It wasn’t so long ago that a politician caught telling a lie would be in terrible trouble. He or she might be able to bail themselves out with an apology, but, in many cases, depending on the lie, they were finished. Washed up. Out the door.
With Donald Trump’s presidency, those days seem like a millionaire years ago. A shameless, possibly even pathological, liar, Trump is not new to deceit. As a private citizen, he lied with impunity and his money and power allowed him to get away with it in many cases. Those who thought his position as president would temper this behavior must be holding their heads in pain.
The Toronto Star reported that the past week has been Trump’s most dishonest yet: 33 lies in seven days. If you are keeping a running tally, the Star reports that as 447 whoppers during his six months and one week in office.
What does it say about modern American society that the president lies repeatedly while almost no Republican is willing to call him on it, and his supporters don’t seem to care as long as their backward agenda is implemented?
A change in this dire state seems unlikely while Trump remains in power. However, it was precisely this approach (with some help from Russia) that allowed Trump to win an election almost no one thought was possible for Republicans to claim. It’s an example that other politicians will happily emulate and one wonders what it will take to get us back on track.
The answer seems to lie with the public. We need to stop taking everything said and reported at face value, while also checking the validity of the sources providing our information. Good rule of thumb: if you’ve never heard of the source, there’s probably a good reason for that. Social networks also need to put better mechanisms into place to spot and remove (or at least de-emphasize) fake news.