A Lie Too Far?

The NYT actually used the word “lie” in an article about Trump! Was this the one that will finally get the press to stop treating Trump like a fun-time novelty ?

The essential question — why promote a lie? — may be unanswerable. Was it sport? Was it his lifelong quest to court media attention? Was it racism? Was it the cynical start of his eventual campaign for president?

It might not matter. He kept doing it. And then on Friday, he stopped, with a bizarre new deception, congratulating himself for putting to rest the doubts about Mr. Obama that he had fanned since 2011. “I finished it,’’ he declared. “President Obama was born in the United States — period.’’

Surrounded by, and in many ways shielded by, decorated veterans in his new Washington, D.C., hotel, he could not resist indulging in another falsehood — that his opponent, Hillary Clinton, had started the so-called birther movement. She did not.

Much has been made of Mr. Trump’s casual elasticity with the truth; he has exhausted an army of fact-checkers with his mischaracterizations, exaggerations and fabrications. But this lie was different from the start, an insidious, calculated calumny that sought to undo the embrace of an African-American president by the 69 million voters who elected him in 2008.

I doubt it.

Gaslighting

The intention is to, in a systematic way, target the victim’s mental equilibrium, self confidence, and self esteem so that they are no longer able to function in an independent way. Gaslighting involves the abuser to frequently and systematically withhold factual information from the victim, and replacing it with false information. Because of it’s subtly, this cunning Machiavellian behaviour is a deeply insidious set of manipulations that is difficult for anybody to work out, and with time it finally undermines the mental stability of the victim. That is why it is such a dangerous form of abuse. The emotional damage of Gaslighting is huge on the narcissistic victim. When they are exposed to it for long enough, they begin to lose their sense of their own self. Unable to trust their own judgments, they start to question the reality of everything in their life. They begin to find themselves second-guessing themselves, and this makes them become very insecure around their decision making, even around the smallest of choices. The victim becomes depressed and withdrawn, they become totally dependent on the abuser for their sense of reality. In effect the gaslighting turns the victim’s reality on its head.

CBSNews.com current top headline:

Trump: “Obama was born in the United States. Period.”

After five years as chief promoter of the false idea that Obama wasn’t born in the U.S., Trump reverses “birther” stance, claiming credit for putting issue to rest.

Questions

Six weeks ago I asked:

Has anyone ever asked Trump if he’ll step away from his business ventures, should he win the Presidency?

Today, Newsweek asks:

If Donald Trump is elected president, will he and his family permanently sever all connections to the Trump Organization, a sprawling business empire that has spread a secretive financial web across the world? Or will Trump instead choose to be the most conflicted president in American history, one whose business interests will constantly jeopardize the security of the United States?

I hope someone asks Trump this question at the debates.

On the other hand, the Trump family rakes in untold millions of dollars from the Trump Organization every year. Much of that comes from deals with international financiers and developers, many of whom have been tied to controversial and even illegal activities. None of Trump’s overseas contractual business relationships examined by Newsweek were revealed in his campaign’s financial filings with the Federal Election Commission, nor was the amount paid to him by his foreign partners. (The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for the names of all foreign entities in partnership or contractually tied to the Trump Organization.) Trump’s financial filings also indicate he is a shareholder or beneficiary of several overseas entities, including Excel Venture LLC in the French West Indies and Caribusiness Investments SRL, based in the Dominican Republic, one of the world’s tax havens.

Trump’s business conflicts with America’s national security interests cannot be resolved so long as he or any member of his family maintains a financial interest in the Trump Organization during a Trump administration, or even if they leave open the possibility of returning to the company later. The Trump Organization cannot be placed into a blind trust, an arrangement used by many politicians to prevent them from knowing their financial interests; the Trump family is already aware of who their overseas partners are and could easily learn about any new ones.

And then it goes on for several thousand more words, detailing potential conflicts that loom in countries central to every major conflict and market in the world.

But Clinton has a charity.

The Clinton Rules, DC Style

Politics reporter, 42, Washington, D.C.

I’ve struggled with this the entire election season. Some days I’m really tortured by it, and some days it’s, like, laughable. But I’ve never really felt this way as an adult human. And it’s really—it’s messing with me.

I cannot stomach Hillary Clinton. I just can’t get with her. Maybe because I know too much. I find so much of her world hypocritical, reprehensible. I think the rest of the country sort of gives her a pass, like, “Oh, she’s always been attacked by Republicans, it’s not that big a deal, email shmemail!” But I’m like, “WHAT! This is a huge deal.”

And then I also obviously struggle with Donald Trump. The things I like about him are: I believe that sometimes you just have to blow shit up to build it again, and I think that a Trump presidency would do that. But just when I sort of get there with him, like, Ohhhhhhkayyyy, he says or does something and I’m like, “No, I can’t!” Like saying, “What do you have to lose?” to African-Americans. Like, WHAT? What?

I think I would just have to sort of give in to my chaos theory of Trump and just hope that he surrounds himself with the right people enough that it’s not a total disaster? Or Hillary would have to do a really convincing and honest come-to-Jesus with the media. A real press conference.

I cover this stuff every day. So for me, four years of Trump, selfishly, sounds a lot more enticing, just because it’s going to be a dumpster fire. And a Clinton administration would be more of what we’re seeing now, which is carefully orchestrated speeches, behind-the-scenes Wealthy McWealthysons going in and out of the White House, and really horrible transparency with the press.

Gun to my head, I would probably vote Trump because of my feelings about Hillary, and my—I just want to see what happens. But if I were to talk to you tomorrow, I’d be like, “Ugh! I’ve gotta vote for Hillary!”

Jamelle Bouie