Monday, 8 October 2018

Liberation from Trump

I liked my Quora answer (see link on the question) so here it is again…

A way to look at it is to start from the distinction between lying and bullshitting.

Lying: construct a consistent narrative that distorts or replaces facts with falsehoods. A liar is vulnerable to fact checking. Kavanaugh is a case in point. There is evidence that he actively covered up some of the facts that work against him; he desperately needed the FBI investigation to be limited in scope.

Bullshitting: saying whatever it takes to get you through the moment. Even if you contradict yourself. A bullshitter is much more immune to fact checking because anyone who supports them has already repeatedly had to get past the point of accepting that they are lying. That is Trump.

Had a significant part of Kavanaugh’s story been falsified, he would have been done. Trump, by lying in small increments, has inoculated himself against exposure of bigger lies.

The psychology of it is that of the long con. Suck someone into believing something small that is improbable. They now have to admit being fooled to back out; if they are not up for that, suck them into believing something bigger that is unlikely to be true. Take it in small steps so they cannot back out when they are forced to believe something really totally improbable. To do so, they have to admit they have been fooled by all the previous steps.

And no one wants to admit to being a fool. However, everyone who has gone down this path actually knows they are a fool even if they won’t admit it. In the UK, only 5% of scams are actually reported. Sexual violence has even worse stats; broadly speaking sociopaths win when society enables them by allowing victims to feel embarrassed.

If you are a Trump True Believer and you suddenly hit the Emperor’s New Clothes moment, embrace it. You are now free. Do not be embarrassed – there is a whole world out there waiting for your liberation and happy for you if you get there.

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