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The Serial Prevarications Of The Reality TV President

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The Serial Prevarications Of The Reality TV President

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Trump: The Reality TV President

There is almost nothing real about “reality TV.” All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like “Bachelor” or “Celebrity Apprentice” are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump’s previous claim to fame.

Welcome to the reality TV presidency. Nothing President-elect Trump says is to be taken literally, nor evaluated for its truth content. His surrogates have made that clear. Once and future sidekick Corey Lewandowski recently admonished journalists at Harvard University.

“This is the problem with the media,” he scolded. “You guys took everything that Donald Trump said so literally. The American people didn’t. They understood it. They understood that sometimes—when you have a conversation with people…you’re going to say things, and sometimes you don’t have all the facts to back it up.”

So when Trump claimed that he saw Muslims in Jersey City celebrating 9/11 on TV, he was just blowing smoke like some guy in a bar.

And so what if he kept his opposition to invading Iraq a secret?

When Trump denied mocking disabled reporter on national TV… Well, who are you going to believe, the president-elect or your lying eyes?

Then there’s the president-elect’s latest whopper. Providing zero evidence, he claimed that “millions of people” voted illegally last November, and that “serious voter fraud” had taken place in Virginia, New Hampshire and California—three states he lost.

Otherwise, see, Trump believes he’d have won the popular vote decisively, instead of trailing Hillary Clinton nationally by 2.5 million votes—a bit more than 2 percent. Far from being the people’s choice, Trump eked out the narrowest electoral win in U.S. history.

An ordinary egomaniac would fake humility and try to win the citizenry over. But that’s not the Trump way. When journalists challenged his assertion, try to believe that the future president re-tweeted one “Filibuster,” a Beverly Hills sixteen year-old: “Pathetic—you have no sufficient evidence that Donald Trump did not suffer from voter fraud, shame! Bad reporter.”

No, and nobody can prove that there are no unicorns in Oklahoma. Or that Melania Trump isn’t a Russian spy. Is it that Trump has no grasp of elementary logic or that he believes most voters don’t? Either way, the nation is screwed. Bad president-elect!

GOP stalwarts—Paul Ryan, Mike Pence, Reince Priebus—were all over the talk shows making variants of the same claim: just because there’s no evidence of voter fraud doesn’t mean it might not be true.

Sure, and Melania Trump might be Vladimir Putin’s lover.

Meanwhile, Trump’s lawyers tried to stop Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s (pointless) Michigan recount by arguing “[a]ll available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake.”

But it was left for Trump spokesblonde Scottie Nell Hughes to push this nonsense to its ultimate end. Appearing on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show, Hughes chastised unimaginative pundits: “One thing that has been interesting this entire campaign season to watch, is that people who say ‘facts are facts,’— they’re not really facts….Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth or not true.

“There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore, as facts.”

Certainly not in Trumpworld. To be fair, it wasn’t clear Hughes thinks this is a desirable state of affairs. But she was reacting to a question about James Fallows’ blog at The Atlantic, documenting and rebutting Trump’s serial prevarications. Last time I checked, the list was up to 155.

Things are getting serious. Fallows posted one American diplomat’s reaction to Trump’s voter fraud falsehood:

“Embassy staff in China or Russia are bound to be told, ‘It doesn’t look like your governmental system is doing so well, does it? See, your future President is saying that your elections are rotten with fraud.’

“What could our people then say? For the sake of truth and the honor of the country, they can’t agree; but to disagree is to call their future boss a flagrant public liar. That he is in fact such a liar is, in that situation, beside the point. Our ability to advocate for our country is being recklessly endangered simply to satisfy Trump’s vanity.”

Meanwhile, hippy-dippy leftists used to be accused of feckless relativism. Now it’s so-called “conservatives” who argue against objective standards of evidence and proof.

Writing in 1943, Orwell thought it all came down to power-worship. Contemplating Hitler and Stalin, he wrote that “If the Leader says of such and such an event, ‘It never happened’—well it never happened. If he says that two and two are five—well, two and two are five. This prospect frightens me much more than bombs.”

But for all the boasting and bullying of Trump supporters, Americans do expect better of their president. Already mistrusted by the majority, if Trump doesn’t clean up his act—a psychological impossibility, I fear—they’ll soon want to change the channel.

IMAGE: Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump looks out at Lake Michigan during a visit to the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin August 16, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer/File Photo

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Gene Lyons

Gene Lyons is a political columnist and author. Lyons writes a column for the Arkansas Times that is nationally syndicated by United Media. He was previously a general editor at Newsweek as wells an associate editor at Texas Monthly where he won a National Magazine Award in 1980. He contributes to Salon.com and has written for such magazines as Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, Entertainment Weekly, Washington Monthly, The Nation, Esquire, and Slate.

A graduate of Rutgers University with a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia, Lyons taught at the Universities of Massachusetts, Arkansas and Texas before becoming a full-time writer in 1976. A native of New Jersey, Lyons has lived in Arkansas with his wife Diane since 1972. The Lyons live on a cattle farm near Houston, Ark., with a half-dozen dogs, several cats, three horses, and a growing herd of Fleckvieh Simmental cows.

Lyons has written several books including The Higher Illiteracy (University of Arkansas, 1988), Widow's Web (Simon & Schuster, 1993), Fools for Scandal (Franklin Square, 1996) as well as The Hunting Of The President: The 10 Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton, which he co-authored with National Memo Editor-in-Chief Joe Conason.

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59 Comments

  1. dbtheonly December 7, 2016

    But what’s to be done?

    How do we have a rational discussion about the problems of the nation and world when there’s no reality?

    How can we hold an election when the RWMO can, and will, destroy any candidate by inventing scandals and relentlessly promoting them?

    Reply
    1. CPANY December 7, 2016

      There is a “reality.” The reality is to fight Trump tooth and nail every inch of the way: no quarter given.

      Reply
      1. dpaano December 7, 2016

        We need to put our state senators and congressmen/women on speed dial and call them frequently to get them do to their jobs!!!

        Reply
      2. dbtheonly December 8, 2016

        Is there a reality?

        When a $700,000 bribe to Carrier is trumpeted as “saving jobs”?
        When “Voter Fraud” is trumpeted?
        When Mexican Immigrants are trumpeted as rapists and drug dealers?
        When pollution is trumpeted as economic growth?
        When all Muslims are trumpeted as terrorists?
        When Palestinians cheered the destruction of the WTC in New York?
        When Hillary is trumpeted as running a child sex ring out of a pizza joint?

        “The task of filling up the list I’d rather leave to you.”

        No, the RWMO invents, bends, or alters a story, creating some new scandal. Then by constant repetition, and incestuous citing, gives their creation life. Then attacks the Lamestream media for not covering the invented story, obvious because of the liberal bias in the Lamestream Media. So now the Lamestream Media is covering the story, but those stories are balanced and don’t point out the absurdity of the original RWMO creation.

        Thus reality is altered or created, and what we thought we knew as reality, no longer exists.

        Reply
    2. Dominick Vila December 7, 2016

      I hate to say this, but perhaps we should learn from what they do, emulate their political tactics, while preserving our values and vision.

      Reply
      1. dbtheonly December 7, 2016

        Tough to do.

        My values prohibits me from inventing evidence proving Trump is a child molester. Then publishing that on the internet. Then posting it to Twitter. Then hounding the Lamestream Media for not covering the story.

        Trump has an advantage. Fox “News” will parrot all his talking points and drag the Lamestream Media along.

        Reply
        1. Dominick Vila December 8, 2016

          Not to mention Breitbart, conspirators like Alec Jones, and the rest of the gang. Incredibly, or perhaps not, they have a loyal and enthusiastic audience that share their views.

          Reply
          1. dbtheonly December 8, 2016

            GM Dom,

            Correct.

            That’s why I use the term Right Wing Media Outlet (RWMO). It’s big. It’s well funded by Radical Rich or Polluter money. It’s well organized.

            Love may be a stronger emotion than fear.

            But fear wins elections.

            Reply
          2. dpaano December 8, 2016

            And, with all of Trump’s nominees, this country will ALSO be run by the Radical Rich and Polluters at large!

            Reply
          3. dbtheonly December 8, 2016

            Yep, that’s why they sink their money into, otherwise money losing, media ventures.

            Reply
      2. charleo1 December 8, 2016

        Well, we know this. We certainly should not elect a President, and majority Congress that literally saves the Country’s economy. Then, out a sense of modesty, or decorum, or a stubborn refusal to believe that nearly half the American public are too stupid, or too distracted to see it, and thus appreciate it. And so not sing their praises to the high heavens. But quietly move on to the next piece of the people’s business. Like dealing with the Nation’s out of control healthcare system. Or ending a war we should have never fought in the first place. Because clearly, those are not the kind of things, or the kind of issues, and responsible leadership many people, obviously enough people in this Country to elect a lying demagoguing Con, to push their buttons, want to see out of their government.
        Now perhaps, if Hillary had run a smutty, low brow campaign… talked about the millions of invading criminal Mexicans illegally coming in, killing, and raping our young girls. Or the evil Muslims she was going to ban…If she had ran that kind of campaign… she might have reached the other half??
        Just to be totally sarcastic about the whole thing…

        Reply
  2. Dominick Vila December 7, 2016

    Corey is right, most Americans understood that everything Trump said throughout the campaign was garbage designed to satisfy and impress the gullible. Unfortunately, world leaders have been a little slow in realizing that, and many still believe they are dealing with a mature individual, whose words have meaning.
    Darned foreigners! Time to teach them a lesson like the one The Donald taught China. In the mythical world of Trumpianism, a bit of disrespect and bravado here and there are evidence of statesmanship, the end of appeasement, and evidence that America is finally great again. The next phase involves the construction of Trump hotels in Taiwan, to ensure we have a first line of Defense against scurrilous attacks, courtesy of George Soros and the DoD.

    Reply
    1. CPANY December 7, 2016

      “Most Americans” did not understand that. That is why Trump won.

      Reply
      1. Mama Bear December 7, 2016

        most Americans did not care. It seems they wanted a swashbuckling cowboy type.

        Reply
        1. latebloomingrandma December 7, 2016

          Because it worked so well the last time. Americans have short memories.

          Reply
  3. FireBaron December 7, 2016

    The late Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” Teflon Donnie and the 5th Avenue Gang are trying mightily to disprove that by denying the existence of facts, except for the ones they believe in.
    The real amusement is Teflon Donnie will say “The sky is gray”, and immediately his cohort will break out the entire 64 color box of crayola and redefine each of them as gray. Either that or they will try to redefine gray based on their own take of what he said. It’s damn funny watching three different members of the cohort spout three different meanings for what he said on three different talk shows.

    Reply
  4. yabbed December 7, 2016

    Donald Trump is an inveterate liar and everyone knows it. He lies and we are left with wondering whether this mentally unsound man knows he’s lying or doesn’t. He has shown us that he has serious gaps in basic knowledge, no political or worldly experience, and has no social skills whatsoever. He’s going to be an enormous embarrassment to the United States on the world stage. And he may well bring us to nuclear war with his nonsensical behavior.

    Reply
    1. dpaano December 7, 2016

      HE’s already a laughingstock of many overseas countries…I have relatives and friends spread out everywhere, and they’ve all told me this!

      Reply
  5. Gwen December 7, 2016

    Trump is not normal. He is mentally ill and no one wants to acknowledge this. The Emperor has no clothes. He is a pathological liar and narcissist who has drawn syncophants to his side to gain power…He’s like a magnet for stupidity.

    Reply
    1. Mama Bear December 7, 2016

      Many psychiatrists have “diagnosed” him as a malignant narcissist. If you have ever lived with or worked for one of these people you know why they call it “malignant”. There is no treatment, there is no cure. The patient takes it to his death.

      Reply
  6. charleo1 December 7, 2016

    What is to be done? A very good question! As the person being asked always compliments the asker. Especially when they have no ready reply. I think we must stick with the truth. We do need to be stronger, and insist our free press speak out ever more more vocally against the lies. And we must demand that facts be recognized, and that reality be adhered to. Otherwise, and here is the real danger in this, where does abiding with the lies, propaganda, and RW conspiracy leave us all at the end of the day? For inspiration in this arduous task we might recall something JFK once said about going to the moon that could apply to our own challenges today. “We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” Because no one ever promised that democracy was easy. Or freedom was going to be an easy thing to hang onto. I think of that day in our history when newspaper man Ben Franklin was asked all those years ago another very good question. What in fact the Constitutional Convention had finally rendered, a Republic, or a Monarchy? He answered, “A Republic, if we can hang onto it.” That in my mind for Americans remains as our supreme, and never ending task today.

    Reply
    1. Mama Bear December 7, 2016

      amen brother. One of my fears is that ignorant, impotent people would actually prefer a monarchy to just take care of them and make the decisions for them.

      Reply
      1. Dominick Vila December 7, 2016

        Don’t be surprised if Ivanka emerges as her Daddy’s successor. For a narcissist, the establishment of a lasting dynasty is a dream almost impossible to resist. Why is she present in every meeting with foreign dignitaries? Why is she present in meetings where important decisions are being discussed and/or made? Is she already being groomed for the big job? The person to keep an eye on is not Melania, or McConnell, or Ryan, but Ivanka, the next Czarina.

        Reply
        1. Mama Bear December 7, 2016

          In the family structure of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder person there is one “golden child” and the others are the whipping boys, so to speak – never good enough, never smart enough, etc. The NPD withholds his approval and affection from these secondary children in order to control them – forever trying to please him. The golden child is raised exactly as your said – she can do no wrong, is the queen of all she sees and becomes the next generation malignant narcissists. There is much written, here is a good one: http://facesofnarcissism.com/2015/05/11/how-a-narcissistic-parent-treats-the-golden-child-vs-the-scapegoat/

          Reply
          1. Dominick Vila December 7, 2016

            Thank you, that was an interesting article!

            Reply
          2. Ladyred497 December 13, 2016

            Sorry, I disagree. I have never had any indication that IVANKA is a narcissist. Her father? Absolutely. But she is a genuinely nice girl. Raised by her mother, not the pumpkin. She is the only one of the children who is smart and personable. Even he has realized she really is his best. But it isn’t due to anything he has done.

            Reply
          3. Mama Bear December 13, 2016

            The same psychiatrists who “diagnosed” T-rump had nothing to say about his daughter. But the medical literature is replete with the facts of the family structure of NPD persons.

            Reply
        2. dbtheonly December 7, 2016

          Solid.

          I hadn’t considered that.

          Reply
        3. Ladyred497 December 13, 2016

          Actually, I think she is his right-hand. I’m not sure he can read, and she may be the only one who knows this fact. He tweets because his literacy skills are so poor. His wife would certainly not be of any help and his boys are nitwits like him. Ivanka is probably the ONLY intelligent person in the entire gene pool. Must have gotten it from her mother.

          Reply
  7. Michael Allen December 7, 2016

    One hopes that, as his mental illness becomes more apparent and obvious, corrective measures will be taken.

    Reply
    1. CPANY December 7, 2016

      What “corrective measures”?

      Reply
    2. Mama Bear December 7, 2016

      unfortunately they are all absolutely drunk with the new power they have…or think have.

      Reply
  8. Ken Walker December 7, 2016

    Republicans are embracing this seriously flawed person for the sake of power (sold their souls to the devil). What they haven’t yet realized is that they will not be able to control him. My greatest fear, especially with the selection of so many military types in his proposed administration, is that with an unwilling GOP-controlled congress to check him, he may use the military to take over control of the country. Very scary.

    Reply
    1. CPANY December 7, 2016

      I think that you’re right about controlling Trump. The German industrialists and bankers thought that they could control Hitler. Events proved them wrong. He was left to his own devices, ruled Germany and destroyed it.

      Left to his own devices, Trump will destroy America.

      Reply
    2. Otto T. Goat December 7, 2016

      That would be fun.

      Reply
    3. Jim Samaras December 7, 2016

      OMG!!! Run to your safe space quickly

      Reply
      1. Ladyred497 December 13, 2016

        I suspect Jim, that you are being sarcastic. You might want to look at the situation a bit more realistically. When the GOP starts talking impeachment because he isn’t doing their bidding, and they aren’t doing his…expect a massive attack in the US from a group alleged to be ISIS. Within 24 hours he will declare Marshall Law and the country will no longer exist. The only book this man studied was Hitler’s. He didn’t bother learning the US Constitution because it doesn’t matter to him. He truly thinks he knows what is best–at least for him–and that is not freedom or equality or democracy.
        So if you have any intelligence, you will start preparing now for an exit or be ready to take sides in the upcoming Revolution. Doesn’t matter who wins, this country will never recover.
        Me? I’m working to get the F out of here with my family before the sh*t hits the fan. I am guessing about ten months, maybe a year.

        Reply
        1. Jim Samaras December 14, 2016

          I think you’re being a bit dramatic Lady. He will not do their bidding, the American people will not stand for it. He will do the PEOPLES bidding and will go down in history as the greatest president in our nations history. He’s the right man for the right job at the right time!

          Reply
    4. Mama Bear December 7, 2016

      Glad someone else sees that, Ken. I have wondered why no one is sounding an alarm about these military people he’s bringing on board.

      Reply
      1. Blueberry Hill December 7, 2016

        I’m with you on that, and have wondered the same thing.

        ..

        Reply
        1. dpaano December 8, 2016

          The “common thread” is that they are all millionaires or billionaires, are all warmongers, and all agree with everything that he feels is important! Little do his followers know that they will bring this country to its knees!

          Reply
          1. Mama Bear December 8, 2016

            here is another thought….there are rumors in the conservative press that they intend to impeach him and replace him with their own little mouthpiece Pence. All those military leaders might just come in handy when that happens…T-rump can stage his bloody palace coupe with all that military leadership.

            Reply
          2. dpaano December 8, 2016

            I think those are just rumors at this point. I think they’ll wait to see how much damage he’s planning on doing to our nation before they go that route, but Pence wouldn’t be much better except he might be a better “puppet” than Trump! The generals that he’s nominated are not the best of the best, trust me, and I doubt if the other generals would go along with them!

            Reply
          3. Mama Bear December 8, 2016

            here’s hoping you take is correct:)

            Reply
      2. yabbed December 7, 2016

        The Pentagon is supposed to be under civilian control, not military, for a very good reasons. Trump is putting military men in many positions of power and it’s getting spooky.

        Reply
        1. Mama Bear December 7, 2016

          I need to do some research on the ones he has picked to see what might be a common thread. I will let you know.

          Reply
  9. CPANY December 7, 2016

    If anyone wants to figure Trump out, all they have to do is tune into the American Heroes Channel on Tuesday nights. For Cablevision, that’s channel 173. They’re running an in-depth series on what made Hitler tick.

    Reply
  10. KDJ54 December 7, 2016

    We need to stand firm and fight back. We cannot rely on politicians to do this themselves. They need to have us remind them daily. Finally, we should not underestimate and Trump and those who have his ear. Its fun to call him names and gives us some comic relief, but he has come too far to be written off as a buffon, there is too much method in this madness.

    Reply
  11. Kevin K December 7, 2016

    Trump is a prop. Let’s also keep our attention on what McConnell and Ryan plan to do with their agenda. Already Ryan stripped out language in a proposed infrastructure bill. What didn’t Mr. Ryan like? That only American companies should be contracted for materials (i.e. steel, etc.). Oh yeah, the GOP is for America and the American worker. B.S.

    Reply
    1. Mama Bear December 7, 2016

      I think he’s also a prop or diversion for the white supremacist that are his puppet masters.

      Reply
      1. dpaano December 8, 2016

        I agree….he’ll be a puppet for them as GWB was a puppet for Cheney and Rove! And, we saw how that worked out!

        Reply
  12. stsintl December 7, 2016

    When is Trump going to start enforcing that rule in his own business empire that all products should be “Made in America”?

    Reply
    1. Mama Bear December 7, 2016

      how about ….never.

      Reply
    2. dpaano December 7, 2016

      I agree…..we never hear ANYTHING about when he and Ivanka are going to be bringing their manufacturing businesses BACK to the U.S. from China and Vietnam! When is THAT going to happen? Why hasn’t anyone asked him that question?

      Reply
      1. Jan123456 December 8, 2016

        Because he is not taking questions from the press. If he can’t send it out via Twitter, we ain’t hearing it.

        And the rest of the GOP will go along with his lack of transparency while decrying any hint of it from Obama.

        Hypocrites.

        Reply
        1. dpaano December 8, 2016

          Exactly! And, most of his followers seem to forget that he has overseas businesses and has his clothing line manufactured in China and Vietnam….nothing has been made of this during the campaign, even when he was screaming about bringing jobs back to the U.S. I kept asking myself….what about HIS….when is HE going to bring HIS jobs back to the U.S. Just another thing that the hypocritical Trump campaign glossed over when telling those big lies to his followers!

          Reply
      2. ivory69690@yahoo.com December 9, 2016

        DONNY DUMP is just doing his CLOWN SHOW he is a deranged mental case really a retarded child minded clown that is a junky to attention that’s all . by right for the sake of the country and the people of the world every President should have a Psychiatrist with a full examination of his empty EGO full od B/S head . he is just playing any and all he can now Romney is a fool even if the DUMPSTER was to give him any job the POS will just turn around and fire him . the people he has seeing him at the DUMP Towers are all just feeding the attention seeking clown and he is playing them all . yes its his own BIG CLOWNSHOW but what he is doing is 1 making a mockery of the country and 2nd more of what hew seems always to enjoy having the world laugh at the USA but in reality the world is more laughing at the DONNY DUMP THE CLOWN CAR DRIVER . yes im sure also the world is laughing at the brain dead DUMPSTER followers that put him in thje house . then more of the voters are more saying how many retards there are in the country to vote for that POS

        Reply
  13. dpaano December 8, 2016

    In the section above entitled “Related Posts,” there’s an article entitled, “A Handy 14-Point Guide to Identify Fascist Leaders.” I recommend EVERYONE on this site pull it up and read it because it definitely parallels our current leader to a tee! I found it to be very enlightening (and scary) all at the same time! Anyway, see if you can locate it and read it…..you’ll be glad that you did.

    Reply
  14. ivory69690@yahoo.com December 9, 2016

    DONNY DUMP is just doing his CLOWN SHOW he is a deranged mental case really a retarded child minded clown that is a junky to attention that’s all . by right for the sake of the country and the people of the world every President should have a Psychiatrist with a full examination of his empty EGO full od B/S head . he is just playing any and all he can now Romney is a fool even if the DUMPSTER was to give him any job the POS will just turn around and fire him . the people he has seeing him at the DUMP Towers are all just feeding the attention seeking clown and he is playing them all . yes its his own BIG CLOWNSHOW but what he is doing is 1 making a mockery of the country and 2nd more of what hew seems always to enjoy having the world laugh at the USA but in reality the world is more laughing at the DONNY DUMP THE CLOWN CAR DRIVER . yes im sure also the world is laughing at the brain dead DUMPSTER followers that put him in thje house . then more of the voters are more saying how many retards there are in the country to vote for that POS and its too late now but as I see it the pathetic compulsive pathological lies he is when the happen drops on the clown ill bet it will be one of the BRAIN DEAD that has the hammer and drops it on the CLOWN for all his B/S lying he has done

    Reply

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