Burke: Why do so many swallow all the president’s lies?

Is it gullibility? Or do they think there’s something to be gained by accepting falsehoods as truth?

By Tom Burke

Herald columnist

Why is my president a liar?

I don’t know why Donald J. Trump, the man, lies.

I mean, I can’t explain the reason he lies about almost everything.

Like the size of his crowds. (He claimed 21,000 filled the Orlando arena when he launched his 2020 campaign. And “a similar number” were outside. Photos showed no one outside.)

Or why he lies about Russia, NATO, having a great medical insurance plan for everyone, the wall, his infidelities, voter fraud, infrastructure, rape, his taxes, and the list goes on and on and on.

I don’t know what sort of psychological debilitation compels him to lie about things large and small. (Although we can conjecture his bone spurs lie was to duck Vietnam.)

So I don’t know if he’s sick, venal or just a coward.

But I do know why my president is a liar.

My president is a liar because there are people who believe him. Or pretend to believe him. And it encourages him to lie more and more.

And those people, who believe him, are either stupid or use his lies for personal gain.

So, are they, really, like, gullible?

Well, if they believe what’s patently false, stupidity is one reason they might ignore reality.

Take Trump’s lies about Robert Mueller’s “exoneration.”

Here’s what Mueller said: Judiciary Chairman Nadler asked if Trump was “correct” in his constant, vociferous claims the report, to quote Trump, “found that there was no obstruction and that it completely and totally exonerated him.”

“That is not what your report said, is it?” Nadler asked.

Mueller responded: “Correct. That is not what the report said.”

Yet people believe Trump when the proof is right in front of them.

What else explains their belief, if not terminal stupidity?

Like his Chinese tariff war.

Trump says tariffs are making America rich.

And he’s deliberately lying. (Or don’t understand how tariffs work.)

But it’s fact that “China” doesn’t “pay” American tariffs, they’re paid by individual American importers, who pass the cost on to American consumers. Folks, we pay Trump’s China tariffs, not China. And the New York Federal Reserve, no less, shows Trump’s tariffs will take a $1,000-per-year bite out of the average U.S. household budget.

So maybe people buy his lies ‘cause they think they can profit from them.

Like those who believed his BS about his tax cut.

How it was the biggest ever. (It wasn’t. There’s proof.)

How it was gonna help the working stiff. (It didn’t. There’s proof.)

How it wouldn’t add to the deficit. (It did, big time.)

How it would spur factory jobs. (It hasn’t.)

And wasn’t really a gift to the super-rich. (It was, massively.)

Well, the facts are there. He lied and we paid.

And how about the Republicans? Why haven’t they called him out on his lies about issues they really cared about? Like free trade, North Korea, and Iran? They’re not dumb, are they?

I’m not sure. But maybe because he’s got such a lock on the low-information Republican voters who make up his base, and vote in primaries, they’re afraid of losing their seats in Congress if they speak the truth?

So it’s in their self-interest to “believe” him.

This president, my president, your president, doesn’t tell the truth.

He’s lied over 10,000 times since becoming president.

And he cannot be trusted. Ever.

He’s lied so many times, about so many things, that anything/everything he says is suspect.

So when he says North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat, can we believe him?

Not when it’s undisputed fact they haven’t destroyed any of their nuclear weapons, continue to build more nuclear warheads, haven’t destroyed any of their missiles and tested new missiles just last week. It’s just another Trump lie.

Like his lie about the border wall. When he said, 172 times, “We’re building the wall, and Mexico is paying for it.”

But the fact is we’re not building a new wall, we’re just maintaining the existing one. And Mexico isn’t paying anything; you are.

Or when he lied about four congresswomen and how he tried to stop the “Send her back” chant, when the video clearly shows him just watching, for 13 seconds, then repeating his “Send her back” screed.

I cannot abide a liar.

You shouldn’t either. Not if you care for our country.

Now all his bluster and all his histrionics and all his lies aren’t going to do him a bit of good next year, when he’s alone on the debate stage with a Democrat like Sen. Kamala Harris or Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who know the facts and will call out his lies, one by one by one, and expose him for the grifter he is.

Which will be the true IQ test for his “base.”

I wonder if they’ll pass?

Tom Burke’s email address is t.burke.column@gmail.com.

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