Trump is sell­ing Amer­ica a myth

Cecil Whig - - OPINION -


“I’m just a soul whose in­ten­tions are good, Oh Lord please don’t let me be mis­un­der­stood.” Un­for­tu­nately this is a lux­ury not avail­able to the Pres­i­dent of the United States. Per­haps the most im­por­tant job of the pres­i­dent is to speak un­equiv­o­cally with pre­ci­sion and clar­ity, oth­er­wise na­tions can go to war where young men and women can die and weapons of mass de­struc­tion are con­sid­ered.

Name call­ing is the stuff of play­grounds not pres­i­den­tial cam­paigns and if the only way you can feel good about your­self is by call­ing peo­ple names, then you have a se­ri­ous prob­lem. Also, say­ing some­thing is so doesn’t make it so, nei­ther does say­ing ev­ery­body knows some­thing is so makes it so. Those are things said by some­one try­ing to sell you some­thing.

Don­ald Trump has felt a need to chal­lenge two of Amer­ica’s en­gines of gov­ern­ment, the pres­i­dency and the fed­eral ju­di­ciary. About seven years ago, Mr. Trump stated that he sent in­ves­ti­ga­tors to Hawaii to es­tab­lish that Pres­i­dent Obama was not born in Amer­ica and there­fore could not be el­i­gi­ble to be pres­i­dent, adding, “You won’t be­lieve what they are find­ing.” Now when asked about that is­sue, his re­sponse is “I don’t want to talk about that any­more.”

More re­cently, he has pro­vided new di­men­sion to cog­ni­tive dis­so­nance by say­ing, “He’s Mex­i­can and I’m build­ing a wall,” in chal­leng­ing the in­tegrity of the fed­eral judge pre­sid­ing over a case in which Mr. Trump is al­leged to have com­mit­ted fraud. Ap­par­ently the judge made cer­tain rul­ings ad­verse to Mr. Trump, and now when asked about the in­ci­dent, Mr. Trump says, “I don’t talk about that any­more.” Vir­tu­ally ev­ery judge in Elkton is called upon to make rul­ings that are ad­verse to some­one, but that does not make the judge stupid, evil or Mex­i­can. Of­ten the rul­ing is re­quired by the law.

“The great en­emy of truth is very of­ten not the lie — de­lib­er­ate, con­trived and dis­hon­est — but the myth — per­sis­tent, per­va­sive and un­re­al­is­tic. Be­lief in myths al­lows the com­fort of opin­ion with­out the dis­com­fort of thought.” Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy on June 11, 1962, speak­ing at the Yale Uni­ver­sity


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