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Newsweek: Why Does President Trump Get Away With Lying?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/20/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 690 times Debate No: 119106
Debate Rounds (3)
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Taken from Newsweek 11/20/18


Most politicians lie. Or do they?

Even if we could find some isolated example of a politician who was scrupulously honest "former President Jimmy Carter, Perhaps" the question is how to think about the rest of them.

And if most politicians lie, Then why are some Americans so hard on President Donald Trump?

According to The Washington Post, Trump has told 6, 420 lies so far in his presidency. In the seven weeks leading up to the midterms, His rate increased to 30 per day.

That"s a lot, But isn"t this a difference in degree and not a difference in kind with other politicians?

From my perspective as a philosopher who studies truth and belief, It doesn"t seem so. And even if most politicians lie, That doesn"t make all lying equal.

Yet the difference in Trump"s prevarication seems to be found not in the quantity or enormity of his lies, But in the way that Trump uses his lies in service to a proto-authoritarian political ideology.

I recently wrote a book, Titled Post-Truth, About what happens when "alternative facts" replace actual facts, And feelings have more weight than evidence. Looked at from this perspective, Calling Trump a liar fails to capture his key strategic purpose.

Any amateur politician can engage in lying. Trump is engaging in "post-truth. "

The Oxford English Dictionaries named "post-truth" its word of the year in November 2016, Right before the U. S. Election.

Citing a 2, 000 percent spike in usage"due to Brexit and the American presidential campaign"they defined post-truth as "relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief. "

Ideology, In other words, Takes precedence over reality.

When an individual believes their thoughts can influence reality, We call it "magical thinking" and might worry about their mental health. When a government official uses ideology to trump reality, It"s more like propaganda, And it puts us on the road to fascism.

As Yale philosopher Jason Stanley argues, "The key thing is that fascist politics is about identifying enemies, Appealing to the in-group (usually the majority group), And smashing truth and replacing it with power. "

Consider the example of Trump"s recent decision not to cancel two political rallies on the same day as the Pittsburgh massacre. He said that this was based on the fact that the New York Stock Exchange was open the day after 9/11.

This isn"t true. The stock exchange stayed closed for six days after 9/11.

So was this a mistake? A lie? Trump didn"t seem to treat it so. In fact, He repeated the falsehood later in the same day.

When a politician gets caught in a lie, There"s usually a bit of sweat, Perhaps some shame and the expectation of consequences.

Not for Trump. After many commentators pointed out to him that the stock exchange was in fact closed for several days after 9/11, He merely shrugged it off, Never bothering to acknowledge"let alone correct"his error.

Why would he do this?

The point of a lie is to convince someone that a falsehood is true. But the point of post-truth is domination. In my analysis, Post-truth is an assertion of power.

As journalist Masha Gessen and others have argued, When Trump lies he does so not to get someone to accept what he"s saying as true, But to show that he is powerful enough to say it.

He has asserted, "I"m the President and you"re not, " as if such high political office comes with the prerogative of creating his own reality. This would explain why Trump doesn"t seem to care much if there is videotape or other evidence that contradicts him. When you"re the boss, What does that matter?

Should we be worried about this flight from mere lying to post-truth?

Even if all politicians lie, I believe that post-truth foreshadows something more sinister. In his powerful book On Tyranny, Historian Timothy Snyder writes that "post-truth is pre-fascism. " It is a tactic seen in "electoral dictatorships""where a society retains the facade of voting without the institutions or trust to ensure that it is an actual democracy, Like those in Putin"s Russia or Erdogan"s Turkey.

In this, Trump is following the authoritarian playbook, Characterized by leaders lying, The erosion of public institutions and the consolidation of power. You do not need to convince someone that you are telling the truth when you can simply assert your will over them and dominate their reality.

Lee McIntyre is Research Fellow Center for Philosophy and History of Science at the Boston University.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own.


If The Washington Post has literally counted every single lie he has told, How has he gotten away with it? There are many democrats that have told lots of lies, But the news doesn't focus on them, They only focus on Trump. The thing is, The mainstream media has reported on so many little lies Trump has told, That no one really listens to them anyone. They just expect it, Which to some, May seem like he is getting away with it, But in reality, He isn't.
Debate Round No. 1


Trump, In being the worst president of all time, No questions asked, The American pubic, Sorry public a deliberate miss-steak on my part, Doesn't care. I mean after all the American pubic doesn't care at all about mass murders which takes place on average once in every 4 days by guns and republicans don't do one god damned thing about it. Yes its republicans, Not democrats that do the lying. Now in Trump's hookerbot room who thinks he's a god but doesn't believe in the god according to the bible for a single second and who is he fooling as his tells shine like a gamma-ray burst from the big bong, Knows that he is impervious to any harm. And in him knowing this, Obviously and point blank he doesn't care. But alas when the democrats expose the dictator for what he truly is, The crybaby's world will shatter like an earthquake daffy duck quacking for his rattle


Trump is definitely not the worst president of all time. He has implemented some great policies that have boosted the economy, Lowered unemployment rate, He withdrew from the Paris climate agreement, Tax reform, He got NATO allies to kick in $12 billion more toward our collective security, Etc. He has done nothing impeachment-worthy. To name a few presidents worse than him, Here are a few: Herbert Hoover, Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, James Buchanan, Franklin Pierce, Etc. Do you want me to go on?

The public stops caring about things when it happens so often. That's how it works. Imagine if Trump said only great things. If he were to say one bad thing in that scenario, It would be a big deal. But, Since it happens so often, It gets watered down. Nobody really cares anymore.

I'm going to rebutt your claims on Republicans, Even though it has little to do with he actual debate topic. You say that Republicans don't do anything about guns? That is true, Because the 2nd Amendment is fine how it is. Gun control obviously doesn't work. For example Chicago has the strictest gun laws, But look at how many shootings and homocides happen there. It has one of the highest crime rates of any city in America. You also said that republicans lie, Not democrats. Here are some of the many examples of democrats lying: democrats claimed that republicans are going to take away your Social Security, Democrats lied that Brett Kavanaugh was a rapist, Democrats lied about the GOP healthcare bill, Democrats lie that there is a wage gap, Democrats lie about white/male priviledge, Etc. If you want me to go on I will.

You accused him of being a dictator. Please explain to me how he is one. If you ignore this, I'm going to assume you don't have evidence, And you are just saying that because you hate the president.
Debate Round No. 2


Um well yeah, Trump is the worst president of all time. There"s none worse. He"s got quite a few things in common with the god of the bible. Https://www. Debate. Org/debates/Things-that-Donald-Trump-the-worst-president-of-all-time-and-god-both-are-unclean-have-in-common/1/

"He has implemented some great policies that have boosted the economy, " yet you cannot name one of them because those policies were already in place before---he---took---office. Yah might want to check that. NO ONE can boot the economy in one-and-a-haf-years. And ot wasn"t even that because it took the bottom dweller at least 6 months if not more just to get the feeling for the seat of the big white barm in which thus far he never has. "Lowered unemployment rate, " Um nope again, Already in place. "He withdrew from the Paris climate agreement, " One of the dumbest ideas that anyone could possibly make and nobody of merit agrees with it, "Tax reform, " what tax reform? "He got NATO allies to kick in $12 billion more toward our collective security, " You might want to check into that one with his bald cheeked eyebrows.

Now let me take one little guess here, And I know I"m right here so any denials would prove you to be wrong" you are white, Middle class or upper middle class or higher - in other words you appeal to the rich and wealthy, Spit on the poor, Live a in rural area, Have absolutely no idea what true suffering is, Absolutely 100% supports guns, With a very big duh. So how"d I do hot stuff?

You are right the public stops caring when it happens so often. Like presidents lying. So why"d yah bother asking in RD1 from your rusty bucket hero who thinks he can get away with it?

"Imagine if Trump said only great things. " Sure, Why not? Yet he has yet to do one ---good--- thing and the main reason is, Is because he"s so wasted on himself. "Nobody really cares anymore. " I care.


Evan_Hermes forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Evan_Hermes 3 years ago
WhiteHawk not the first time a democrat has done that to me
Posted by WhiteHawk 3 years ago
I like how backwardseden didn't name a single thing that Trump lied about and went straight to personal attacks and racial profiling. . .
Posted by Evan_Hermes 3 years ago
TheBoldDebator you should vote
Posted by TheBoldDebator 3 years ago
The only person I see getting away with lying is backwardseden
Posted by Evan_Hermes 3 years ago
Since you asked what taxes trump cut: (its called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act)

https://www. Investopedia. Com/taxes/trumps-tax-reform-plan-explained/

You said that the policies were aalready in place that boosted the economy? What policies were in place? And how come the economy started to rise at a much higher rate once trump went in office?

https://www. Bea. Gov/news/glance

Unemployment rate:

https://www. Bls. Gov/charts/employment-situation/civilian-unemployment-rate. Htm

Please check you facts next time, And also show a little respect. It won't hurt to not insult someone in a civil debate.
Posted by backwardseden 3 years ago
@vi_spex - Wow. Such a great narcissist insult. You sound like you'd be a great candidate running for prime minister of the Israeli cabinet of the gong show. Try harder.
Posted by DeletedUser 3 years ago
Because you elected him
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