If you want to be precise, Trump is incapable of lying, because he doesn’t care about the difference between truth and falsehood. To lie, you have to know what the truth is and intentionally say the opposite. Due to his mental disorders, Trump cares only about what’s good for him. A falsehood can mean just as much to him as what a more grounded person would call the truth, if it makes him feel better about himself. That’s how narcissism works.

Trump is what’s called a bullshitter rather than a liar. That distinction is explained in Harry Frankfurt’s book On Bullshit. This is why when Trump talks, observers often say he’s “doing the New York thing.” What they mean is he’s talking out of his ass like a bullshitting salesman: he’s engaging in hyperbole and other forms of hustling and misdirection to close the deal and make the sale. The facts are irrelevant to that way of thinking; all that matters is winning. Everything Trump says in public consists of mentally disordered (egregious and virtually psychotic) bullshit — not a lie exactly, because he’s indifferent to the facts. If he happens to say something accurate and factual, that would be accidental.

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker isn’t about lies. The title is “In 1,095 days, President Trump has made 16,241 false or misleading claims.” False and misleading — that’s how a bullshitter talks: nonstop spewing of bullshit for gaslighting purposes.

Just to take the first one you mentioned, which Trump has repeated 257 times, according to the Post: “The economy is the best it’s ever been in — we have never had an economy like this in history.” So the egregious part of that is the second part, because it zeroes in on the historical claim as if Trump were being more precise. The first part (before the dash) could be dismissed as a vague boast, but then Trump doubles down and makes an easily-testable claim about whether the economy under any other president has ever been as good. It turns out, of course, that Trump’s claim is false many times over. Was Trump lying? No, I don’t give him the credit of being capable of lying, if you want to be precise. Trump was simply bullshitting as a way of bragging and feeding his palpable narcissism, like he always does.

I’m not going to waste time going through the other examples. Once you understand the difference between lying and bullshitting (lying is possible only for fully-functioning human minds), you just come to expect from Trump no more than you’d get from an unscrupulous used-car salesman.

Trump is “self-deprecating,” you say. Nah, he’s obviously a narcissist who thinks he’s the best person who ever lived, like a megalomaniacal wannabe autocrat (or spoiled baby).

You say cozying up to authoritarian countries is better than a nuclear exchange. Trump almost started wars with North Korea and Iran, because he has no idea what he’s doing, doesn’t listen to experts, and is psychotically thin-skinned. But the point isn’t about how he deals with other countries, since no other world leader takes Trump seriously. They know you can just flatter him and treat him like a baby. The point is Trump is undermining American democracy and turning the US into an authoritarian banana republic.

Your comparison of Biden’s and Hillary’s crimes to Trump’s is laughable. Trumps commits his crimes the way he bullshits (tells falsehoods without understanding or caring about the truth): his crimes and misdeeds are like acid rain. There are just millions of rain drops, each stinging and harming wherever it lands, and no one can encompass them all. The media can’t cover each Trump scandal, because they happen by the minute. Trump is gaslighting Americans into accepting his mentally-disordered desecration of their standards as normal.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store