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It’s hard to understand Trump supporters’ willingness to excuse his blatant falsehoods

President Donald Trump
REUTERS/Leah Millis
President Donald Trump delivering his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Tuesday.

Here’s a shocker: President Trump’s State of the Union message was riddled with falsehoods and exaggerations – obvious deceptions of the sort that clearly warn a careful listener of this obvious truth: You are listening to a liar. Sometimes he lies cleverly, by taking things out of context or using phony comparisons. Sometimes he only exaggerates, which is a common flaw of politicians, but he does it more often, more blatantly and more shamelessly than most. But fairly often he just flat lies. Says things that are provably untrue and that anyone paying attention knows are untrue. But he somehow, sorta, gets away with it.

With the help of FactCheck.org, I’ll pass along below a link that will get you chapter and verse to on some of the untruths from the SOTU message. But allow me to get both philosophical and nostalgic for a moment first.

I’ve been a professional journalist since 1973. You can do the math. (OK, I’ll do it. In August, I’ll celebrate my 47th anniversary of scribbling for a living.) MinnPost refers to me as a columnist, but for most of those years I was a “reporter.”

Back in the ’70s and ’80s, the heyday of journalism’s “objectivity” model, that “O” word carried a fair bit of heft. It meant reporters reported facts and didn’t express their own opinions. Opinionizing was reserved for a relative few columnists and editorial writers.


The model, designed to prevent journalistic bias, was flawed. If reporters were biased, the bias could and very likely did influence which facts reporters reported, and which they didn’t, or in what order the facts were presented and how the facts were framed and described. All serious flaws.

But as a veteran of several newsrooms where that model was enforced, I can also tell you that the power of the objectivity paradigm ensured the pretty much every statement asserted was based on a verifiable fact, and that when an issue that was part of some larger public debate was discussed, representatives of differing sides would be quoted, accurately and honestly, so that readers could decide for themselves which side they found more trustworthy or persuasive.

That was the old religion, and it’s mostly gone. Even newspapers are mostly gone. Most “information” is now carried on the internet and social media platforms. TV news is divided substantially between righty and lefty shows. There are winners and losers in the new information economy, but one of the biggest losers has been the old religion about the importance of basic factual accuracy and what used to be called “balance.”

I’m sentimental for the old system, even while acknowledging its shortcomings. I’m horrified by what has replaced it, which has quintupled the old demons called “selective perception” and “confirmation bias.”

There’s a part of human nature that, rather than wanting to know what’s accurate and true, wants to believe certain things, whether true or not.

I’m not one who thinks Donald Trump is a genius, but if he is a genius, his genius is rooted in his understanding of that above-referenced feature (or bug) of human nature.

It’s not that he’s clever about it. He’s blatant. He lies all the time. In the age of fact-checkers, his lies are easily and quickly identified and publicized. But this easy access to a catalog of his lies has no apparent influence on the bond between him and the roughly 40 percent of the electorate that supports him or at least “approves” of him, as measured by approval polls.

I assume, and more than assume, that some portion of his 40 percent knows that he lies a lot and wishes he would lie less, but doesn’t disapprove of that aspect of his leadership as much they approve of some of his policies. I don’t know, and probably can’t know, how many of his supporters view it that way. I try to respect their beliefs, which differ from mine, on many of these policy issues.


But – maybe it’s because I’m an old reporter indoctrinated in the importance of factual accuracy – it’s hard for me to understand a willingness to excuse such lying. Still, they are free to make that choice.

I worry more about those, presumably most of his supporters, who cannot bring themselves to acknowledge the lying. It’s frightening. It’s cultish. It’s 1984-ish.

And I assume that many or most members of that cult don’t read what I write. But if you do, and if you doubt the level of Trump’s mendacity as I’ve described it above, I offer two links, as promised at the top of this screed, from factcheck.org and the Washington Post’s “Fact-checker” operation, shedding a bit of truth onto some of Trump’s falsehoods from his lie-filled State of the Union address.

Here’s FactCheck.

Here’s the Washington Post truth squadding.

Comments (79)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 02/06/2020 - 09:05 am.

    Talking about, “old religion” and “members of that cult” one of the comments on late night comedy, the Republican party has replaced all their values with worship of a “golden cow”, Trump, not funny but quite revealing.

  2. Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 02/06/2020 - 09:11 am.

    They are willing to excuse the IMPOTUS’ blatant falsehoods because he’ll sign whatever restrictive legislation they put in front of him and seat whatever Federalist Society judges they put forward.

    The lies don’t matter to them so long as he continues to enable their efforts to do everything they can to re-shape this country to their liking.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 02/06/2020 - 09:54 am.

      It’s not about the policy. Ananias von Munchhausen is doing nothing any other bog standard Republican President would do.

      Instead, it’s about the hatred. Eventually, most pro-Trump comments will either become gleeful delight at how much the liberals are being pissed off, or, in more sober and careful moments, some vague mutterings about how the “left” went “too far.” Trump espouses the same hatreds that are motivating conservatives, and that have motivated them for years. He is unique only in his willingness to say the quiet parts out loud.

    • Submitted by Bill Spankerton on 02/06/2020 - 10:08 am.

      Exactly this. For many voters, getting Roe v. Wade overturned is all that matters. That end justifies any and all detestable means.

  3. Submitted by BK Anderson on 02/06/2020 - 10:06 am.

    It’s mostly “the ends justify the means”. The Trumpist 46% strongly approve of the reactionary white nationalist policies, and thus whatever Trump does to keep his abuses going, the 46% is on board with it. There is nothing more important than keeping Dems out of power, and anything that accomplishes that end is to be employed and defended: “What about Obama’s lies!”

    Intentional lying to the citizenry like this got its start with the Big Lie techniques of Josef Goebbels. If the Great Leader says it, however unbelievable, it must be true. Hilariously, even Goebbels knew he couldn’t go too far, that Good Germans wouldn’t swallow absolutely anything. This dictum has not yet dawned on Trump, and given his Trumpists, maybe it doesn’t need to.

    But Goebbels’ propaganda method operated in an environment where there was no independent press whatsoever. Thus, one has to say that more sympathy can be granted to the denizens of 20th Century totalitarian states than to the citizens of America in the 21st Century! Today the model is one of willful ignorance, not state deception.

    It’s the Post-Truth Age, paradoxically brought on by the internet. It’s very difficult to see any way out of it, particularly as we watch the craven display of cowardice by Repubs at yesterday’s “acquittal” of the willful political criminal.

    • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 02/06/2020 - 11:23 am.

      If you think the State and so-called “independent media” is not deceiving us about Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Honduras, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Venezuela, etc, or Corporate, Bank and Billionaire power, or the scale of ecological degradation, then I would say far more Americans than Trump fans are being willfully ignorant.

      • Submitted by BK Anderson on 02/06/2020 - 12:44 pm.

        Since my little comment has nothing whatever to do with any of those subjects, I have to regard your observation as non-responsive.

      • Submitted by BK Anderson on 02/06/2020 - 01:35 pm.

        WHD, if you are saying that the American State has equivalent control over mass media that Josef Goebbels had, that’s ridiculous.

        If you are saying that there is no actual independent media available in America, that’s also ridiculous, for the very reason that you have somehow found what you believe to be independent sources of accurate info on all those topics.

        If you are saying that traditional media in America (particularly TV media) does a pretty poor job of digging onto what’s “really” going on and exposing the influence of plutocrats and militarists, I am in sympathy to some degree. We don’t see a very broad range of history, interpretations and viewpoints, nor much investigative journalism on a day to day basis. So we may agree more than you suspect.

        • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 02/06/2020 - 02:36 pm.

          First, comparing Trump to Goebbels is like saying Obama was like Robert Mugabe or Idi Amin.

          Second, yes, there is independent media left and right doing great work reporting real news on gov, corp, banks and billionaires, war, etc. Most of them however have had traffic to their websites limited by Google etc big tech after fears of Russia built up by the State and Corporate Media (because it was never as much about Russia as locking down on dissonance within.

          Third, the MSM, aka mainstream media aka corporate media is not independent, it is an extension of the State, reporting whatever gov and especially the war and intelligence complex tells it, the same for corp, bank and billionaires. It is the media of empire.

  4. Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 02/06/2020 - 10:18 am.

    “The president wrongly said, “After decades of flat and falling incomes, wages are rising fast.” They’ve gone up under Trump, but also have risen under the last several presidents.

    “He said “real median household income is now at the highest level ever recorded.”However, the Census Bureau noted that was partly due to a change in survey questions in 2014. Based on “adjusted” figures, median household income was slightly higher in 1999 than in 2018.”

    Here is FactCheck contradicting itself. And later, criticizing the Dem response for pointing out how much Executive pay has increased compared to regular wages, like that is not a fact.

    You can blame Trump for the collapse of “truth” in America, but men like Trump do not rise up out of a society truly dedicated to truth and justice.

    There is a failure of authority and expertise going back a long way in America. It is not just the rise in income inequaity in every administration since Reagan. Eternal war profiteering, racketeering in Health Care and Edu, widespread ecological degradation, the growth of consolidation and monopoly, corp, bank and billionaire capture of government, debt growth far outpacing economic growth, climate change. Authority and expertise has sold out to wealth and power, at the expense of hope for the future for so many Americans.

    Blame Trump and that “40%” of Americans who you think have no care for any truth, if you like. But Trump does not rise to power if authority and expertise had not largely sold out regular Americans to the highest bidders.

    • Submitted by Henk Tobias on 02/06/2020 - 10:24 am.

      Well said.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 02/06/2020 - 10:32 am.

      There is no contradiction. Incomes fell after 1999, but began rising again. They have not yet reached 1999 levels.

      • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 02/06/2020 - 11:08 am.

        FactCheck saying wages have climbed during every recent presidency, while pointing out that income is lower for most Americans than it was in 1999, while criticizing the Dem response pointing out Executive pay has far outpaced regular wages, is FactCheck obfuscating reality more than calling out Trump, which is precisely what I am talking about with the crisis of authority and expertise that gave rise to Trump.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 02/06/2020 - 11:25 am.

          “FactCheck saying wages have climbed during every recent presidency . . .” would be incorrect only if it is taken as saying “and have never declined.” A decline followed by an increase is still an increase.

          • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 02/06/2020 - 02:52 pm.

            Dems have lost the working class in part because the failure of the party which has been mostly silent about how income relative to the cost of living has gone down for most of Americans since the 70’s. Rising wages means little if the cost of living grows faster than wages.

            Did you hear that if the minimum wage kept up with bankers income increases, the minimum wage would be about $33/hr? Yeah, the cost of living has been a lot more like bankers increase.

        • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 02/06/2020 - 11:28 am.

          Did anyone define “recent presidency”? 1999 was more than 20 years ago. Some folks might not exactly consider that “recent”.

        • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 02/06/2020 - 01:34 pm.

          Fact-check is an unreliable source that is completely biased to the left. Many of their “facts” have been proven to not actually be facts at all.

          I guess no one else got the irony of Erik mentioning selective bias in reporting facts while he uses the very same tactic in linking to Fact-check.

  5. Submitted by Ken Bearman on 02/06/2020 - 10:28 am.

    According to Sen. Sherrod Brown, his colleagues, the R Senators (and probably the R House members), are afraid. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/05/opinion/trump-senate-acquittal-impeachment.html

    They must have seen their own shadows last weekend.

    • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 02/06/2020 - 12:28 pm.

      Senator Sherrod Brownh haas actually talked with his Republican colleagues,and he knows they are afraid of Donald Trump.

      So is Mitt Roomney; he admitted that he knew before he cast his vote on Trump’s Guilt on Article I of the Impeachment that he would be a target of Trump’s attacks and attacks from all Trump supporters, who don’t undeerstand freedom of mind and conscience. But he voted his cohnscience anyway. Bravery quite unusual i today’s Repoublicanbs, who say one thing privately and another publicly, on all things Trup.

      And to Eric: At least on MSNBC, there is still a standard where an item must be corroborated by one or more outside sources before they’ll accept it as valid or true. Rachel Maddow, for instance, is constantly saying something like “ABC [or the Washington Post, or Politico, etc.] has just reported, but NBC has not yet been able to verify, that. . . .”

      One of the big things that distinguishes Democrats from Republicans in Trump Era: Democrats still want and depend on facts.

      And we don’t get our facts from social media, boys and girls!

  6. Submitted by Thom Roethke on 02/06/2020 - 10:56 am.

    I, for one, am shocked that a politician, a President no less, would peddle in falsehoods, half-truths, and misleading statistics. Shame on Trump for besmirching the reputation of politicians as being honest and forthright public servants.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 02/06/2020 - 11:26 am.

      Add the unusual number of lies to his regular thuggish temperament, and you get Trump.

      The behavior matters. Decency and kindness apply to everybody.

      • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 02/06/2020 - 01:37 pm.

        Trump hasn’t lied any more than Obama or Bush43 or Clinton or Bush41. You just selectively ignore when Democrats do it because that’s your party.

        Also, you should consider the severity of the lie not how many. A million little white lies mean far less than one giant lie. Every President in your lifetime has fudged the numbers to make themselves look good.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 02/06/2020 - 01:49 pm.

          That is utter nonsense, Mr. Barnes, and not worthy of being rebutted yet again.

          • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 02/06/2020 - 03:20 pm.

            So “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” “mission accomplished” “I did not have ___ with that woman” “read my lips, no new taxes” were not uttered by the last 4 Presidents ? That’s just a quick example of the lies they told…. there are thousands more by those 4 men as well.

            • Submitted by Mike Chrun on 02/07/2020 - 06:40 am.

              Could we have a few more then? Cherry picking through several Presidents over several decades is a brilliant tactic to defend your great leader who can pretty much outdo all of them in a couple of days. At least I didn’t see the nonsense that, “Oh, they’re all harmless lies.”

            • Submitted by scott gibson on 02/07/2020 - 06:55 am.

              Well, since about the only ‘lie’ you keep repeating is “You can keep your doctor…” , I guess that proves the other folks’ point. There is no way any person believes that Trump’s penchant for lying is matched by any of the other presidents you mentioned. None. Stop deflecting. Trump is bad for his many personal failings and defects. Even if you love his policies, you must recognize that.

        • Submitted by Henk Tobias on 02/06/2020 - 03:06 pm.

          Funny, Donald doesn’t just “fudge numbers” he lies about EVERYTHING, great and small. He started off by lying about the size of his inauguration crowd and hasn’t stopped since. My personal favorite was the little hand drawn sharpy bubble that he drew on the hurricane Dorian projection map. All because he misspoke about Alabama being in the originally forecast path. No your man Donald is an Olympic class liar that no politician in either party can hold a candle to.

    • Submitted by lisa miller on 02/06/2020 - 05:25 pm.

      Trump takes it to a new low–he degrades, he incites fear. Sorry, but no other president in our life time has done this-at least in mine. My ancestors who fought in every war including the revolutionary war are turning in their graves. He is a disgrace.

  7. Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 02/06/2020 - 11:24 am.

    I was curious to see if the regular Trump defenders here would contradict your assertion that Trump is a liar. It’s early yet, but so far all I’ve seen in the comments to contradict you is that other politicians lie too.

  8. Submitted by Michael Fedo on 02/06/2020 - 11:37 am.

    The problem is you can’t use logic and facts to alter someone’s beliefs; people believe what they believe because they believe it. There is absolutely nothing that can impact change in the 40 percent base.

  9. Submitted by Misty Martin on 02/06/2020 - 12:04 pm.

    Eric:

    Thank you, again, for always having something enlightening to inform your readers about. I am nostalgic for the old ways too. This new political arena, where the two parties are SO divisive and voters are SO combative with each other . . . is frightening, to say the least. And it starts at the top. We have a president who incites fighting. Need we say more?

    How about the courage that Senator Mitt Romney showed yesterday? I, for one, applaud his integrity and the courage it took for him to stand up for the truth and vote his conscience. The late Senator John McCain would have been standing right beside him, I feel certain. So would Senator Jeff Flake, had he not have felt the need to resign from the Senate. I feel the loss.

    • Submitted by Paul Yochim on 02/06/2020 - 07:52 pm.

      Misty, would you feel the same about a Democrat who had the courage to vote against the prevailing thought in this or her party? Joseph Lieberman flirted with the Republicans a lot but in the end he always voted with his party. Arlen Specter defected to the Democratic party and they hung him out to dry in the Pa. primary when he was up for re-election.

  10. Submitted by Bob Petersen on 02/06/2020 - 12:11 pm.

    Cripes, the elitism just stinks. One could also say it’s hard to understand this writer’s willingness to excuse the blatant falsehoods of those he supports.
    They’re politicians. They all lie. All the time.

    • Submitted by BK Anderson on 02/06/2020 - 12:36 pm.

      In what sense do you have any faith in democracy, then? Or is the idea that a modern nation of 330 millions has no need of government?

      Total hated of self-government (and all public servants) is one of the wages of “conservatism”. This found its final expression in awarding the presidency to a completely unqualified fool and conman.

    • Submitted by ian wade on 02/06/2020 - 01:10 pm.

      But they don’t. To this day, the only thing Trump supporters can trot out about “lying” Obama, is the “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” statement. As of last April, Trump has lied over 10,000 times. That’s staggering!
      Face facts, Trump is a pathological liar and most likely a sociopath. At some point, everyone that continued to support him will have to engage in some serious introspection.

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 02/06/2020 - 01:39 pm.

      This could be the best comment ever written on this website. I’d give you a thumbs up if such a thing was available.

      • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 02/07/2020 - 02:26 pm.

        When you acknowledge that your man is an incurable liar the only remaining defense is to cast that attribute onto all the others.

        Unfortunately for this strategy, truth actually does exist and Eric offered up a couple of organizations trying to find it. You quickly ridicule those efforts and decline to identify your preferred source

        Why? Because to do otherwise would bring the empire of “The Perfect Call” crumbling down

        The truth doesn’t set you free, it only adds an extra shift helping Paul Manafort stamp out license plates

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 02/06/2020 - 01:52 pm.

      That isn’t true at all. They don’t all lie. Or at least don’t lie to the same extent. There is no both-sidesing this. No one lies nearly as much as Trump does.

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 02/06/2020 - 09:54 pm.

      “They’re politicians. They all lie. All the time.” Might want to think about that for a second,
      So, all those folks that voted to acquit Trump were lying, and vice a versa? So we should unseat those supreme court justices because the folks that voted for them were really voting against them, and reverse that tax cut and on and on and on…………………….. down the crazy rabbit hole we go. Hey you got BB going down that rabbit hole with you.

  11. Submitted by BK Anderson on 02/06/2020 - 12:26 pm.

    And (as if on cue) we can see a huge part of the Post Truth problem, as the major broadcast networks cover live Trump’s “statement” of “exoneration”, smears and lies, knowing that they could not ask questions, knowing that it would be a cavalcade of nonsense and calls for retribution.

    The media has allowed Trump to destroy them and their role in American society.

  12. Submitted by Brian Mann on 02/06/2020 - 12:47 pm.

    I’m about a decade younger than you, but I’ve seen the decay in information as well. It’s depressing for us, yet millennials don’t even know the difference. Electronic data is a plague on human civilization. It is lowering quality of life everywhere. The only ones that benefit are the tech giant titans – and they know it. Not sure what’s left we can do not to leave our kids this stinking mess.

    • Submitted by Rosalie O'Brien on 02/07/2020 - 09:57 am.

      In the same vein as Brian Mann, I’ve been reading a book on the subject called “Stand Out of Our Light, Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy,” written by James Williams, a former Google strategist who has since studied philosophy at Oxford. He characterizes the phenomenon from which we’re suffering as “a next-generation threat to human freedom” and notes that the forms of information that were historically scarce and valuable resources are now delivered “in such abundance, and with such velocity,” that they become a “mountain of burdens” which, “rather than supporting our INtentions, have largely sought to grab and keep our ATtention.” It’s available as Open Access: https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/stand-out-of-our-light. The book is well-written and well-footnoted. I recommend it highly.

      I couldn’t help but see a resonance to the Iowa caucus situation when I read the following: “Today, new technologies can arrive on the scene…and rapidly scale…in the course of even days.The constant stream of new products this unleashes…can result in a situation in which users are in a constant state of learning and adaptation to new interaction dynamics, familiar enough with their technologies to operate them, but never so fully in control that they can prevent the technologies from operating on THEM in unexpected or undesirable ways. This keeps us living on what I sometimes call a ‘treadmill of incompetence.'”

      That’s not to say that more wasn’t going on with the Iowa caucuses, however….Am I the only person who was shocked to hear that supporters of Mr. Trump were using the unfortunately published call-in numbers for precinct personnel to convey their support of him?

  13. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 02/06/2020 - 01:13 pm.

    “‘Dishonest and corrupt’: Trump unloads at National Prayer Breakfast after acquittal”
    Reminds me of Eve of Destruction, “Hate your next door neighbor but don’t forget to say grace”

    • Submitted by Misty Martin on 02/06/2020 - 02:04 pm.

      Mr. Wagner:

      I agree. Can you even believe that President Trump would have the gall to call anyone else “dishonest and corrupt”? Okay, yeah, we all know he has plenty of gall – but for his supporters to eat it up? How sickening! How hypocritical, and at an event like the National Prayer Breakfast, no less? And they wonder why non-Trumpers find Trump supporters hypocritical? They should read in their Bibles what Jesus had to say about hypocrites . . . he was harder on them than on anyone else. He always had compassion and forgiving grace for sinners, but hypocrites created righteousness wrath in Him.

      • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 02/06/2020 - 09:46 pm.

        Sorry MM walked away from the religious stuff long time ago particularly because of the hypocracy, and closed mindedness (got to join the club and give them sway over your soul). As my departed mother would say “The holier that thou crowd” are the most hypocritical of them all. A prayer breakfast followed by a condemnation of your fellow country men and women. Would be interesting to know what the presiding deacon or whatever has to say, especially on how successful the prayer meeting went towards brotherly love!

    • Submitted by Joe Musich on 02/06/2020 - 07:04 pm.

      Great callback…”Eve of Destruction !” Sad to think some things have not changed much. What made the master of disasters comments at the prayer breakfast even more callous was the fact that there was an opening call for attendees to do some introspection on their contribution to the hostility of the times and consider how each could improve ….The master of course disagreed and went off on one his mumbling tangents about everybody but himself and particularly Romney and Pelosi. And of course this followed his SOTU pep rally and forgone rigged acquittal. So maybe a call to Susan Collins about “learning” is in order.

  14. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 02/06/2020 - 03:34 pm.

    Eric Black wrote: “I worry more about those, presumably most of his supporters, who cannot bring themselves to acknowledge the lying. It’s frightening. It’s cultish. It’s 1984-ish.”

    That’s really the crux of the matter right there. The Trump defenders who comment in these threads evade this charge with their “what-about-isms”, but in my years, I’ve never seen anything approaching the cultish devotion, as in Jim Jones Kool-Aid cultish, to any President, not even St. Ronnie, that I’ve seen from Trump defenders. This has been most obvious in their defense of Trump’s abuse of power and commission of high crimes and misdemeanors. And what I truly fear, (as I’m sure the spineless Republican Senators who voted to acquit Trump), are the Trump cultists of the “alt-right”-the neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white supremecists and gun rights fanatics. As Hannah Arendt observed in her monumental work “The Origins of Totalitarianism”, the purges begin with your own supporters. At the risk of violating Godwin’s law, Cf. Ernst Roehm (1887-1934).

  15. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 02/06/2020 - 06:30 pm.

    “It’s hard to understand Trump supporters’ willingness to excuse his blatant falsehoods”

    Maybe they like the economic results. Actions speak louder than words? Exposing the swamp and the people in it? His ability to persevere despite continual opposition from Day 1? Who knows? He’ll be done after the election so why all the handwringing?

    • Submitted by BK Anderson on 02/07/2020 - 09:22 am.

      This is likely as close to a concession (from a supporter) that Trump lies as we can expect, so thank you. It’s rather hard to stomach the idea that a fraudster and conman who refuses to release his tax returns as prez is much concerned with “exposing the swamp”, though.

      Finally, given the failed Constitution and its absurd electoral college, there is simply no way to conclude that the vile demagogue Trump is certain to “be done after the election”….unfortunately!

      • Submitted by Ron Lahti on 02/08/2020 - 08:47 am.

        Wow!
        “… failed Constitution”… so by who’s ‘standard’ has our U.S. Constitution failed?!

        • Submitted by BK Anderson on 02/08/2020 - 09:50 am.

          Oh, by the standard of virtually every important 21st Century democracy on earth.

          Among our Constitution’s greatest failings is that it permits a minority faction of voters to control the federal government and promulgate policies against the will of the people–as is the case now with Trumpism. That’s not a “democracy” in any meaningful sense.

          And these anti-democratic features are now celebrated as the Framers’ Greatest Achievement by the conservative movement–precisely because their (tried and failed) “conservative” policies cannot command a national majority.

          The Framers would have found our blind and slavish devotion to their 18th century efforts over two centuries later appalling. They would simply say, “what is wrong with you people?”

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 02/07/2020 - 02:36 pm.

      So please tell us how you felt the same during the Obama years?

      From a given base upon entering office and a subsequent upward trend Obama’s story exceeds Trump’s

      Trump is simply standing on Obama’s shoulders and then tells us how tall he is

      • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 02/08/2020 - 11:19 am.

        Can’t say that President Obama’s story isn’t more impressive although he had eight years to Trump’s 3 1/2. It is unlikely that President Trump will be credited for much since Obama is responsible for everything until the new Democrat President takes over. President Obama did have a lot of support, much of it from a favorable media for all eight years. My answers were merely possible answers to the original question and I certainly don’t say that I believe any or all of them, I just try to provide alternatives for those who can’t see any.

  16. Submitted by Roy Everson on 02/07/2020 - 01:44 am.

    A little known ex-Georgia governor kept repeating “I will not lie to you” over and over again. It gained him the Democratic nomination in 1976 and then the presidency. Of course there were other factors but honesty was a hot election issue. He pretty much kept his promise and was rewarded 4 years later with a landslide election loss to a former Hollywood actor. Goes to show that a big slice of voters value the concept of “the truth” but don’t necessarily want to hear it.

    Then there is another slice of voters, ultra cynical, who fall for the myth that all politicians lie. It’s intellectually lazy and ignores the fact that politicians NEED (needed?) to be considered honest, therefore the best of them spin, exaggerate, selectively omit facts and try to tell their truth — within the bounds of verifiable facts. Until now. Republicans, having succeeded by compromising their own morality, have given us collective permission to degrade ourselves.

  17. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 02/07/2020 - 09:00 am.

    It’s actually not that difficult to understand once you accept the fact we’re dealing with Fascism. At this point frankly, someone like Eric is going out of their way to remain mystified and confused. Once you step away from the pseudo-objective denial that obscures the obvious this all makes perfect sense. We’ve seen this before, and history has documented it many times. You just have to stop working so hard to be blind to it.

    This is a perfect example of “balanced” mentalities that deny rather than recognize the reality in front of them. It’s amazing how much clearer things become when you stop marginalizing reality. Go ahead, try it yourself- just acknowledge the fact that these people are Fascists and you’ll find that all of your confusion and disbelief simply evaporates.

    What’s alarming is the fact that sooooo many Americans can be so easily attracted to Fascist ideology. What’s actually dangerous is the fact that so many Americans are working so hard to remain oblivious to this fact; THAT really is how Nazi Germany got started.

  18. Submitted by David Moseman on 02/07/2020 - 10:11 am.

    Are we victims of our Privileges? As two thirds of American adults did not complete college they did not get those demands of reference and proof. They have lived doing what we college educated men have told them. Never mind that it made sense. Disparity between what managers told them to do and what seemed logical to the workers is what made the careers of Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump. Why do we assume our facts matter when they don’t seem to make sense?

    You are old enough to remember “Catch 22” and “MASH”. We enjoyed laughing at the stupidity of the system. Now that we are the system we know how that stupidity happens. If a system that prides itself on logic and reason can get so illogical, can any of it be true?

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 02/07/2020 - 10:58 am.

      The only problem with your thesis it those in power are not relying on logic and reason, nor are they promoting logic and reason. We’ve been living through an era of anti-intellectualism. Our political elite has been promoting magical thinking and emotional satisfaction for decades now.

      It’s true that regime has failed, and people rebelling against it, but it’s not about college educations. In fact, if you look at the demographics you find a lot of Libertarians and Republicans are just as educated as anyone else.

      A friend of mine used to describe our population like this: “We’re pumping out a lot of people who have degrees, but are not educated.”

      Privilege isn’t just about education. Many of those walking around with the greatest sense of entitlement and privilege are not highly educated.

      • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 02/07/2020 - 11:33 am.

        In fact, if college graduates majored in business and/or paid for their degree with an ROTC scholarship, they may have been indoctrinated in trickle-down economics, bottom line fundamentalism (i.e. the only priority is bigger dividends for the shareholders, no matter who gets hurt), and American exceptionalism (the U.S. has the right to invade or subvert other countries to “fix” them).

        In other words, they come out of college as perfect Republicans or “moderate” Democrats.

  19. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 02/07/2020 - 10:41 am.

    It’s all about winning. And Trump wins. When all this impeachment started out, all he wanted was a press conference in Kyiv, at the very best for him. a one day story. What he got was months of negative coverage of the former vice president, which has resulted in what might be the elimination of the candidate, Trump most feared.

    Trump’s supporters claim to love morality but what they want is a strength that delivers what they want, tax breaks and Republican judges. Trump isn’t forever, but in all practical terms, his judges will be. Without any serious judicial reform, Republican federal judges will block any progressive agenda enacted by an Democratic president certainly for the rest of my life. Isn’t that worth looking away just a little bit? Can’t forgiveness be asked for and received at some later date?

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 02/07/2020 - 11:01 am.

      Justice deferred is justice denied. If you don’t want to join the fight OK, but for God’s sake stay out of the way.

    • Submitted by BK Anderson on 02/07/2020 - 11:58 am.

      Your last two sentences are inscrutable to me, but if you are imagining (or hoping?) that the final iteration of conservatism–Trumpism–could be magnanimous in victory and willing to be satisfied with total control of the federal judiciary for 30+ years, then I don’t think you understand reactionary ethnic nationalist movements. The more they win, the more they demand.

      As Limbaugh’s vile career (and now sainthood) makes clear, for “conservatives” this has always been a battle to the death.

  20. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 02/07/2020 - 03:49 pm.

    Well we all know what Trumps and the republican reelection campaign slogan is:
    “DON’T DO THE RIGHT THING”

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/vindman-who-provided-key-impeachment-testimony-escorted-from-white-house-attorney-says/ar-BBZLR3G?li=BBnb7Kz

  21. Submitted by Tim Smith on 02/07/2020 - 04:13 pm.

    Right on cue, Dems have horrible week, President great week, Time for media and dems to trash his supporters with very extreme references and comparisons to some of worst in history. Dems own 1984 by the way.

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 02/07/2020 - 08:00 pm.

      Well Tim I would have liked to have heard better but got what I expected,
      Your right, America and democracy had a terrible week, it has nothign to do with democrats, your dictator with the “long knives” had a wonderful week. Think about it. A decorated war veteran gets trashed out for being a patriot, do you understand what just happened, do you even care?

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 02/08/2020 - 09:23 am.

      Tim, when the Senate tears up the US Constitution it’s the nation, not just the Democrats who have a horrible week. The fact that you can’t recognize that fact simply reveals your totalitarian impulses.

  22. Submitted by Ron Lahti on 02/08/2020 - 08:15 am.

    I just recently subscribed to MinnPost, mostly because, well, I grew up in northern Minnesota, and was educated mostly in Minnesota.
    I’m a scientific guy, so when I read about ‘truth’ my first consideration is first, that someone has an observation to share, albeit a limited one; and second, that this shared observation has a relevance of significant proportion to an already acceptable body of knowledge. But to make a claim that any one ‘website’ or any single media publication has so much of any ‘unquestionable’ validity, or that these two supposedly ‘non-partisan and un-biased’ sources of ‘verifiable and validated’ truth-checkers are offered for anyone seeking ‘The Truth?!’
    Well, I’m now convinced that we’re truly becoming as… how did you state it?
    Oh, yeah… “cultish’ and “1984-ish”… which I’m hoping we’re are not… because I agree that is “frightening!”

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