There is a pervasive myth in the United States that Donald Trump is telling the truth when he says things. This notion is so ingrained in the national psyche that it has infected the mainstream media and the political discourse. But it’s wrong. We should hold Trump’s public statements to the same demanding standards as we would any other profession.
Consider this. In an interview with Time magazine, Trump said, “I don’t think there should be any loyalty to me. You know, I mean, I’m not a politician. I don’t need anybody’s loyalty.”
This is the sort of thing politicians say. And it’s not true. Trump is a politician, and he does need people’s loyalty. And it’s not just loyalty. He also needs people to believe in his lies. So he tells them. Repeatedly.
Lies By Accident?
When it comes to lying, most of us assume it’s something a person does on purpose. After all, isn’t that why people call BS on people? But this is far from the case. People often tell the truth when they don’t mean to lie. They simply don’t know any better. So the question is: how can we tell the difference between someone who is telling the truth and someone who is lying?
Here are some of the most common traits that mark people who are telling the truth:
- They are confident and assertive
- They speak from the heart
- They display empathy
- They are passionate about what they are saying
- They aim to understand rather than manipulate
People who are lying often have problems with these five areas of character:
- They feel empty and insecure
- Their body language gives off an air of incompetence
- They overcompensate with extra facts or make vague statements
- They lack confidence
- Their speech tends to be flat and uninspired
Do you see yourself as someone who is always telling the truth, or are there times when you say things you don’t mean to lie?
The reality is that everyone makes mistakes and that it is impossible to always tell the difference between a mistake and a lie. But you can make an effort to be more accurate and considerate of other people’s feelings. That way, you stand a better chance of being believed when you speak. So the next time you are wondering whether or not to trust someone, ask yourself, “Does this person have a history of telling lies or a history of being mistaken?”
A History of Lying
It’s one thing to make a mistake and it’s another thing to keep on lying. But which one are you?
The sad reality is that Trump has a long history of being both. In fact, the Washington Post’s catalog of his lies and deceptions goes as far back as 1974, when he was just 26 years old. Back then, he falsely claimed that he was self-made, a brilliant businessman, and that his father hadn’t actually been married to Trump’s mother. To add insult to injury, he also went on to marry her even though he’d already had a longstanding engagement with Barbara Hanks, who still holds a special place in his heart.
What’s more is that during the 2016 campaign, he continued this trend of dissembling. He either lied or obfuscated his way through a total of 1,977 false or misleading statements, according to the Washington Post’s count. In other words, almost every statement he made during the campaign was completely or mostly false. And it’s not like he’s some kind of accidental liar or that his brain doesn’t work right. Studies have shown that Trump is a highly skilled liar who easily slips under the radar of even the most skilled individuals. His grandmother, who is also his source of legal advice, once remarked, “It’s amazing what you can get away with when you tell the truth.”
The Dark Art Of Trump’s Deception
The best way to expose a liar is by calling him out on his lies. This is difficult because liars are good at what they do. They know how to hide their lies and they are skilled at convincing people that they are telling the truth. One way or another, they spin and adjust their stories to match the listener’s beliefs. So if you are trying to determine whether or not to trust someone, it’s best to catch them in a lie. This is how you put a magnifying glass on their bullshit.
But it’s not just about getting them to admit they are lying. It’s about exposing and denouncing their deceitful ways. This is the sort of thing you might say to them:
“I know you’re lying. Your facial expressions give it away. The way you’re clenching your fists and narrowing your eyes, trying to look strong. You are nothing but a piece of shit. If you were a real man, you’d fight like a man and not run like a pussy.”
The point is that you can’t just cut ties with someone you don’t know or have some kind of personal relationship with. You have to make them pay for their lies, otherwise it’s tantamount to treating the symptom instead of the disease. This is one of the hardest things about being an intelligent person in today’s world. You have to be able to spot a liar and you have to be able to say something to them to make them stop.
Unfortunately, there are many people who will try to get away with even more serious lies than those made by Trump. His history of dissembling doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, does it? So it’s crucial that we develop our own personal standards and stop believing every word that comes out of someone else’s mouth. This isn’t meant to frighten you but to make you more aware of how important it is to discern fact from fiction in today’s world. In the end, you can only control yourself. You can’t control what others will do. So you have to be responsible for your own actions and your own life. This is much easier said than done, I know, but it’s a necessary evil.
Why Does Trump Need To Lies?
Why does Trump need to lie? Is it because he is trying to hide something? What is he trying to hide? Let’s go back to that Time interview and consider what Trump said about loyalty:
“I don’t think there should be any loyalty to me. You know, I mean, I’m not a politician. I don’t need anybody’s loyalty.”
What exactly does this mean? Let’s unpack it a little bit.
Trump made two statements here. One: There should be no loyalty to him. Two: He isn’t a politician, which presumably means he doesn’t need people’s loyalty. And to prove the first part, he says that he is not a politician. So he clearly doesn’t need people’s loyalty. However, he also said that he wants to be the president for all Americans. So it appears that he needs people’s loyalty, but in a very specific way – he needs people to support him and vote for him. He can’t be responsible for running the country, but he can be responsible for ensuring that his presidency is supported by the people.
This is a very common type of problem for politicians. Not too many people want to follow an incompetent leader, but most of us don’t want to rock the boat or oppose a powerful individual either. So we go along with whatever the leader wants, even if it goes against our own best interests. This is very different from what a real leader would do. Real leaders would put the well-being of their people first and would consider their opinion more than that of the majority. But, as we have established, Trump is neither competent nor honest.
On the other hand, what exactly does ‘not needing anyone’s loyalty’ mean? This is a little tricky to unpack. Essentially, Trump said he is not interested in being liked by others. He seems to imply that he is interested in being respected or feared by others. So while he doesn’t need other people’s loyalty, he still wants to be perceived as strong and powerful by others. This is why he needs to lie. He needs to give the appearance of strength and power, even if he isn’t actually feeling either of those things inside.