Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Two Big Observations on America's News: First, Trump's Lies

Basketball is just a game and it too has changed over time, like everything else.  When I was in college, a new philosophy arose in NCAA basketball through teams like Georgetown and then UNLV.  The game became more physical, and these two teams I remember in particular started reaching and fouling, it seemed, on every possession and at every position, especially at home games, to the degree that the referees became selective about what they called.  It was a strategic, scorched earth approach to defense.  The strategy counted on the referees not calling everything -- they couldn't; they would foul every player out of the game.  I was taught to play defense without reaching and grabbing, but by moving my feet and keeping position between the offensive player and the basket.  Allowing the reaching and grabbing rewarded lazy defense, promoted reaching and grabbing, and punished the defender that moved his feet.  It's harder to move your feet.  This changed the game at the time.

I don't think every politician lies to the same degree.  Some try not to lie at all.  However, in a world of lies, where everyone is lying, to the point where you can't distinguish the truth from lies anymore, a politician seems at a disadvantage if he's not lying.  One side has been reaching and grabbing for awhile and winning.  Its lies have not been called and continue not to be called by the referee, which we might call the media.  The media itself is in the tank for one side and has in its own interest to defend its lies.

Trump lies.  It's not right, but he's watched how other politicians wouldn't and they lost.  One team is reaching and grabbing and the other just tries to move its feet, and since the fouls aren't called, reaching and grabbing, in this case, lying, gets the advantage.  Trump has seen lying as a necessary strategy to conform to how the game is being called.  He does not possess the scruples characteristic of a conservative.  I'm not saying all professing conservatives tell the truth.  Establishment types go along with the big lies, the whoppers, and sometimes say what they think needs to be said at the moment, that isn't true.  However, I haven't seen a Republican lie like Trump does.

From my vantage point, I judge Trump's lying differently.  He's an outlier for a Republican.  I think other conservatives see it the same way.  Trump tells the big truth.  Democrats tell the big lie.  Trump tells many smaller lies when he sees it as an advantage to win.  I think he's operated with this ethic for a long time.  Trump himself isn't better for it, but he's won from not giving away damaging truths.

When I say that Trump tells the big truth, I mean that he expresses what is true overall.  America is greater, better than other countries, but it's being run down.  We have too many regulations.  Taxes are too high. God has blessed us and we need to allow people to be free to talk about God in the public square.  Businesses need a tax system that gives them a better opportunity to compete.  We want a judge who bases his decisions on original intent.  I'll stop there.  There are many of these big truths that Trump gets right. Trump tells those truths, that I'm calling, bigger truths.  He sees things right overall, and then he uses lies sometimes to get there.  He's not going to say he lies.  That's another one of his lies.  He knows if he did, we would never hear the end of it from the liars in the media.

In one sense, long ago Trump saw that the game had changed and he's playing the game by a new set of rules, where you are rewarded for reaching and fouling. He's not going to move his feet if the other team doesn't have to.   The biggest liars are in the media.  When Trump lies, those liars point out his lies, as if they deserve that task or should be given credit for pointing them out.  They miss both the big lies and the little lies of the left.  The left is bereft of the truth, almost no truth left there.  The media is part of that and protects it, and in part does it by pointing out that Trump lies.

When the media points out Trump's lies, they intend to do him damage.  That don't care about the truth.  They just want to catch Trump in a lie.  They think they will damage Trump with those who want the truth.  That isn't them.  They want to carve away his support with moral people, who think lying is wrong.  It takes away enthusiasm at least.  We could say that Trump is at fault because of it.  I don't think you're supporting Trump's lying by supporting Trump.  You are supporting his big truths compared to the big lies, while admitting that Trump lies.  This isn't the acceptance of lying, but judging the degree of truth and lies and coming down on the right side of that.

Speaking of the big lie, have you heard that the Russians meddled in the election?  Raise your hand if you didn't think the Russians didn't try to meddle in every election?  And the Chinese?  And the British?  And Israel?  Robert Mueller, the special counsel, has indicted 13 Russians who will never be extradited or punished.  They might receive a special award in Russia for what they did, for trying to make Russia great again.  We are indicting Russians and one American, who took their money to use his web service, for allowing them to do what Americans are free to do in the United States, make political comments on the social media.  From what I read, they spent 2 million dollars doing that.  The news media made more money announcing the indictment on one day than the Russians made saying outlandish things on the social media during the entire year.  Our reaction to them is like the death penalty for scraping someone's bumper in the parking lot.

President Obama actually knew the Russians were meddling.  He won't be charged like the website owner.  He allowed it.  Why?  Trump said there was meddling in the election and President Obama had said that the election wasn't rigged.  It would be a fair election.  This, of course, was with his full confidence that Hillary would win by a large margin in November 2016.  He also, I'm sure, didn't think it was consequential.  It wasn't changing the results.  It wasn't that big a deal.

Many are saying that the meddling of the Russians is for the purpose of causing division in the United States, to arouse more chaos.  It would weaken a democracy like the United States to sow discord, it's true.  The main reason was that if democracy looked disunified, it would argue for a Putin style government.  He could point to the conflict in the United States as a reason for a more authoritarian government.  Facebook is saying that the Russians spent more to disunify after the election than before.  Right on cue, the Democrats fall into the Russian plan and have continued to do that for the last year with their resistance style movement, opposing everything that Trump does.  It was a gigantic success for little investment.  Putin has a strong handle on what makes America tick.  The Democrats played right into Putin's strategy.

I want to come back to meddling with elections.  The United States meddles in elections all over the world.  President Obama meddled in the French election, pressing his thumb on the scale for Macron.  Should the French indict him for that?  The left has been meddling in Israel's elections for decades.  Most of you probably know that President Kennedy had President Ngo Dinh Diem of Viet Nam assassinated during the Vietnam War.

Balthasar Gérard of Spain assassinated the Dutch leader William the Silent.  Mary I killed Lady Jane Grey.  Elizabeth I killed Mary Stuart.  Oliver Cromwell executed Charles I.  We can go on and on.

The media as a tool of the Democrat Party uses Russian meddling.  By doing so, the Democrats meddle actually more than the Russians.  We know this.  And these are the big lies that I talked about in the my first big observation.


Lance Ketchum said...

"The Democrats played right into Putin's strategy." What makes you think that the Democrats do not share "Putin's strategy"? They share in every philosophy other then which will be the ruling aristocracy created by each of them.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Lance,

You might be right. Thanks. The Democrats would take an oligarchy, I agree. They tried to get one with President Obama.

Kent Brandenburg said...


I've gotten anonymous commentary that says I'm justifying Trump's lies, which is a typical commentary about Trump. I'm explaining Trump and how someone might keep supporting him. The idea I'm given is that the only way to do right is to point out and reproach Trump every time he does anything wrong, essentially to keep opposing him. When Trump tries to cover transgressions and lie about what he's done wrong, we're supposed to point that out and if we don't, then we're supporting lying.

I've said Trump lies. His get pointed out incessantly. We don't have to point them out. The other side doesn't have their lies pointed out, and they tell the big lies, the overall lie of the worst sort. We are forced to make that choice in the present climate without supporting lies. They don't care about lies or they would point out both. Trump protects himself by lying, like a kid who cheats on a test, the teacher asked if he cheated, and he lies, says, 'no.' He doesn't want to get in trouble. It's not justifying cheating, but it's explaining.

Trump is getting accomplished good things, and he covers his transgressions on the way, so as to make himself look good and not to detract from what he's trying to accomplish. The left is already pointing out the lies. We don't need to aid them in that. We need to support what Trump is doing. That is not acceding to the lying. I don't think this that complicated. It's the way it works in politics.

Some argue that it will get worse in the future, because we've allowed this. Liars will know they can win. Maybe we have gotten there. I don't think so. I think we can elect someone, for instance, like Mike Pence, who is more squeaky clean, recognizing that Trump was a one-off for a Republican. We can recognize what's happening and not elect it again. The Democrats will keep electing deceiving, conniving big-time liars though. That's where the real problem is, and that's how we should treat it.