The Art of the Lie

Andrew Sullivan, in his weekly column for New York Magazine, talks at length about how brazen, breezy, and ridiculous Donald Trump’s lies are.

For Trump, lying is central to his disturbed psyche, and to his success. The brazenness of it unbalances and stupefies sane and adjusted people, thereby constantly giving him an edge and a little breathing space while we try to absorb it, during which he proceeds to the next lie. And on it goes. It’s like swimming in choppy water. Just when you get to the surface to breathe, another wave crashes into you.

It’s really difficult for me to wrap my brain around the thought processes of the people who flock to him. Do they care about the lies? Do they admire the lying? Is it all professional wrestling to them with Trump as the Face and Democrats the Heel?

Sullivan raises the alarm again.

He will do anything, we have to understand, to protect his psychic attachment to his own self-interest. Anything. I’ll repeat what I believe: He will not leave his office if he narrowly loses in 2020. He’ll fight — and rally his supporters to fight with him. He’s not Nixon. He’s Erdoğan. When, since becoming president, has Trump conceded anything?

A tyrant’s path to power is not a straight line, it’s dynamic. Each concession is instantly banked, past vices are turned into virtues, and then the ante is upped once again. The threat rises exponentially with time. If we can’t see this in front of our own eyes, and impeach this man now, even if he will not be convicted, we are flirting with the very stability of our political system. It is not impregnable.

I think most Americans want him gone, but the only real way to do this is through an election and the only way to make it have an impact is to beat him in a landslide. I’m not sure it will happen.

June 16, 2019