Sunday, July 17, 2016

Trump's lies and the traitors to the American idea

Charles Pierce writes in Esquire about why This Isn't Funny Anymore. American Democracy Is at Stake.

"Anyone who supports Donald Trump is a traitor to the American idea."

CLEVELAND, OHIO—A while back, we here at the shebeen decided that Donald J. Trump's act was no longer funny. That he no longer was a goofy guy with three wives and a ferret on his head, a freak candidate who devoured an incredible passel of unpopular lightweights on his way to a freak nomination. That he was more than just a vessel for the barely camouflaged rage and fear of an aging white American majority terrified of so many barbarians at so many gates. But not until Wednesday did we realize the true magnitude of the threat that this reckless clown poses to American democracy. Not until Wednesday did we hear clearly the echoes of shiny black boots on German cobblestones.

On Wednesday, in several venues, He, Trump accused "some people"—he never said who they were, nor will he, ever—of calling for a moment of silence for Micah Johnson, the mass murderer of police in Dallas, Texas. We have had some experience with this. Back when he was still considered something of a sideshow attraction, He, Trump said that he's "seen" Muslim-Americans in New Jersey celebrating as the World Trade Center towers burned on September 11, 2001. He never said who they were, nor will he, ever. But at least there was a level of detail to the lie. There is in fact a state called New Jersey. There are in fact Muslim-Americans living there. And the attacks of 9/11 did in fact happen.

Emboldened because this and other whopping untruths did not immediately sink his campaign, He, Trump now has taken his truthless palaver to another level entirely. This is what he said on the stump in Indiana on Wednesday, when he was taking auditions for the men who care so little for their country that they are desperate to be on a ticket with a serial arsonist.

"The other night you had 11 cities potentially in a blow-up stage. Marches all over the United States—and tough marches. Anger. Hatred. Hatred! Started by a maniac! And some people ask for a moment of silence for him. For the killer!"

To be blunt, this didn't happen.

There is no evidence from any news source that this happened. By anyone. Anywhere. Nobody can find anyone who "called for a moment of silence" for the mass killer of policemen. Nobody has counted "11 cities" that are potentially on the verge of a racial holy war. RaHoWa, cry the white-supremacists. And now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has joined the chorus. That's where his rhetoric has led him, and far too many people have followed along.

And with regard to those people past and present who have enabled the TP-ing of America, Pierce says: "Damn them all now."

Damn the delegates who will vote for this man ... the professional politicians who will fall in line behind him ... the four hopeless sycophants who want to share a stage with him for four months ... all the people who will come here and speak on his behalf ... all the thoughtful folk who plumb his natural appeal for anything deeper than pure hatred.

Damn all the people who will vote for him ... any progressives who sit this one out because Hillary Rodham Clinton is wrong on this issue or that one ... all the people who are suggesting they do that. And damn all members of the media who treat this dangerous fluke of a campaign as being in any way business as usual. Any support for He, Trump is, at this point, an act of moral cowardice. Anyone who supports him, or runs with him, or enables his victory, or even speaks well of him, is a traitor to the American idea.

Here is the truth. Nobody called for a moment of silence for Micah Johnson. Eleven U.S. cities are not on the brink of racial violence. He, Trump just made that shit up so his followers can stay afraid and angry at the people he wants them to fear and hate. This lie was a marching order and the Party of Lincoln is right in step with him, straight into the burning Reichstag of this man's mind.

Welcome to the 2016 Republican convention: a four-day celebration of the ritual suicide of American democracy.

With balloons.

h/t Paul McCreary

Update: See the NY Times more comprehensive documentation of Trump as a liar: Donald Trump’s Deals Rely on Being Creative With the Truth. Here are snippets with one example of Trump using a lawsuit based on nothing of substance as a bullying tool.

... based on the mountain of court records churned out over the span of Mr. Trump’s career, it is hard to find a project he touched that did not produce allegations of broken promises, blatant lies or outright fraud.

Under the intense scrutiny of a presidential election, many of those allegations have already become familiar campaign fodder: the Trump University students and Trump condo buyers who say they were fleeced; the public servants from New Jersey to Scotland who now say they rue the zoning approvals, licenses or tax breaks they gave based on Mr. Trump’s promises; the small-time contractors who say Mr. Trump concocted complaints about their work to avoid paying them; the infuriated business partners who say Mr. Trump concealed profits or ignored contractual obligations; the business journalists and stock analysts who say Mr. Trump smeared them for critical coverage.

... lawyers who have tangled with Mr. Trump in court cases are sometimes reduced to sputtering, astonished rage, calling him “borderline pathological” and “the Michelangelo of deception” as they attempt to describe the ease with which Mr. Trump weaves his own versions of reality.

“He’s a bully, and bullies aren’t known for their veracity,” said Richard C. Seltzer, a retired senior partner at the law firm Kaye Scholer who confronted Mr. Trump in three real estate lawsuits

Here's the example of Trump using the courts to bludgeon writers and business associates or rivals.

Mr. Trump is also the beneficiary of miraculously well-timed memory lapses. In suit after suit, the man who claims to possess one of world’s best memories suddenly seems to have chronic memory loss when asked about critical facts or events.

Such was the case when Mr. Trump filed a libel lawsuit against Timothy L. O’Brien, the author of “TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald.” Among other things, Mr. Trump asserted that “TrumpNation” cost him a “deal made in heaven” with a group of Italian investors, men he had met and who were on the brink of signing a business partnership that would have made him hundreds of millions of dollars. Their names? He could not recall. “TrumpNation” also cost him a hotel deal with Russian investors, he said. He could not remember their names, either. He was certain the book also ruined a deal with Turkish investors. Again, he could not recall any names. Polish investors also got cold feet after they read Mr. O’Brien’s book. Their names escaped him, too. The book also scared off investors from Ukraine. Alas, he could not think of their names either.

Mr. Trump’s lawsuit was dismissed.

Trump's candidacy for the most powerful position on the planet should be dismissed for the same reasons. We do not need a damn liar representing America.

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