It should come as no surprise that most of the political questions I’ve been asked by people over the last couple of years revolve around Donald Trump. They tend to follow a pattern of bewilderment by those who — like most of us — don’t understand how tens of millions of people actually believe Trump’s an honest and trustworthy individual who they’re proud to call “president.”
I also get asked how it can be possible, with as dishonest and full of crap as Trump obviously is, that he seems to constantly get away with things that would destroy the political careers for just about anyone else.
The answer to that is actually fairly simple.
1. His supporters are hypocrites who simply don’t care how terrible he is: I’ve said for a while now that too many people treat politics like they do sports. By that I mean they “pick a side” and irrationally defend it — no matter what — because they want “their team” to win.
Except that’s not how politics is supposed to work.
For Trump supporters, admitting he’s as disgusting as most people know he is would also require them admitting that we have been right all along — even Hillary Clinton.
Well, they’re not about to do that.
I fully believe that most of his supporters still back him, no matter what he says or does, simply because that’s what they want to do. And like the hypocrites that they are, no matter what evidence comes out showing that he’s everything horrible (and even possibly criminal) that his critics have been saying all this time, they’re never going to turn on him because that would mean admitting that they were wrong.
They would rather see this country humiliated globally and reduced to ashes before admitting that the “Trump train” has been a train wreck from the very beginning.
2. It’s never-ending: Trump is so dishonest that it’s nearly impossible to fact check him effectively enough. By the time you’ve researched and proven that one thing he said was completely fictional — he’s told several other lies. Donald Trump lies at a rate unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Even as someone who follows politics extremely closely, I have trouble keeping up with everything.
Another issue is that because he lies so often, fact checking him becomes an exercise in futility because the sheer quantity of his dishonesty creates the illusion of “bias against him.” Since almost nothing he says is true, that means most of the information about him is going to be dedicated to countering some lie he’s said, therefore giving him and his supporters the illusion that “everyone is out to get him.”
Except, of course, that’s not true — he’s just that awful and dishonest.
3. Fox News constantly helps validate his lies: Since Fox News is essentially nothing more than Trump’s own version of state-run media, they more or less validate Trump’s lies as “truth” at every opportunity on their most-watched programming.
Not only do they seemingly feed him information he then often tweets about during his morning Twitter rants, but when he lies, they either help twist reality to “validate” whatever drivel he’s trying to sell, or they do their best to create a distraction when he’s done something so terrible that even they can’t defend it.
So when you have a major cable news outlet tens of millions of people trust doing everything they can to convince their viewers that the sky isn’t really blue because Trump said it wasn’t and anyone who tells you otherwise is part of the “liberal media witch hunt against Trump,” that’s how a pathological liar becomes a “credible source of information.”
4. Because he’s not bound by the truth, ethics, or even basic human decency, he can say whatever the hell he wants: Since Trump’s supporters believe anything he says, and never hold him accountable for anything, he’s free to say whatever he wants.
If he wants to say the economy was a “disaster” before he took office, despite the fact that he’s now bragging about those very same numbers, it doesn’t matter — his supporters will believe him.
When Mexico never pays for his stupid border wall, yet he keeps promising they’re going to, no matter how little evidence he provides to back up his claim that the Mexican government is going to fund the project, his supporters are going to believe that, eventually, they’re going to.
Trump can say something one minute, change his mind the next, then completely contradict himself and his administration the next day, and it really doesn’t matter. He’s free to say whatever he feels like his supporters want to hear because he’s couldn’t care less if anything he says is true.
He’s the ultimate opportunist. Whatever he feels serves his best interests at any moment is what he’s going to say or do, which makes him incredibly difficult to counter. Since he doesn’t care if anything he says is completely preposterous, no matter what you say, he can easily counter with something palatable enough to his base that he’s guaranteed not to lose any of their support.
Then, of course, there’s also the fact that anything negative about him is called “fake news” — and his supporters believe him. Trump himself recently admitted that the vast majority of the news isn’t really “fake,” it’s just that he doesn’t like what they’re reporting.
The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake). Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 9, 2018
That’s not how this works! Just because something is “negative” doesn’t mean it’s fake. Don’t like so much negative press coverage? Stop doing so much negative shit! It’s that simple.
5. He’s a self-serving con artist who constantly brags about things to make himself look good: All presidents try to take credit for things that they had little (if any) direct influence on. That’s just normal political gamesmanship.
But Trump takes it to a whole other level.
Since he’s a con artist, he doesn’t take the blame for anything negative and calls bad news about him “fake,” while going out of his way to take credit for anything positive he feels he can spin in his favor — even if he had absolutely nothing to do with it.
We’ve never seen a “president” who gets on social media and brags about himself the way Trump does. If a big company announces they’re creating jobs, he spins it into a story where he gives himself the credit, even if that jobs announcement was decided before he took office.
Yet if a company lays people off, he ignores that news completely. Which means all his supporters hear about or believe is that he’s personally responsible for all this job creation even though it’s all clearly tied to the strong economy Obama left him. The same economy he called a “disaster” up until the moment he wanted to start taking credit for it.
So when you combine all of this with the fact that he’s the only “president” I’ve ever heard of who asks for thanks or credit for trivial things he clearly had nothing to do with, it’s a whole lot of bullshit to constantly have to counter, fact check, or combat.
While there are clearly more reasons why Donald Trump’s b.s. is incredibly difficult to combat, these are some of the main ways he’s able to keep a huge advantage over those of us trying to make sure his time in office is as brief as possible.
Always remember, it’s much easier to be the liar than the person trying to fact check those lies.