Some of the pundits on various sites are using this catchy term to describe the fact that we are now living in a time when the Truth has been effectively rendered irrelevant. Some of them are belatedly grieving for the past, when Truth did still matter. And, some of them are actually supposing that we can make the transition away from a slavish devotion to the idea that facts matter....and further arguing that this is both appropriate and alright.
|America's Liar in Chief|
These particular pundits are all of the hard-right conservative persuasion, as you might expect they would be. I mean, after all, Fox News is a media monster built on the premise that truth is merely an inconvenience that gets in the way of furthering their sicko ideas. Fox is very successful, having six of the top ten most watched 'news' shows. The idea of leaving the Truth twisting in the breeze is very appealing when your agenda is to achieve political and then social dominance. If you crave being in charge--as, of course, old white men have been for many generations--impediments that hold your feet to the fire in a test of whether or not your viewpoints actually have factual gravitas are not welcome. It's so much easier to simply make-up your points of contention and to argue them on the basis of how they appeal to the lowest instincts of your audience.
So, here we are. We have a president in the oval office who lies all the time and never even gives any indication that what is coming out of his mouth is based on stuff he just makes up according to how he would LIKE THINGS TO BE...instead of how they really are. For Donald J. Trump, the Truth is not something to be honored or valued. It is merely an inconvenient pain in his ass. This is carried almost to the point of becoming an art-form, a performance on a daily basis in which he believes he can re-shape reality according to his personal needs and desires. He lies to get his way, to pad his own wealth and to maintain control over the strange party that used to be one of Honor and integrity....way back when my parents were devoted to it, and Eisenhower was their poster-child. We did actually 'LIKE IKE' and it was inconceivable that this war-hero turned politician would intentionally stand in front of the press corps and lie his ass off. Trump does it several times a day.
I suppose the underlying question and primary concern should be: how does this impact our society as we move into the future? Well, the answer to that is that it will destroy us. Straight-up. Yes, and that is not hyperbole. Any society that comes to this point...of having lost its respect for what is actually and factually TRUE, is terminal. Bold words, eh. But, true.
Here's the reason such a society cannot survive for long: When people feel permission to lie anytime it will help them get what they want for themselves--which is what the Donald is all about--everything quickly becomes adversarial. It is all about 'Me, Myself, and I' and to hell with your needs. In fact, people pursuing this path are practicing selfishness on a level Ayn Rand would find admirable. Her pseudo-philosophy, Objectivism, was all about, "I've got mine, and it sucks to be you." So, here we have a segment of society that has risen to positions of power and wealth, based on the principle that each person is in it just for themselves. And, they are more than happy to see you fail if it means more for them, or makes their path to dominance just a tiny bit easier.
In a society where a class of people are determined to get the upper hand, and are willing to cause endless harm and suffering to do so.....nothing good is going to happen in the long run. This is precisely because you have an entire segment that feels disenfranchised, rejected, passed-by and even subjugated....by the lack of opportunities, lack of access to decent and affordable education, living under conditions that destroy a large number of lives, violence, drugs, and gangs all in the mix.
Once a society turns its back on the less fortunate, the eventual result becomes like that newly bulging mound in a Mexican farmer's field, with a smoking fumarole, and that soon grows into an active volcano of mounting rage. History clearly indicates that the population will eventually get fed-up and erupt. When an entire segment of a society loses hope of a better future, or that they can at least live a decent life, then violence is going to happen sooner than later. It has happened too many times to think that it won't happen now. When people feel truly oppressed and subjugated it will boil-over and explode into revolution. That is just human nature.
There are exceptions, of course. Once the mechanisms of terror are in place, it may be too late and futile for a successful revolution to gain any momentum. In Nazi Germany, people only realized what was happening when it was really too late to do anything effective. The price of resisting was immediate arrest and a quick trip to Dachau, or similar.
The people of North Korea, have suffered under Kim and his father and grandfather endlessly. The means of their subjugation have been in place for three generations and the dictator.....really a nice fellow with a good sense of humor, if you listen to Trump.....has a good handle on how to keep them down. It's nothing new, really: send any dissenters away to concentration camps and kill them by forced labor and starvation. Result: not enough people are willing to stand up and be whacked down as in the Whack-a-Mole game. Terror is undeniably effective, and dictators of all flavors, including Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Saddam, etc, have all known this.
But, here's the take-away: all that dictators do to subjugate their people and to maintain order and control............depends on weaving a web of LIES. Destroying the ability of a population to know what is really going on is critical, so attacking any and all sources of the actual TRUTH is necessary. When Trump reiterates his disdain for the press, as he does many times each day, via Twitter, by calling them 'fake news' and any other pejoratives he happens to think of at that moment, he is accomplishing something critical to his ongoing success. He is casting doubt on everything....yes, literally EVERYTHING. Once facts are given the same status as lies, it is possible to get people to think that anything you put in front of them is 'true'. It doesn't take a vivid imagination to see how much easier it becomes then to manipulate the majority of people into believing whatever serves your purposes.
LIES ARE THE TOOLS OF DICTATORS. If you allow them to become 'normal' then the means of knowing what is really happening to our society are GONE!
It matters. In fact, it is pivotal and crucial that we not accept this wannabe dictator's attempts to blur the lines of fact and fiction. He lies with no consequences at present. He does it right in our faces, and is not the slightest bit hesitant to do so. He tells lies that are easily debunked...and is not apparently concerned that his lying is so easily recognized. In fact, as Obama said in his recent speech in South Africa, he just 'doubles down' and lies some more.
So......America......WHAT THE F**KING HELL ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS???