends and a job. And that is true even in open societies, where saying what you believe would not lead to imprisonment or death.

Everyone who wants to influence policy and public life must fib.

George Washington understood that slavery was evil and unjust, and undermined the political principles he fought for. He and some of his friends brainstormed ways of ending slavery, and in his will he freed all of the slaves that he personally owned. (He could not legally free the slaves owned by his wife.) But Washington knew that he could not express his view openly, if he were to deal effectively with what were then the most pressing issues that he faced.

Lincoln likewise. Hence the limited position he took during his first Presidential campaign, and hence also the delay in issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, and its incomplete coverage.

FDR favored Britain and France over Hitler before the US entered the Second World War, but he could not say so, given the isolationist (indeed, Trumpian) mood in the US before we were attacked.

Lyndon Johnson favored increased fairness toward African Americans well before he was able to act upon his views. He urged the leaders of the Civil Rights movement to increase the poltical pressure on him, to provide him political cover while still leaving him politically effective.

By the way, these examples show the hypocrisy of those who fault Hillary for not always expressing her long term political goals out loud.

That brings us back to Trump.

Trump is not an ordinary liar. Trump is a psychopathic liar.

Trump lies as easily as he breathes, without guilt, with conviction. That is what distinguishes a psychopathic liar from an ordinary fibber.

Psychopathic lying is an essential trait of all great con men, since a person who does not feel guilty comes across as more convincing.

Trump might even really believe his own lies. Since Trump avoids the effort of critical thinking, he may unconciously and automatically swivel his beliefs to whatever would be convenient for him at the moment.

Of course you know about Trump’s lying birtherism, and his more recent lie that Hillary started birtherism.

You know about the many recent disproofs of Trump’s claim that no one respects women more than he does.

You probably remember how, during the second debate with Hillary, Trump attempted to immediately change the subject to ISIS.

You know about how Trump continues to deny that he favored the Iraq War, despite the videos that disprove his claim.

You might know that Trump is a champion earner of Four Pinnochios from Glen Kessler’s fact-checking columns in the Washington Post.

But that Trump is a psychopathic con-man is spectacularly proved by the multiple incidents in which he called newspapers, pretending to be someone else who was telling the newspaper about Trump.

Look at the following, which were found via this:

1. Donald Trump’s ‘John Miller’ interview is even crazier than you think …
May 16, 2016 – The name Trump assumed varied slightly — “John Miller,” John Barron,” and “John Baron” — but the goal didn’t: Tout Trump as a hyper-cool, …

2. Donald Trump masqueraded as publicist to brag about himself – The …
May 13, 2016 – The man on the phone vigorously defending Donald Trump says he’s a media spokesman named John Miller, but then he says, “I’m sort of new …

3. John Oliver – Donald Trump and John Miller – YouTube
May 16, 2016 – Uploaded by consumer
From HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. … Mix – John Oliver – Donald Trump and John …

4. Donald Trump and the “John Miller” Tape: A Question of Character …
The New Yorker
May 13, 2016 – John Cassidy on the newly surfaced recording from the nineties in which Donald Trump apparently poses as his own spokesman.

5. Miller Time: Donald Trump Lied that he was ‘John Miller’ To Spread …
May 14, 2016 – When [People magazine’s] reporter called Trump’s office for an explanation, she was told that John Miller had gone home and that Trump …

Trump pretended that someone else said about Trump precisely what Trump wanted said about Trump.

That is a con.

That is just like a scammer who calls you up to tell you that your licence to the operating system on your computer has expired, or that your computer is full of malware that they will remove if you turn over complete control of your computer to them.

Doesn’t Trump’s masquerade remind you of Trump’s distinctive trick of claiming that un-named other people are saying what he would like said about one event or issue after another?

One of Trump’s many lies is that Hillary Clinton is a bigger liar than the rest of us. Trying to pin the label of liar on his competitors had been a theme of Trump’s campaign in the primaries. Now, in the general election, he is trying to pin it on Hillary. But Trump lies much more often than Hillary, and his lies are far more dangerous.

Even if Trump does believe his own lies, some part of his brain is uneasy about them.
That is probably why ‘liar’ is his favorite insult, and is why he uses it so promiscuously.


The present post should be regarded as part of what will be a series of replies to common but misguided assertions that Trump has tried to implant in the public’s discussion of the candidates for President. In particular, many of these assertions were usefully collected together in Greg Tag’s comment on the previous post, How to Vote Against Trump . These assertions implicitly rest upon Trump’s lie that Hillary Clinton is a bigger liar than the rest of us.


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