by James Wallace Harris, Sunday, November 4, 2018
To liberals, it’s obvious that Donald Trump is a compulsive liar. There are countless websites and newspapers that track his malarky. But what do his supporters think? Are they savvy to his fibs and accept Trump’s lies because he gets them what they want? What percentage of his followers believe he’s actually truthful? How many think his lying is only routine political shenanigans? What percentage are forgiving Trump for just being careless with facts?
I worry that there’s a significant percentage of Trump supporters who think lying is an effective way to get ahead. Does that imply that millions of Americans use lying in their own lives? Trump’s current approval rating is at 40%. Does that mean 40% of Americans approve of lying? Or even that 40% of Americans are liars?
Is Trump aware of his own false statements? Or is he psychologically blind to them? He could be a wheeling and dealing con man who says whatever is needed to get what he wants, a P. T. Barnum of politics believing we’re all suckers. I expect biographers will analyze this endlessly for centuries.
What worries me is the acceptance of Trump’s lying. Will this set a precedent? I don’t think many Americans trust politicians, but they used to expect a certain level of integrity, or at the very minimum, a certain level of an appearance of integrity. Has Trump thrown that out the window? Depends on your politics. Will any kind of integrity ever return to politics?
Trump knows almost nothing about everything, but he’s got a Ph.D. in political corruption. The nightly freak show news programs that chronicle Trump’s daily antics diverts us from what’s going on all levels of government where his policies are becoming true. Just read The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis. His appointees also use lying to get what they want too, although many of them are more skilled at lying than their master.
I’ve always hated lying and liars. I always assumed most people didn’t lie. Now I wonder. How much do people lie in their day-to-day lives? Has Donald Trump revealed that 40% of Americans are liars? Or is that 20% liars and 20% gullible believers? Donald Trump claimed he was going to drain the swamp in Washington, but has instead turned the entire nation into one massive swampland.
There’s a science fiction novel by China Miéville called The City & The City where millions of people live in one location but see two cities. Half see a city named Besźel and the other half a city named Ul Qoma. Each has their own language and culture yet occupy the same physical space. Residents of each must have a passport and go through customs to visit the opposite city. When they do they drive the same roads but hear a different language and see a different city. I’m afraid that’s how our country is becoming.
The current political climate worries me. I see the large crowds at Trump’s rallies and I wonder about those folks. They seem like the same people we see at work, play, worship, or shopping. Yet, they adore a man who tens of millions of other normal folks see as a pathological liar. I suppose it could be like climate change and his followers deny his lying. But that’s just as troubling. Do they really believe he’s not lying, or just lying that they don’t?
I worry that Trump’s supporters see a different reality than liberals. Liberals think conservatives see the false one, but conservatives are sure liberals are the deluded ones. I believe this will continue to be true if most citizens can’t tell lies from the truth. We should all work to eliminate lying, but can such a plan succeed if such a large percentage of the population find lying so rewarding?
11 thoughts on “Does Donald Trump Reveal the Percentage of Liars in America?”
In the beginning of this year, a republican ambassador was sent to my country, the Netherlands. The first thing that happened was Dutch journalists confronting this ambassador with all the blatant lies he told about our country in the US. He did nothing but avoid these questions and give more lies. Our journalists told him: “this is the Netherlands. Here you have to answer questions.” I don’t think anyone now takes him seriously here.
That’s fascinating Jeroen. I suppose us Americans seem insane to the rest of the world.
Only sometimes 🙂
I think most people think politicians and salesmen all lie to one degree or another and maybe all lawyers, too. Furthermore, Trump is convincing many of his supporters that the mainstream media lies (except Fox, of course, if that’s mainstream). So … if all of those folks lie, then it’s simply a matter of which liar do you vote for? Many have just quit voting in disgust.
That said, I think most folks in the US, teachers and doctors and farmers and techies, etc. construction workers, housewives, waiters, beauticians, mechanics, nurses, etc are honest.
Thanks for your thoughts, James. I am sure this topic can be a source for a number of very interesting science fiction novels. But again, reality is ahead of fiction.
You can sure say that again.
Trump and the Republicans have lowered the bar on Truth. “Truth isn’t Truth,” insisted Rudy Giuliani on MEET THE PRESS. And lying to the Press is overwhelming the Fact Checkers. So far, this egregious behavior hasn’t extracted a price, but maybe on November 6–the Mid-Term Elections–some voters might bring the hammer down.
You assume all the people are liars just because they support Trump? He’s been fighting for the changes he’s been talking for last 40 years of his life and his opinions on situation of USA was same.
Liars are nasty criminals like the Clintons who laughs are Americans. Liars are private corporations controlling your minds – like the mainstream media. Liars are people like you, who always complain and throw stupid judgemental opinions. According to you Trump doesn’t know about anything but he is a billionaire from millionaire. And look all the liars have always been against him, but he said he never loses and he won. Because people are done with fake people who idealise their world than appriciating reality. You got the approval rating from a privately controlled stupid site that looks like you made in the garage but don’t worry, true Americans won’t just judge you by your stupidity.
Anyway get out there, learn a skill because vocational school are opening and get a job where you sit and talk and earn money than worrying about retirement plans because thousands are vacant these days and please stop advertising stupid books in your blog.
“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”
– Harper Lee
I’m not assuming, I’m just asking if people who ardently support a liar also believe in lying themselves. There’s no way to know or find statistics. It’s just a hypothetical.
It used to be people shunned liars. I don’t know about the Clintons. Politicians are rather slippery with the truth in general, but Trump has numerous websites that track his lying. He’s abundantly obvious in his lying. Most politicians try to at least cover their tracks, Trump doesn’t even do that.
I like the Lee quote. It’s a variation of one I like, but can’t remember who said it, “People see what they want, and make up the rest.”
I link to books that I think are pertinent to the point.
I really, really like Auxiliary Memory. I try to base my beliefs on evidence, which I obtain from sources that prove to be reliable – like this site, which points to a range of credible opinion, news, and history. I like the questions posed here. I really don’t think vocational school or a talking head job would add any value.