Little Big Liar
Consider for a moment. Within just a matter of days, Trump --
...lied about getting two phone calls from the Chinese, which we know because staff members not only told reporters but said he did so to illegally manipulate the stock market.
...lied about how his wife Melania had gotten to know North Korean despot Kim Jong Un and respected him, when in reality she had never met him, and was clearly so incensed that the White House had to put out a convoluted "explanation."
...lied that he never had heard of a Category 5 hurricane and that scientist weren't that aware of them -- despite there already having been three Category 5 hurricanes and touched down on U.S. soil during his presidency.
...lied to try and cover up his mistake that had claimed Alabama was in the path of Hurricane Dorian, doing so after the National Weather Service had already publicly announced he was incorrect.
...lied that Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina (who is up for re-election) had requested emergency status for his state, when not only had it been Democratic Governor Roy Cooper who had actually made the request -- but by law ONLY a governor can make the request.
...lied in the Oval Office about a National Weather Service map that had been altered with a Sharpie to try and show that Alabama was in the path of Hurricane Dorian, which is a federal crime.
...lied when confronted about the altered National Weather Service map.
Again, all of these blatant, obvious lies were within days of each other. Some were not only lies, but federal crimes. And all were absolutely minor, meaningless nothings. There was absolutely zero reason to lie about them. They were all insignificant. And yet he lied about them ALL. Because he is a pathological liar who seemingly is driven to lie about most everything.
And as the expression goes, someone who lies about the small things will lie about the big things. Or as sportswriter Rick Reilly put it in his book Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump -- if you lie and cheat in golf, the most honorable of sports because it's built entirely on trust, then you will like and cheat about everything.
And that's the point here.
Remarkably, the point this time isn't -- as I generally write -- that this is not about Trump, but about the elected officials of the Republican Party that enables him, is silent about it all and is complicit. No, this time the point is about Trump.
People rightly say that it's over a year before next year's election, and anything can happen. And that's true. But that's usually said to suggest that Trump and the Republican Party have a lot of time to close the gap. However, I think it's more important to recognize that it also means it could get worse for the GOP. And I think it will, which I say based on observation and experience. After all, for the past 2-1/2 years most everything has gotten worse by the week, sometimes by the day, sometimes even by the hour. And often I say that it will get worse because that's who Trump is, he isn't qualified to be president, and he has no one around him capable of getting him out of the massive hole he's dug for himself.
But I've realized it's something else, it's more than that.
As we've seen over the past few days, Trump can't help himself to lie about the smallest, most meaningless of things. And it's been ghastly, like he's spinning out of control, except that he's not spinning out of control -- this is who he is. Insecure, narcissistic pathological, And that means for the next 14 months, this is who Trump is and what he's going to do. Lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie about pretty much everything. And it's not the Big Lies that are going to get him, because you can sometimes obfuscate the Big Lies and let the next scandal grab people's attention. It's the unending stream of Little Lies that will get him.
The Little Lies, falling on top of one another after another after another after another. Week by week. Day by day. Hour by hour. Trying to cover up Little Lies with other other Little Lies, but inventing new, meaning ones because it's who he is and because he feels he has to protect himself. And that not only is going to be wearying to him, trying to fill up his life with Little Lies inundating himself -- but it will become wearying to the American Public. The classic “Death by a thousand cuts,” daily, meaningless Little Lies that those undecided in the middle finally become mortified by and get sick of. Because it will be SO obvious (how can it not when blatantly Little Lies just pile one on another?) to the point that he will become a pathetic figure to almost all.
Almost all, because there's still the 25% Trump acolyte base that will believe him about everything, and maybe another 10-15% who will accept his lies because they're staunch Republicans and feel they have to accept them. But you can't win with that. That's a disaster. And it will be a disaster for the elected officials of the Republican Party because they will enable him to the end. And they will be seen as clownish figures who don't have America's best interest at heart.
I could be wrong. Who knows what will happen? And it's not only good but important to run from wariness and uncertainty. No one should take this is a given. But being wary is very different from running scared.
The people who should be running scared are Republicans. Imagine being in their position, having this pathetic pathological liar figure as the leader of your party, lying about the small, most meaningless nothings every day.
I could be wrong. But I require being told "why". Why Trump will not keep lying and lying and lying and lying and lying about pretty much everything and why that doesn't eat away at a person, especially as the pressure builds on him.
Maybe people will accept it in the end. But given that Trump has never gotten to 50% approval, the first president in history where that's been the case, and he's now at around 41% approval, and we've seen this Week of Meaningless Little Lies overlapping themselves, I need to be shown why this will not get even worse for him.
I'm still wary -- because the risk of him winning is horrific.
But I'd be terrified out of my mind if I was a Republican. I'd also be mortified and ashamed of myself. And I'd beg forgiveness, switch parties and become a Democrat.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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