In The Nation, Eric Alterman’s lengthy article states, “Not All Presidential Liars Are Created Equal” He should know: doesn’t it take one to know one? While some of what he writes is the truth, he leaves out the most important parts.
He is right in one sense, in his closing: we MUST face the problem that IS government head-on.
He writes in part:
“One hardly needs to make the case that Donald Trump is a liar. Neither is it news that this is true of previous presidents as well. At the same time, the depth and breadth of Trump’s dishonesty is something decidedly new. … Trump’s ability to lie without concern for credibility is gruesomely impressive. In one three-day period in April 2019, Trump managed to make 171 ‘false or misleading claims’, according to The Washington Post fact-checking team. During a telephone interview with the Fox News talk-show host Sean Hannity, he managed 45 falsehoods in 45 minutes. This degree of lying qualifies as ‘pathological,’ and so yes, America has a pathological liar for its president.”
The article ends: “The weaknesses of the American political system that gave rise to Trump will not disappear with his presidency. They must be confronted, head-on, while we still have a soul—and a republic—worth saving.”
Our souls? A soul is always worth saving. This “republic” is nothing but a rotting corpse. If it ever was worth saving, it is no longer. Work, with me, for truth and liberty.
What Alterman does NOT write is NOT the WHOLE truth. It is the strengths of government, NOT its weaknesses that gave rise to Trump and his lies – and those of every other politicians. And is destroying our society.
In this article, Alterman displays his own blinders – or indeed, blindness. He has missed the opportunity to speak the truth, ironically indeed, given his subject. (But then, The Nation would hardly have printed anyone’s article that contained the complete, unvarnished truth about American government.) Alterman (indirectly) admits his own shortcomings in this screed: he was raised as a child to believe in moral relativism and not absolutes. He is not alone in this problem.
The main thrust of this article of course is the evil of Donald Trump, supreme liar. Yes, Alterman admits, most all presidents have been liars. (I’d argue that they all have been.) But Trump is monumentally a greater liar than any other president, according to Alterman.
But why? Although the author tap dances around the reason(s) we have such a huge “monster” (his word) in office, he really fails to answer fully. “Weakness of government?” Really? He seems to blame the evil Republican Party; and maybe Congress. He claims that an independent press failed in its obligation, duty, to tell the truth about politicians and government. Although his language is more blunt than media normally employs, he makes the same mistake. (And by the way, just WHO gave media any such duty? Did you? Did I?)
And his argument against Trump, ultimately, boils down to “the end justifies the means” – a lesson he claimed to have learned from how his parents and grandparents taught him Old Testament history. Which is precisely the same argument that the presidents (and politicians in general) use to justify the lies they spout. Just as he was taught as a child to admire the lies of the Hebrew midwives and the usurper Jacob, so he admires the lies of Wilson and Roosevelt. Because they (by his “progressive” definition) succeeded. Trump (like Johnson and Nixon before him) has failed.
What does he not point out? What truth does he not address?
- Government survives by lies. It is not just presidents, not just congresses, that lie. So do bureaucrats. Without lies, government cannot exist.
- The media survives by lies. Lies about politicians, lies from politicians, lies supported by their sources of revenue. Without lies, media cannot exist in its present form.
- The more power we give to the government, to the media, the more reason and the more opportunity they have to lie.
- The “governed,” the people of a nation, support the lies of the press and the government, by their buying and their votes and their praise and their obedience. Government and media cannot exist without the tacit support of the general public.
- The more power we allow governments (and presidents and other “leaders” and legislatures) to have, the more reason to lie, and the greater the lies (quality and quantity). Like ANY parasites, governments (and media) will continue to feed more and more until they are stopped from doing ANY feeding.
Ultimately, what Alterman does not state is this:
As long as we have coercive, mandated, government with any power at all, we will have this problem with lying, and with having liars in charge. If we want to reduce the problem of liars in power, the only way to do that is to reduce the power that they have.
If we understand this, we realize that Trump in the penultimate success of American governments. Ultimately, parasites destroy their hosts, and that is happening now with government (and media).
Reform? Dream on. Restoration? Fat chance. The only solution is the reduction of governments at all levels, but especially federal level, to a voluntary avocation with very, very little power. Where the politicians can lie all they want, and they will be equal because everyone can (and mostly will) ignore them.
Work with me, I ask again, for truth and liberty.