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Liar in Chief April 20, 2017

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By Dean Adams Curtis

I’ve never called anyone a liar before. Therefore, I’ve been thinking about the title of this post for far too long. A few days ago, a friend, who I informed of this impending post, stated, “You’re kind of late.”

Indeed. I have even debated for too long putting a “?” at the end of the title of this post. However, I am no longer hesitant.  There’s no question. I’m leaving it off.

At the beginning of my gestation of this post, the president had then been clearly called out for being wrong about a wide variety of things he had asserted to be facts, but which were, in fact, fictions.

Throughout the early Trump presidency, I had found myself engaged in background reflection upon passages from a book that I had read long ago. In the book, People of the Lie, Dr. Scott Peck, offers an interesting premise about a particular kind of liars, who he identified as malignant narcissists.

Scott Peck had been a practicing psychiatrist for many years, including working as a military psychiatrist. He was also the author of the bestselling book titled “The Road Less Traveled.” But he needed to get off his chest, and into the minds of we readers, information about a few patients he had experienced during his psychiatric practice. Since Scott Peck is now dead, thus not around to write his own editorial about Trump, as I am convinced he would have done, I will now disgorge a few key pecks of Scott’s reasoning.

PeopleOfTheLie-ByScottPeck

“[Evil is] the use of power to destroy the spiritual growth of others for the purpose of defending and preserving the integrity of our own sick selves. In short, it is scapegoating… A predominant characteristic…of the behavior of those I call evil is scapegoating. Because in their hearts they consider themselves above reproach, they must lash out at any one who does reproach them. They sacrifice others to preserve their self-image of perfection… Since the evil, deep down, feel themselves to be faultless, it is inevitable that when they are in conflict with the world they will invariably perceive the conflict as the world’s fault. Since they must deny their own badness, they must perceive others as bad… They project their own evil onto the world. They never think of themselves as evil; on the other hand, they consequently see much evil in others…Evil, then, is most often committed in order to scapegoat, and the people I label as evil are chronic scapegoaters…. The evil attack others instead of facing their own failures.” (p.73)

“Self-criticism is a call to personality change…The evil are pathologically attached to the status quo of their personalities, which in their narcissism they consciously regard as perfect. I think it is quite possible that the evil may perceive even a small degree of change in their beloved selves as representing total annihilation.” (p.74)

“Malignant narcissism is characterized by an unsubmitted will… All mentally healthy individuals submit themselves to the demands of their own conscience. Utterly dedicated to preserving their self-image of perfection, [the evil] are unceasingly engaged in the effort to maintain the appearance of moral purity. They worry about this a great deal. They are acutely sensitive to social norms and what others might think of them. Outwardly [they] seem to live lives that are above reproach. The words “image.” “appearance,” and “outwardly” are crucial to understanding the morality of the evil (p.75).”

“While they seem to lack any motivation to be good, they intensely desire to appear good. Their “goodness” is all on a level of pretense. It is, in effect, a lie. That is why they are the “people of the lie”. The wickedness of the evil is not committed directly, but indirectly as a part of this cover-up process… Because they are such experts at disguise, it is seldom possible to pinpoint the maliciousness of the evil. The disguise is usually impenetrable.” (p.76)

“[A] reaction that the evil frequently engender in us is confusion. Describing an encounter with an evil person, one woman wrote, it was “as if I’d suddenly lost my ability to think”…. This reaction is quite appropriate. Lies confuse. The evil are “the people of the lie“, deceiving others as they also build layer upon layer of self-deception. [Evil is] the exercise of political power–that is, the imposition of one’s will upon others by overt or covert coercion–in order to avoid…spiritual growth…Because their willfulness is so extraordinary–and always accompanied by a lust for power–I suspect that the evil are more likely than most to politically aggrandize themselves… There is a remarkable power in the manner in which they attempt to control others.” (p.78)

“…the malignantly narcissistic insist upon “affirmation independent of all findings.” The essential psychological problem of human evil, I believe, is a particular variety of narcissism….one that particularly afflicts the will.” (p.80)

“Those who are evil are masters of disguise; they are not apt to wittingly disclose their true colors–either to others or to themselves.” (p.104)

In Scott Peck’s People of the Lie, he viewed evil as “being a distinct problem that straddles the line between a personality disorder, and spiritual disorder, perhaps leaning toward the latter. He describes evil people as “being aware of their conscience, but actively choosing to ignore it, as opposed to a sociopathic person who appears to be devoid of conscience altogether. In other words, an evil person knows that they are doing evil, while a sociopath does not.” Peck described evil as “militant ignorance.” Evil people are “obsessed with maintaining their self-image of perfection through self-deception. In addition, evil people will be very selective about who they inflict their evil upon, while going to great lengths to maintain an image respectability and normality with everyone else. As a result, evil people are often well liked by the majority, and their victims come across as being overly sensitive, having a persecution complex, or even being crazy.”

If you would like to buy the book, People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil, you can do so by pasting this link into your browser’s address window:  http://astore.amazon.com/goddesses-20/detail/0684848597

“He’s a liar,” a neighbor says, referring to her president. I just overheard this quote through my open window while writing. Words from the street where I write this. Another neighbor, perhaps a defensive apologist Republican, replied, “People said the same thing about Reagan.”

And Nixon, and the Bushes…remind me again why people are Republican?

Today, 04-01-17, the President of the United States Tweeted about himself as “Trump.” I don’t know about you, but I never refer to myself by my own name, and I never hear other people doing so. Referring to yourself in the third person style, seems to hint there could be trouble, a person disassociated from themselves, as if watching a player on a stage.

However, I wish Trump my best, and hope that he is not evil, for the sake of the United States of America and all the people of the Planet Earth. But there is something else that I can’t get out of my head about him. During his pre-presidential-run years, he is reported to have had a tendency to make calls impersonating a real or made-up character, telling the recipients of the calls good things about Donald Trump. So weird.

Recently, confronted by his most flagrant falsehoods, President Donald Trump faced the question of why he makes so many unsubstantiated claims. “What have I said that is wrong?” Trump asked the reporter.

I won’t give the link to a Politifacts article from March 23rd. If you want to, you can easily look it up. Suffice it to say, the article lists the falsehoods told by President Trump.

The Washington Post last week ran an article under the headline “President Trump’s cascade of false claims in Time’s interview on his falsehoods.” Note the Time story, is available at the link below:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/03/23/president-trumps-cascade-of-false-claims-in-times-interview-on-his-falsehoods/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_fact-checker-940am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.8a8688cdae24

The Times lead paragraph under the headline foreshadows an article that parallels the one in the Post.

“President Trump had a remarkable interview with Time magazine on March 22 about falsehoods, in which he repeated many false claims that have repeatedly been debunked. Here’s a round-up of his key misstatements.”

In another Times article, titled “Fact Check: Trump Misleads About The Times’s Reporting on Surveillance” also from the 23rd.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/23/us/politics/fact-check-trump-misleads-surveillance-wiretapping.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=a-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

And, as a CNN columnist recently noted, “Trump just keeps creating smokescreens to mask his Russia problem”

Instead of offering you a link to CNN, I think you would be best served by having a look at what the LA Times is saying in their April 2017 four part editorial, including “Why Trump Lies.” It’s right here: http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-ed-why-trump-lies/

Swinging back to the New York Times piece, it goes on to say this: “In an interview with Time magazine on Wednesday, President Trump cited The New York Times as evidence of his claim, made in a series of Twitter posts on March 4, that President Barack Obama had wiretapped his phones in Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign. The F.B.I. director, other top intelligence officials and numerous Republicans have rejected this claim.”

And finally, from the NYT Opinion Pages, on the 23rd again, columnist Charles Blow adds,

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/23/opinion/birth-of-the-biggest-lie.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

“First, Donald Trump owes Barack Obama and the American people an apology for his vituperative lie that Obama committed a felony by wiretapping Trump Tower. It was specious, libelous and reckless…”

Blow also added, “Trump’s strategy for dealing with being caught in a lie is often to tell a bigger lie. He seems constitutionally incapable of registering what others would: shame, embarrassment, contrition. Something is broken in the man — definitely morally and possibly psychologically.”

A few days later, in another editorial, Blow piled on (appropriately, as I am also doing), writing that Trump, “was already being proven to be a complete liar and hypocrite.”

Former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice also called out the president’s pattern of false statement, saying: “He’s made a number of striking and misleading statements. Those statements are heard and digested by the rest of the world, whether our friend s or our enemies. Our friends respect us because we are fact based and serious. When we have the White House that engages in falsehoods, it shakes…If it were one or two such statements. But we have had statements…All debunked. From the illegal voters, he claimed voted for Hillary Clinton, and the Obama wiretapping. The world is watching very carefully. The question is, can anyone trust The White House.”

And there’s: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/mar/23/fact-checking-trumps-time-interview-truths-and-fal/

Then, came yesterday, when the idiot President of the United States sat like a buffoon, in front of Maria Bartiromo on Fox, and clearly did not realize what he had just said at the end of his sentence, which was, “Over a beautiful chocolate cake…the best ever…delicious cake…I told President Xi that I had just ordered 59 cruise missiles to strike Iraq.”

The President then just sat there, clueless to the major country name error he had just made, until Maria Bartiromo had to correct him. “You mean Syria.”

Your astonished blog post author and goddesses.com editor shouted out, “Oh, my goddess!” upon seeing this play out on a news report.

I’m going to wrap this wrap-up now, on a note of hope. Every indication is that the presidency of Donald J. Trump will somehow self-destruct. If not, hopefully the 2018 mid-term elections for Congress will sweep in a Democratic-Green-Independent majority which will impeach him.

So, right now, as I’m putting a bow on the wrapping of this blog post (on 4-17-17), Trump is lying in his Tweets about the Democratic candidate running for Georgia’s open House of Representatives seat. The election wouldn’t be happening if President Trump had picked anybody else, other than a sitting Republican congressman (Tom Price) who represented the northern suburbs of Atlanta, to join his administration (as Secretary of Health and Human Services). May this Georgia election turnout to be the first of his multitudinous self-inflicted political wounds that actually hemorrhages.

We can do so much better, and we need to start now. Because, alas, a lack of deep context about many complex topics, bedevils too many Trump voters, allowing them to be proudly unaware, and to be swayed to buy ideas contrary to their interests, from a lying snake oil salesman huckster, who first confused and obfuscated truth, lied, and then exhorted people to “trust me.”

We need the very best ideas to surface. The opposite is happening. A liar is in the White House. Alt-news is prodigiously pumped out by the President of the United States, as well as by right wingers. Fake-news is pumped out by Putin and his Russian trolls, and the nation-bruising presidential election so recently ended was victimized by Russian hacking. Robbing Republicans have broken into the bank, the U.S. government, and are stealing our treasure.

As I noted when I began, I’ve never called anyone a liar before. But here, the facts are obvious for all to see. And, after all, the President of the United States Donald J. Trump, calls people liars all the time, as well as the venerable news organizations cited herein. Their reports? “Lies. All lies…the lying media”

So, these days, calling people liars its normative behavior encouraged by the President of the United States.

Still, I will reserve the epithet solely for him.