Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Damage Done: The Lies

The Omnivore has been asked to write about how President Trump is damaging our country on a daily basis.

The Price of Admission: This is written, on request, to a particular person. Here are the rules:

For You, Constant Reader

  1. You don't get to claim "fake news" without hard-core proof that The Omnivore is wrong. You have to engage the elements here as factual. If you can prove otherwise, fine--but if not, being dubious because you don't like the message isn't cool.
  2. You don't get to not-respond. It can be as simple as "I'm thinking about it"--but this is a give-and-take.
  3. Whattaboutism ("But Obama was divisive") is unwelcome. If you engage in it, you have to write something substantial that includes evidence The Omnivore will (likely) accept of your claims.
For The Omnivore
  1. The Omnivore will try to use facts that both HE and the Trump-Supporting reader will agree with.
  2. When that isn't achieved, The Omnivore will stick to Republican/Conservative sources and arguments as much as possible.
  3. The Omnivore will try to write as many of these as possible--this is an on-going series under the tag "damage."

Part 1: The Lies

President Trump lies in a way that no other president has done. He lies often--and he lies about things that there is no reason to lie about. This damages our country severely on a daily basis. How? Let's see.

Trump Lies Like No Other President

"You can keep your doctor." The Omnivore knows. Obama lied. "I came under sniper fire." The Omnivore knows. Hillary lied (a lot). But while those speak to credibility (Obama will lie to you about the impacts of his health-care plan to sell it, Hillary will lie to make herself sound brave) president Trump's lies go further. Much further. How so?

1. The Lies are Trivial
The lies about Inauguration Crowd size are of the "what-do-you-take-me-for?" variety. Trump himself got involved in trying to find out who had tweeted the image [you don't get to not believe this without proof that reports were wrong]. He doesn't just lie and laugh it off, he takes it seriously. 

2. The Lies Are Petty

You-can-keep-your-doctor is a lie made to sell an agenda. That's bad. But Trump lies in ways that are almost inexplicably petty. He lies for self-aggrandizing reasons to a degree that is well beyond "bullshitting with your buddy." He does it pervasively.
He has lied about, for example:
  1. Having consulted with his generals on the Transgender Ban.
  2. A call from the boy scouts saying he was doing the greatest job ever.
  3. A call from the Mexican president saying he was doing a great job on immigration.
  4. The size of his crowd in Phoenix last week.

3. He Has Lied About Important Things Too

Don Jr. was going to release a statement about the Russian meeting in Trump Tower. POTUS re-wrote it to lie. Trump has said he categorically has no dealings in Russia: he did--during the campaign. Hope Hicks, Manafort, and Conway--all speaking on the record on behalf of POTUS have claimed repeatedly there was "no contact" with Russia.

These are all lies and they are all obfuscatory lies. Having surrogates lie for you is as bad--or even worse--than doing it yourself.

The Damage Done

Sometimes it would be good if the American people could believe the President when he says things. Sometimes that is very important to us--to our institutions. 

But people didn't. They didn't just believe what Trump said.
Other people felt compelled to step up.

That is damage.


  1. Daily PO posts sound like a great deal to me!

  2. I think you're underestimating the damage by a significant margin. The global community relies on the US for stability and support. When His Tragesty perpetually lies and is perpetually called out for it, there can be no level of trust between our nation and others (see: Mexico, Australia, Germany...). This puts us in a decidedly disadvantaged position by essentially limiting our options for international issues to coersion and military force. Sad. Treaties and international agreements start with an idea that benefits - in theory - all parties, and are negotiated based on the assumption that all signatories intend to honor their commitments. Would you ever sign a contract with someone that has been called out for lying about things small, large and everything in-between? I'm in the contract negotiation business, and always consider the integrity and track record of the other party during all phases of negotiations. In many cases, I will recommend passing on a deal that otherwise appears to be business-positive if it involves a company / person that has a history of questionable integrity. The current administration has little, if measured by honesty.