Everybody knows that the President lies. The big question is whether and by whom he is believed. At a recent rally in Wisconsin President Trump told a story:
“The baby is born, the mother meets with the doctor, they take care of the baby, they wrap the baby beautifully, and then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby.”
This, he told his audience, is what routinely happens under Democratic leadership in the state; it appears that a majority of those present applauded his remarks.1 What were they endorsing? Did they think for one second that it was a true story? Or is it that it no longer matters what he says as long as he says it? So is it then that he has established a narrative, about himself and his vision, that they have embraced and telling outrageous stories is part of that Truth? Let’s step back a bit, away from Donald Trump, to take a look at how our Government has being doing the people’s business. It’s not a pretty picture, is it?
I invite you to examine the story of Prisoner 760 as written by Ben Taub in The New Yorker of April 22. The Government was convinced, without substantial evidence, that Prisoner 760 was a ‘high-value’ prisoner whose information was vital to ‘national security’ and it was expedient to use any and all means to extract that information from him. His insistence that he did not have the answers they sought, and expected, was received by his interrogators as evidence of the strength of his resistance and cause for increasing the torture in order to force him to confess to what they already knew that he knew. They were searching his mind for a known unknown. The account is available – a google search for “prisoner 760” brings up several sources, most behind paywalls, but it’s on the wikileaks page for free.
What I wish to point out is how the Government lied about its handling of prisoners, ‘enemy combatants’, after the tragic, infamous attacks on American civilians on September 11, 2001. All involved parties knew that while the official policy was that civilized people like us do not torture prisoners, behind closed doors, we were doing just that. That disconnect, between official and unofficial policy, has always existed and continues to this moment. Everybody knows this to be true, as well as they know that Trump tells the biggest and greatest lies of them all. He appears on the public stage, wearing the mask of the Truth-Teller, claiming the identity of the ‘anti-politician’ while he employs the worst and most cynical of political tactics to hold on to the highest political office in the land.
The Messiah appears in that ironic space, and he is an old white man, rich, lecherous, and boastfully ignorant. And just a little bit criminal, as are all our heroes.