I’m that annoying friend on Facebook who posts a lot of political content. Everyone has one. Most of them get blocked or hidden and that’s fine. I also jump on political threads that my friends post, ready to argue the nuances of the political discussion of the day. I don’t post photos of my dinner. Rarely post about my cats. The only sports team I follow has a two-month season in early Summer. No prayer requests. No vaguebooking about issues at work. No complaining about my family or friends. If that’s your bag, then more power to you. I’m a different breed of cat.
A couple of weeks ago, I got the idea to challenge my friends to get me to shut up about President Trump. I offered to refrain from posting about the president for an entire month if someone could point me to a speech he gave in which every fact he asserts is verifiably true. All they had to do was point to Trump telling the truth and I would let it go for a month.
So far, no takers. And that’s not surprising. Trump lies like most people breathe. It comes so easy to him, he doesn’t even realize he’s doing it.
Last night, he held a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I call it a campaign rally because it was a rally, organized by his campaign team, and offered an opportunity for the crowd to contribute to Trump’s re-election fund. But Trump couldn’t even be honest about that. He said, “We’re not even campaigning and look at this crowd!”
Well, what are you doing up there? Your campaign staff seems to think this is a campaign event. You’re making a stump speech, making promises, and attacking Democrats just like you did during the campaign. What am I missing?
Speaking of attacking Democrats, Trump couldn’t even keep it straight in his head whether or not he wants to work with Democrats to achieve his agenda goals. When talking about the health care bill in the Senate, he said:
“If we had even a little Democrat support, just a little, like a couple of votes, you’d have everything. And you could give us a lot of votes and we’d even be willing to change it and move it around and try and make it even better. But again, They just want to stop, they just want to obstruct. A few votes from the Democrats, seriously, a few votes from the Democrats, it could be so easy, so beautiful, and you’d have cooperation.”|
First of all, you don’t vote on legislation and then change it. That’s not how legislation works, even when Republicans have a stranglehold on the process. Secondly, Sen. Mitch McConnell has cut out nearly everyone from the process on the health care bill, even members of the 13-member working group supposedly tasked with writing it. Zero Democrats have seen the bill, so how could they be obstructing it? But lastly, shortly after complaining that Democrats won’t work with him, he continued his criticism to the point where even he recognized the irony.
“I am making it a little bit hard to get their support, but who cares?”
So does he want the support of Democrats or doesn’t he? The answer is that he doesn’t care. What he wants is to give rally speeches where he can rag on Democrats. And if you point out the contradiction, you’re a snowflake who needs a safe space. I’m not a snowflake. I don’t need a safe space. I need some logical consistency in my president. I need for a grown up to be in charge.
As for promises, he made an interesting one about immigrants and welfare.
“I believe the time has come for new immigration rules which say those seeking admission into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years. And we’ll be putting in legislation to that effect very shortly.”
Put aside the fact that whenever Trump promises something will happen “very shortly,” over a “very short period of time” or even “two weeks,” that he has a pattern of simply dropping it and we never see what he promises. In this particular case, he might as well drop it because the law has been on the books since 1996.
Now, that’s not a “lie” per se. Trump may very well propose new legislation that does the exact same thing a previous law already does. But it demonstrates an ignorance of a subject where Trump is supposed to be informed. Immigration reform is one of his big issues. Another is trade policy. But he doesn’t seem to understand that one either.
Look, I get it. He’s a showman! He’s Mr. Media! He’s the second coming of Reagan, the “Greater Communicator!” That’s why he likes to tease things out. He’s always going to tell you about it on the next episode. “Are there tapes of your conversations with FBI Director Comey?” “We’ll be releasing information about that very shortly.” “Do you have evidence President Obama ordered your phones tapped at Trump Tower?” “We’ll be releasing information about that in two weeks.” “Do you have evidence that five million illegal immigrants voted against you in the election?” “We’ll be releasing that information in a short period of time.” What a showman! What an impresario!
Again, pointing out the many mixed signals, contradictory statements, and outright lies this president tells, is futile because what’s important to his ever-shrinking base is that people like me are mad about it. They’d much rather see me cry my liberal tears than hungry children fed or poor people get health care. And I know. I know. I heard the same thing from them during the election: “Hillary voters don’t care that she lies or that she’s a criminal.” They may even believe that’s true. But the difference is that Hillary isn’t president and her FBI investigation ended without charges. PRESIDENT Trump is still under investigation and his voters don’t care.
Last night, he suggested again that he was going to build a wall along the southern border. He hasn’t been able to convince his own party to fund it. In fact, the latest continuing resolution on the budget specifically said no money for the wall. But last night he said he wanted to make it a solar wall so that it will generate funds to save Mexico some money. There is never going to be a border wall. It is too impractical to exist. For example, there is a section of Texas that borders Mexico where the divide is the Rio Grande River. The border between our countries goes right down the middle of the river. Do we build the wall in Texas and yield the river to Mexico? Or do we build the wall in Mexico and yield that section of the wall to a country that doesn’t want it? Or do we leave a big old hole in our beautiful solar wall? It’s just a dumb idea and the grown-ups know this. The grown-ups understand that to achieve three percent annual growth in the economy, we have to hire more Mexicans.
Here’s a fun lie he told last night:
“When I’m signing for the XL Pipeline and the Dakota I said, ‘By the way, who made the pipe? But I put a little clause, handwritten. It said, ‘Anybody builds a pipeline in the United States will use American steel and fabricate in America.’ No more taking it over on boats!”
Mr. President, we have tape of you signing that Executive Order. You never asked “By the way, who made the pipe?” and you held it up for everyone to see your signature. There was no “little clause, handwritten” that said anything. It’s just a lie. But listen to that crowd roar! What a showman! What a raconteur!
He talked about pulling out of the Paris Agreement:
“They all say it’s ‘nonbinding. Like Hell it’s nonbinding. When we get sued by everybody because we thought it was nonbinding, then you can tell me it was nonbinding,”
But when the president held a Rose Garden speech to announce he wanted to leave the Paris Agreement, he said:
“Thus, as of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country.”
He is a liar. He lies about little things. He lies about big things. He lies when he doesn’t have to. He lies about the lies he tells. So I feel pretty confident that none of my friends on social media will accept my challenge. Which, I admit, is a little unfair. But I don’t believe the bar is set too high. Just don’t lie to us. Make one speech where you tell the truth. The bar can’t get much lower. But you’d think I was asking him to build his border wall on the moon.
So, to sum up: our president is a liar, his slobbering masses don’t care, and there is no reason for me to ever worry about anyone proving me wrong because, while he may be capable of telling the truth, he feels no need to even try.