FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Distractor-in-Chief

President Donald Trump’s lies have broken all records, having in recent days gone beyond the 2,000 mark. Facing strong criticism, most people would probably stop repeating such deviant conduct. Not our president, though, since he seems to have internalized this behavior, and continues lying.

One has to admire the broad range covered by his lies and falsehoods. Let’s see what Trump says about taxes. He repeatedly claimed that the United States has the highest corporate taxes in the world (untrue); President Trump should pay a visit to the Scandinavian countries to understand what high taxes really mean.

President Trump also said that the tax cut he signed was the biggest tax cut in the history of the U.S., trying to give the impression that most people would benefit from it; in reality it mainly benefits the corporations and the rich and punishes the poor, either directly or by cutting their benefits and health care rights.

When President Trump said that the Affordable Care Act was dying or is “essentially dead” he was disproved by a Congressional Budget Office assessment. The assessment stated that the Obamacare exchanges, despite shortcomings, are not imploding and will probably remain stable for the foreseeable future. That Trump’s repeated efforts to repeal that law failed –despite the Republican majority in the Senate- is the best repudiation of his statement.

Regarding the diverse visa lottery he said, “…they put people in that they don’t want into a lottery and the United States takes those people.” In this context, however, the term “lottery” implies that applicants are selected by a randomized computerized drawing; however, the applicants go through a background check before coming into the country, and some applicants even undergo an additional in-depth assessment if they are considered a security risk.

Building a wall in the border with Mexico has been the president’s long time obsession. “We can build the wall in one year and we can build it for much less money,” he said. However, not even the most optimistic scenario indicates that the wall would take less than four years to be built.

Trump also claims that the wall would stop the illegal entry of drugs into the country, a statement refuted by the Drug Enforcement Administration that says that most drugs are smuggled through legal ports of entry or underground tunnels. In addition, the drug problem in the U.S. will only be solved when the demand for and the use of drugs in the country are properly addressed.

In a considerable display of “chutzpah” the President also said, in an interview with The New York Times, that “virtually every Democrat” had stated that the Trump campaign did not collude with the Russians. This is, in fact, one of the main points of contention of the Democrats against the Trump administration.

Why does the President lie and why does he repeat his lies several times? There may be a psychological mechanism behind a person’s repeated lies. “The compulsivity of pathological liars means that these are not people who choose to lie. Lying here becomes automatic. It is a mechanism for maintaining psychological safety and reducing interpersonal anxiety,” wrote psychologist Rune Moelback.

There is an alternative way of looking at the President’s lying. Consciously -or more probably unconsciously- he tries to deflect attention from more important and dangerous policies. Henry Ahumada, a communications expert, says, “While people are paying attention to the President’s lies, an attack on civil liberties, the economy, the environment and education is being systematically carried out.” If he lies consciously, then it is possible that the Distractor-in-Chief may be more intelligent than people assume him to be. Which could be truly dangerous.

More articles by:

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of the 1979 Overseas Press Club of America award for the article “Missing or Disappeared in Argentina: The Desperate Search for Thousands of Abducted Victims.”

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
April 06, 2020
Richard D. Wolff
COVID-19 and the Failures of Capitalism
W. T. Whitney
Donald Trump, Capitalism, and Letting Them Die
Cesar Chelala
Cuba’s Promising Approach to Cancer
David A. Schultz
Camus and Kübler-Ross in a Time of COVID-19 and Trump
Nomi Prins 
Wall Street Wins, Again: Bailouts in the Time of Coronavirus
Dean Baker
Getting to Medicare-for-All, Eventually
Dave Lindorff
Neither Pandemic Nor Economic Collapse is Going to Be a Short-Lived Crisis
Sonali Kolhatkar
Capitalism in America Has Dropped the Mask: Its Face is Cruel and Selfish
Ralph Nader
Trump’s 7 Pro-Contagion Reversals Increase the Coronavirus Toll
David Swanson
A Department of Actual Defense in a Time of Coronavirus
Ellen Brown
Was the Fed Just Nationalized?
Jeff Birkenstein
Postcards From Trump
Nick Licata
Authoritarian Leaders Rejected the Danger of a COVID-19 Pandemic Because It Challenged Their Image
Kathy Kelly
“He’s Got Eight Numbers, Just Like Everybody Else”
Graham Peebles
Change Love and the Need for Unity
Kim C. Domenico
Can We Transform Fear to Strength In A Time of Pandemic?
Mike Garrity
Alliance for the Wild Rockies Files Lawsuit to Stop Logging and Burning Project in Rocky Mountain Front Inventoried Roadless Area
Stephen Cooper
“The Soul Syndicate members dem, dem are all icons”: an Interview with Tony Chin
Weekend Edition
April 03, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Omar Shaban
Gaza’s New Conflict: COVID-19
Rob Urie
Work, Crisis and Pandemic
John Whitlow
Slumlord Capitalism v. Global Pandemic
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Strange Things Happening Every Day
Jonathan Cook
The Bigger Picture is Hiding Behind a Virus
Paul Street
Silver Linings Amidst the Capitalist Coronavirus Crisis
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Control of Nature
Louis Proyect
COVID-19 and the “Just-in-Time” Supply Chain: Why Hospitals Ran Out of Ventilators and Grocery Stores Ran Out of Toilet Paper
Kathleen Wallace
The Highly Contagious Idea
Kenneth Good
The Apartheid Wars: Non-Accountability and Freedom for Perpetrators.
Andrew Levine
Democracy in America: Sorry, But You Can’t Get There from Here.
Ramzy Baroud
Tunisia Leads the Way: New Report Exposes Israel’s False Democracy
David Rosen
Coronavirus and the State-of-Emergency Pandemic
Matthew Stevenson
Will Trump Cancel the Election? Will the Democrats Dump Joe?
Ron Jacobs
Seattle—Anti-Capitalist Hotbed
Michael T. Klare
Avenger Planet: Is the COVID-19 Pandemic Mother Nature’s Response to Human Transgression?
Jack Rasmus
COVID-19 and the Forgotten Working Class
Werner Lange
The Madness of More Nukes and Less Rights in Pandemic Times
J.P. Linstroth
Why a Race is Not a Virus and a Virus is Not a Race
John Feffer
We Need a Coronavirus Truce
Thomas S. Harrington
“New Corona Cases”: the Ultimate Floating Signifier
Victor Grossman
Corona and What Then?
Katie Fite
Permanent Pandemic on Public Lands: Welfare Sheep Ranchers and Their Enablers Hold the West’s Bighorns Hostage
Patrick Bond
Covid-19 Attacks the Down-and-Out in Ultra-Unequal South Africa
Eve Ottenberg
Capitalism vs. Humanity
Nicky Reid
Fear and Loathing in Coronaville Volume 2: Panic On the Streets of Tehran
Jonas Ecke
Would Dying for the Economy Help Anybody?
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail