The year of the big lie

A two-faced Chief Executive?

A two-faced Chief Executive?

A two-faced person is one who is deceitful, insincere, double-dealing, Janus-faced, hypocritical, backstabbing, false, fickle, untrustworthy, duplicitous, deceiving, dissembling, dishonest and a liar.  This unflattering portrait fits our Chief Executive, Donald Trump, like a glove.

Our first President, George Washington, was thought so truthful, honest and upright that it was believed that from the time he was 6 years old that he couldn’t tell a lie.

No such truth-telling myth will ever apply to Mr. Trump; almost every day, he tells a whopper.

President Washington composed a code of civility not to reproach another for “infirmities of nature,” not to show “yourself glad at the misfortune of another,” not to “let your conversation be of malice or envy,” and not to utter “base and frivolous things” including “things hard to be believed.”  Mr. Trump fails this measure of civility in every respect.

In his private business life, Mr. Trump was an autocrat, and in his relatively newfound public life, he persists in this accustomed manner, begrudges and resists the prerogatives of co-equal branches, the judiciary, the congress, as well as his own party, the members of his cabinet, long standing national alliances including NATO, the UN, and trade agreements around the world.

Mr. Trump models his government on strong men, on despots he admires from around the world.

Mr. Trump assembled an agitprop team, worthy of any totalitarian government that runs and operates his Orwellian Ministry of Untruth, openly arguing for a shadowy parallel universe of “alternative facts,” and that spews insults, slanders, lies and half-truths.

Any critical coverage of Mr. Trump or his Administration is met with the charge, “fake news.”

Mr. Trump has censored certain words, “fetus,” “transgender” and “science-based,” with the intent of excising and encumbering any associated thought.

Twit-meister Trump and his team, heap heavy helpings of what Orwell termed “prolefeed,” that is, “rubbishy entertainment and spurious news.”

The OSS characterized Hitler’s “rules,” as follows:

“[N]ever allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.”

These rules feel uncomfortably close to Mr. Trump’s rules in the “post truth” era when Mr. Trump says something that feels true, though outlandish, but has no basis in fact, and rather than persuade, he seeks to reinforce a prejudice among his unthinking base while also often diverting the public from his latest gaffe.

Trump’s biggest lie is not that Mexico will pay to build a border wall, but that his presidential campaign was insulated from the interference of Russia and President Vladimir Putin in the presidential election, all to Trump’s advantage.

Now Mr. Trump is doing everything he can to obstruct an investigation of what was really going on with the Russians.

That’s why Mr. Trump fired FBI Director Comey — to protect his national security adviser, Mike Flynn, from revealing what he knew about their Russian contacts.

Then Mr. Flynn “cooperated” with Bob Mueller, the Special Counsel, who is winning the indoor land speed record for investigating and indicting and finding cooperative individuals.

Mueller has thus nailed down meetings with Russians, who discussed compromising e-mails that were illegally intercepted by Russian hackers, in an apparent exchange for, at the least, Mr. Trump easing sanctions against the Russians for invading Crimea and interfering in the presidential election.

After Flynn’s cooperation was public in early December 2017, counsel for Mr. Trump’s son-in-law said it was time to fight back in a PR attack of conflated unrelated and flawed charges.

The first standby charge was – “what about” Hillary Clinton” – who was twice cleared by the FBI.  No matter that investigation has nothing to do with the Mueller investigation of Mr. Trump.

Another theme of attack is that there was an FBI investigator who told his lady friend in e-mails that Mr. Trump was “ignorant” and “loathsome” and he should not become President.  But the real question should be whether any of his investigative judgments were flawed because of displeasure at Trump.  Anyhow, Mr. Mueller sidelined the investigator for how it appeared.

Third up is the claim that there’s some executive privilege that should bar certain GSA emails relied on in the Mueller investigation that were sent during the transition period.  But Mr. Trump was not the Executive then and hasn’t invoked any privilege.  Nor is there any attorney client privilege that any “client” has interposed.  Mueller has said they were acquired rightly.

Lastly, there’s the “Dossier.”  This has proven credible in virtually every respect of the Russian investigation.  So, where’s the beef?

The upshot is that we have an unstable autocratic government in a crouched defensive posture, and, worse, the leader of the free world is beholden to President Putin who does not share our formerly enlightened world view.

Our nation is at risk as long as this lying autocrat holds office.

Object when and as you can and, in 2018, when it comes time to vote, prefer only those candidates for federal office who pledge to remove Trump – so that we may restore America to its original promise.