All politicians lie. That’s not a statement of cynicism; it’s part of the job. At some point, you have to hedge what you are really thinking, or what you really believe, because winning an election means appealing to the most citizens you possibly can. We’ve had spectacularly successful Presidents who have had an uneasy relationship with the truth. Lyndon Johnson and Nixon were both world-class liars. That’s not a positive thing, of course, but it is to say that Donald Trump being clinically dishonest does not, in and of itself, disqualify him from the Presidency. But it is his method of dishonesty, the kinds of lies he tells, and what that reveals not just about him, but how he’d run the country, that is something we’ve never seen. It is as dangerous as his rampant xenophobia, his bitter misogyny, and his huckster’s ability to appeal to the darkest heart of America.
Trump’s lies are possibly unlike anything we’ve ever seen, not just because of what they say, but because of what it says about him, and the reaction that his campaign has to it. His lies automatically become not just truth, but axiomatic and inevitable. What’s stranger, they become policy. This is the result of a man who has been surrounded by a fawning payroll for his entire life, cosseted by servants and sycophants. His whims become reality, and if reality disagrees, it can go pound sand. This is who he surrounds himself with, and it would continue into the White House. A few examples here will suffice.