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Why Trump’s Supporters Will Believe Any Lie He Tells

POSTED BY: CAPTAINCRUNCH
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 09:52
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Wednesday, April 24, 2019 2:01 PM

CAPTAINCRUNCH

... stay crunchy...


https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/10/trump-lies-kavanaugh-khash
oggi.html


Why Trump’s Supporters Will Believe Any Lie He Tells

President Donald Trump has been bending and breaking laws all of his life. Michael Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer, stated under oath that Trump directed him to violate federal campaign finance law; the state of New York has evidence that Trump and his family have been cheating on their taxes for years; the Trump family’s “persistently illegal conduct” and “repeated and willful self-dealing transactions” have led the New York attorney general to file a lawsuit against the Trump Foundation. The list goes on.

Trump is open about his disdain for law. In April, he told an audience in Michigan that “our laws are so corrupt and stupid.”

Trump is also clear about why he is breaking these laws. The entire point of Trump’s campaign to “Make America Great Again” is to lead us back to a time before the civil rights movement, before laws against insider trading, before the New Deal and federal agencies that regulate the commerce of plutocrats. This was an era of white male supremacy. The rich paid no income taxes and there was no minimum wage, so the wealthy lived like royalty. His thinking is akin to the way past activists viewed sit-down strikes. Like these past civil dissenters, Trump views himself as breaking the laws that he doesn’t believe should exist, which includes most of the laws and regulations put in place since the 1930s.

Indeed, instead of preparing a traditional legal defense, Trump is confounding legal observers by doing things that, by all objective standards, should make matters worse. He obstructs justice openly. In fact, in vowing to “fight back” against the Mueller investigation, he announced his intention to continue obstructing the probe. He also continually changes his story. First, he denies everything (“I have nothing to do with Russia”), then he says there would be nothing wrong if he had accepted help from Russia.

Obviously, a person who keeps changing his story is not a credible witness. Moreover, you can’t devise a legal defense while you are committing crimes, and Trump’s continuing efforts to obstruct justice suggest ongoing criminal behavior.

It’s easy to conclude that Trump has lost his mind and his lawyers are asleep at the switch. In fact, there’s a method to what appears to be Trump’s madness: The president intends to beat Mueller and his would-be interlocutors in Congress by torpedoing factuality and the rule of law itself.


Trump is open about his disdain for law.
Robert O. Paxton, in his classic work The Anatomy of Fascism, defines a cult of leadership as one in which the followers believe the leader’s instincts are better than the logic used by elites. The followers are willing to give up their individuality and freedom in exchange for the leader’s “protection.” And what is Trump protecting his followers from? Scholars Karen Stenner and Jonathan Haidt offer an explanation. In their essay “Authoritarianism Is Not a Momentary Madness but an Eternal Dynamic Within Liberal Democracies,” Stenner and Haidt describe the psychology behind the fervor of the embrace of authoritarians. A certain percentage of the population has “bias against different others” including racial and other minority out-groups. The authoritarian leader stokes their fears, creating a normative threat. These people then turn to the leader as something of a savior. The leader embraces the mythic destiny of the nation. He doesn’t follow laws. He is the law.

When Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump’s lies by arguing that his false statements actually point to something true, she offered an explanation for why Trump supporters embrace transparent lies. “President Obama was born in Africa,” for example, is a provable lie, but it points toward what to Trump’s supporters see as a deeper truth: President Obama is black, and therefore, isn’t really a real American.

Sanders’ argument is psychologically sound. Scholars Oliver Hahl, Minjae Kim, and Ezra W. Zickerman Sivan, in “The Authentic Appeal of the Lying Demagogue,” explain that those who want to destroy the “political establishment” willingly embrace a liar because they understand that the lies themselves serve a destructive purpose. The people who want to destroy the political establishment today are those who are threatened by growing diversity. Trump’s lies work toward that end.

In a totalitarian regime, state-controlled media normalizes the leader’s constantly changing stories, which serves to further obliterate any notion of a shared truth. Trump’s favorite news outlets similarly normalize his changing stories, thereby undermining factuality. When people can no longer sort out what is factual and what was invented, they conclude that the truth is unknowable. It’s the ultimate in relativism and skepticism. Without facts and a shared reality, jury verdicts have no meaning, and the results of law enforcement investigations are easily manipulated or even dismissed.

Look at what happened when Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for the Supreme Court was nearly derailed by credible accusations of sexual assault. While the confirmation was in doubt, Trump protested that Kavanaugh was “innocent until proven guilty.” He then ordered an extremely limited investigation of the charges that interviewed a small number of witnesses and didn’t even speak with the accuser or the alleged culprit. Ultimately, he falsely declared that Kavanaugh had been “proven innocent” by the whole charade. This false fact—Kavanaugh was exonerated—now becomes reality to all of his followers.

The same exact dynamic is playing out with the apparent murder by Saudi Arabia of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Trump has applied the “innocent until proven guilty” notion to the Saudi state, even directly comparing the case to Kavanaugh’s. Despite the reported audio evidence of Khashoggi’s brutal dismemberment at the hands of Saudi officials, physical evidence of an attempted cover-up, and the plain fact that Khashoggi entered a Saudi Consulate never to be seen again, Trump is treating the case as a stone-cold whodunit. Don’t be surprised when, in spite of all this evidence, whatever cover story is eventually manufactured for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, or any other probable culprits, is ultimately accepted as fact by Trump and then by his followers. Once again, the lie will then become the fact.

Steve Bannon explained a broader administration strategy for dispensing with facts. “The real opposition is the media,” he has said. “And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.” Yale professor Timothy Snyder, in his groundbreaking book The Road to Unfreedom, explains in detail how leaders like Vladimir Putin and Trump undermine factuality by flooding the zone in this way. Putin dominates Russia by propagating grand lies that take the entire society off balance. For example, when Ukrainians protested against Putin’s puppet ruler, Viktor Yanukovych, Putin’s press reported that the protesters were organized by an LGBTQ group attempting a “homodictatorship.” Enough people believe the lie—or pretend to believe the lie—that a shared reality becomes impossible.

Part of Trump’s defense against his various investigatory pursuers is to persuade his followers that all politicians are corrupt liars, which is one reason the “Lock her up” chant has been so devastating. If people believe all politicians are corrupt, going after Trump becomes political persecution, or a “witch hunt.”

Trump’s final aim isn’t simply to escape accountability for his crimes. The final aim is to replace democracy itself with a form of autocracy, under which he and his cronies are forever unaccountable for criminal actions. Normalizing lies and flooding the zone shatters the public sphere upon which democracy depends. Without that shared reality, Mueller poses no threat to Trump. Similarly, without a shared public sphere, Trump doesn’t have to worry about resistance. As Yale professor Jason Stanley says, without truth it is impossible to speak truth to power, so there is only power.

The United States is on a steep learning curve. Because truth, factuality, and our very public sphere are under attack, our democracy (and republic) is in danger. The attack is devastatingly effective, partly because we have never experienced anything like this and thus are largely unprepared. Our task now is to save our public sphere. The way to do this was demonstrated by how the Chileans got out of the far more extreme Pinochet regime and reinstated democracy: All sides opposed to authoritarianism and committed to democracy worked together. That means they started actually talking, and listening, to one another. In the United States, this would mean that all groups that claim to be committed to continuing our democratic republic, from supporters of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Never Trump Republicans, would need to join forces. We will likely soon find out if the nation is up to the task.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019 2:17 PM

REAVERFAN


They want the 4th reich, and they're getting close.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019 5:50 PM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


Quote:

Originally posted by reaverfan:
They want the 4th reich, and they're getting close.



4 more years should do it.

Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured... but not everyone must prove they are a citizen

I'm just a red pill guy in a room full of blue pill addicts.

" AU, that was great, LOL!! " - Chrisisall

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019 8:46 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Quote:

Originally posted by AURaptor:
Quote:

Originally posted by reaverfan:
They want the 4th reich, and they're getting close.



4 more years should do it.

Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured... but not everyone must prove they are a citizen

I'm just a red pill guy in a room full of blue pill addicts.

" AU, that was great, LOL!! " - Chrisisall



Is that one reich every 2 years, or do we start counting reichs when Trump's 2nd term starts?

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019 9:04 PM

JONGSSTRAW


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
Quote:

Originally posted by AURaptor:
Quote:

Originally posted by reaverfan:
They want the 4th reich, and they're getting close.



4 more years should do it.

Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured... but not everyone must prove they are a citizen

I'm just a red pill guy in a room full of blue pill addicts.

" AU, that was great, LOL!! " - Chrisisall



Is that one reich every 2 years, or do we start counting reichs when Trump's 2nd term starts?

Do Right, Be Right. :)


A reich a day keeps herr doktor away.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019 9:11 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by captaincrunch:
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/10/trump-lies-kavanaugh-khash
oggi.html


Why Trump’s Supporters Will Believe Any Lie He Tells

President Donald Trump has been bending and breaking laws all of his life. Michael Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer, stated under oath that Trump directed him to violate federal campaign finance law; the state of New York has evidence that Trump and his family have been cheating on their taxes for years; the Trump family’s “persistently illegal conduct” and “repeated and willful self-dealing transactions” have led the New York attorney general to file a lawsuit against the Trump Foundation. The list goes on.

Trump is open about his disdain for law. In April, he told an audience in Michigan that “our laws are so corrupt and stupid.”

Trump is also clear about why he is breaking these laws. The entire point of Trump’s campaign to “Make America Great Again” is to lead us back to a time before the civil rights movement, before laws against insider trading, before the New Deal and federal agencies that regulate the commerce of plutocrats. This was an era of white male supremacy. The rich paid no income taxes and there was no minimum wage, so the wealthy lived like royalty. His thinking is akin to the way past activists viewed sit-down strikes. Like these past civil dissenters, Trump views himself as breaking the laws that he doesn’t believe should exist, which includes most of the laws and regulations put in place since the 1930s.

Indeed, instead of preparing a traditional legal defense, Trump is confounding legal observers by doing things that, by all objective standards, should make matters worse. He obstructs justice openly. In fact, in vowing to “fight back” against the Mueller investigation, he announced his intention to continue obstructing the probe. He also continually changes his story. First, he denies everything (“I have nothing to do with Russia”), then he says there would be nothing wrong if he had accepted help from Russia.

Obviously, a person who keeps changing his story is not a credible witness. Moreover, you can’t devise a legal defense while you are committing crimes, and Trump’s continuing efforts to obstruct justice suggest ongoing criminal behavior.

It’s easy to conclude that Trump has lost his mind and his lawyers are asleep at the switch. In fact, there’s a method to what appears to be Trump’s madness: The president intends to beat Mueller and his would-be interlocutors in Congress by torpedoing factuality and the rule of law itself.


Trump is open about his disdain for law.
Robert O. Paxton, in his classic work The Anatomy of Fascism, defines a cult of leadership as one in which the followers believe the leader’s instincts are better than the logic used by elites. The followers are willing to give up their individuality and freedom in exchange for the leader’s “protection.” And what is Trump protecting his followers from? Scholars Karen Stenner and Jonathan Haidt offer an explanation. In their essay “Authoritarianism Is Not a Momentary Madness but an Eternal Dynamic Within Liberal Democracies,” Stenner and Haidt describe the psychology behind the fervor of the embrace of authoritarians. A certain percentage of the population has “bias against different others” including racial and other minority out-groups. The authoritarian leader stokes their fears, creating a normative threat. These people then turn to the leader as something of a savior. The leader embraces the mythic destiny of the nation. He doesn’t follow laws. He is the law.

When Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump’s lies by arguing that his false statements actually point to something true, she offered an explanation for why Trump supporters embrace transparent lies. “President Obama was born in Africa,” for example, is a provable lie, but it points toward what to Trump’s supporters see as a deeper truth: President Obama is black, and therefore, isn’t really a real American.

Sanders’ argument is psychologically sound. Scholars Oliver Hahl, Minjae Kim, and Ezra W. Zickerman Sivan, in “The Authentic Appeal of the Lying Demagogue,” explain that those who want to destroy the “political establishment” willingly embrace a liar because they understand that the lies themselves serve a destructive purpose. The people who want to destroy the political establishment today are those who are threatened by growing diversity. Trump’s lies work toward that end.

In a totalitarian regime, state-controlled media normalizes the leader’s constantly changing stories, which serves to further obliterate any notion of a shared truth. Trump’s favorite news outlets similarly normalize his changing stories, thereby undermining factuality. When people can no longer sort out what is factual and what was invented, they conclude that the truth is unknowable. It’s the ultimate in relativism and skepticism. Without facts and a shared reality, jury verdicts have no meaning, and the results of law enforcement investigations are easily manipulated or even dismissed.

Look at what happened when Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for the Supreme Court was nearly derailed by credible accusations of sexual assault. While the confirmation was in doubt, Trump protested that Kavanaugh was “innocent until proven guilty.” He then ordered an extremely limited investigation of the charges that interviewed a small number of witnesses and didn’t even speak with the accuser or the alleged culprit. Ultimately, he falsely declared that Kavanaugh had been “proven innocent” by the whole charade. This false fact—Kavanaugh was exonerated—now becomes reality to all of his followers.

The same exact dynamic is playing out with the apparent murder by Saudi Arabia of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Trump has applied the “innocent until proven guilty” notion to the Saudi state, even directly comparing the case to Kavanaugh’s. Despite the reported audio evidence of Khashoggi’s brutal dismemberment at the hands of Saudi officials, physical evidence of an attempted cover-up, and the plain fact that Khashoggi entered a Saudi Consulate never to be seen again, Trump is treating the case as a stone-cold whodunit. Don’t be surprised when, in spite of all this evidence, whatever cover story is eventually manufactured for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, or any other probable culprits, is ultimately accepted as fact by Trump and then by his followers. Once again, the lie will then become the fact.

Steve Bannon explained a broader administration strategy for dispensing with facts. “The real opposition is the media,” he has said. “And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.” Yale professor Timothy Snyder, in his groundbreaking book The Road to Unfreedom, explains in detail how leaders like Vladimir Putin and Trump undermine factuality by flooding the zone in this way. Putin dominates Russia by propagating grand lies that take the entire society off balance. For example, when Ukrainians protested against Putin’s puppet ruler, Viktor Yanukovych, Putin’s press reported that the protesters were organized by an LGBTQ group attempting a “homodictatorship.” Enough people believe the lie—or pretend to believe the lie—that a shared reality becomes impossible.

Part of Trump’s defense against his various investigatory pursuers is to persuade his followers that all politicians are corrupt liars, which is one reason the “Lock her up” chant has been so devastating. If people believe all politicians are corrupt, going after Trump becomes political persecution, or a “witch hunt.”

Trump’s final aim isn’t simply to escape accountability for his crimes. The final aim is to replace democracy itself with a form of autocracy, under which he and his cronies are forever unaccountable for criminal actions. Normalizing lies and flooding the zone shatters the public sphere upon which democracy depends. Without that shared reality, Mueller poses no threat to Trump. Similarly, without a shared public sphere, Trump doesn’t have to worry about resistance. As Yale professor Jason Stanley says, without truth it is impossible to speak truth to power, so there is only power.

The United States is on a steep learning curve. Because truth, factuality, and our very public sphere are under attack, our democracy (and republic) is in danger. The attack is devastatingly effective, partly because we have never experienced anything like this and thus are largely unprepared. Our task now is to save our public sphere. The way to do this was demonstrated by how the Chileans got out of the far more extreme Pinochet regime and reinstated democracy: All sides opposed to authoritarianism and committed to democracy worked together. That means they started actually talking, and listening, to one another. In the United States, this would mean that all groups that claim to be committed to continuing our democratic republic, from supporters of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Never Trump Republicans, would need to join forces. We will likely soon find out if the nation is up to the task.

Your post doesn't support your premise.
Why would they believe any lie?

Plus, America and Truth and Facts have been under attack for decades - from Democraps and other Liberals.

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Thursday, April 25, 2019 12:39 AM

WISHIMAY

There will be fire and brimstone and Earth will be destroyed!... in several billion years!----------------------------------------- "Well, so long Earth. Thanks for the air... and what-not." -Philip J. Fry


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:


Plus, America and Truth and Facts have been under attack for decades - from Democraps and other Liberals.



Wow, that was a zinger...That took a full day for him to come up with and type.


I'd actually LOVE to hear this one...
Which truth and facts, knuckle-dragger??

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Friday, April 26, 2019 4:52 PM

WISHIMAY

There will be fire and brimstone and Earth will be destroyed!... in several billion years!----------------------------------------- "Well, so long Earth. Thanks for the air... and what-not." -Philip J. Fry


Still waiting...

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Friday, April 26, 2019 5:59 PM

WISHIMAY

There will be fire and brimstone and Earth will be destroyed!... in several billion years!----------------------------------------- "Well, so long Earth. Thanks for the air... and what-not." -Philip J. Fry


Really good article on this topic. Highlights.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mind-in-the-machine/201609/the
-psychology-behind-donald-trumps-unwavering-support



Studies have shown that people who lack expertise in some area of knowledge often have a cognitive bias that prevents them from realizing that they lack expertise. As psychologist David Dunning wrote in an op-ed for Politico, “The knowledge and intelligence that are required to be good at a task are often the same qualities needed to recognize that one is not good at that task — and if one lacks such knowledge and intelligence, one remains ignorant that one is not good at the task. This includes political judgment.” Essentially, they’re not smart enough to realize they’re dumb.

4. High Attentional Engagement

According to a recent study that monitored brain activity while participants watched 40 minutes of political ads and debate clips from the presidential candidates, Donald Trump is unique in his ability to keep the brain engaged. While Hillary Clinton could only hold attention for so long, Trump kept both attention and emotional arousal high throughout the viewing session. This pattern of activity was seen even when Trump made remarks that individuals didn’t necessarily agree with. His showmanship and simple messages clearly resonate at a visceral level.

Essentially, the loyalty of Trump supporters may in part be explained by America’s addiction with entertainment and reality TV. To some, it doesn’t matter what Trump actually says because he’s so amusing to watch. With Donald, you are always left wondering what outrageous thing he is going to say or do next. He keeps us on the edge of our seat, and for that reason, some Trump supporters will forgive anything he says. They are happy as long as they are kept entertained.

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Friday, April 26, 2019 6:16 PM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


*reads thread topic*

*ignores every post *

* leaves this *

The US economy is growing much stronger than expected

The numbers: Reports of the demise of the U.S. economy proved unfounded as first quarter activity showed surprising strength. The U.S. economy expanded at a 3.2% annual pace in the first three months of 2019, the government said Friday.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/economy-grows-32percent-in-fir
st-quarter-gdp-shows-much-stronger-than-anticipated/ar-BBWjOzA?OCID=ansmsnnews11



* Is done here. Off to enjoy weekend *


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Friday, April 26, 2019 11:03 PM

WISHIMAY

There will be fire and brimstone and Earth will be destroyed!... in several billion years!----------------------------------------- "Well, so long Earth. Thanks for the air... and what-not." -Philip J. Fry


Quote:

Originally posted by AURaptor:


The US economy is growing much stronger than expected

The numbers: Reports of the demise of the U.S. economy proved unfounded as first quarter activity showed surprising strength. The U.S. economy expanded at a 3.2% annual pace in the first three months of 2019, the government said Friday.




That's all you got, huh? Economy is doing slightly better than expected????? Even a broken clock...
You hold onto that one thing for dear life now. Hope it keeps you warm when he crashes and burns out like we ALL know he's gonna.

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Saturday, April 27, 2019 7:28 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by AURaptor:

The US economy is growing much stronger than expected

The numbers: Reports of the demise of the U.S. economy proved unfounded as first quarter activity showed surprising strength. The U.S. economy expanded at a 3.2% annual pace in the first three months of 2019, the government said Friday.

Trump cannot take credit for 3.2%:

Growth in consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, was weak, growing by just 1.2% from the previous 2.5%. Business investment slowed sharply, rising at only at a 0.2% rate, the slowest since the third quarter of 2016.

Figures from the Department of Commerce showed that a jump in hoarding raw materials and finished goods and an increase in government investment overcame weak consumer spending, a drop in housebuilding and low business investment to send GDP growth well ahead of the 2.2% in the last quarter of 2018.

Exports, which have proved volatile in recent quarters in response to threats of a trade war between the US and China, surged and imports declined to add 1.03 percentage points to GDP after being neutral in the fourth quarter.

The Federal Reserve has put interest rate hikes on hold.

In January, the US central bank suspended its three-year push to tighten monetary policy, saying it would “pause” further rate hikes this year. The Fed increased borrowing costs four times to a range of 2.25 to 2.5% in 2018, well above the level of base rates for most other major economies.

www.theguardian.com/business/2019/apr/26/us-economic-growth-stronger-t
han-expected-despite-weak-demand


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Saturday, April 27, 2019 7:53 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


I'm not buying any good news on the economy.

It might be somewhat better than it was during the Obama administration, but that's not saying ANYTHING at all.

We've seen 20 years straight now of a steady decline in the standard of living for working class Americans.

A slight and meaningless uptick here or there, catalyzed by only the shadow government knows what, doesn't mean a damn thing for those that remember how good the late 90's were.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Saturday, April 27, 2019 8:59 AM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by AURaptor:
*reads thread topic*

*ignores every post *

* leaves this *

The US economy is growing much stronger than expected

The numbers: Reports of the demise of the U.S. economy proved unfounded as first quarter activity showed surprising strength. The U.S. economy expanded at a 3.2% annual pace in the first three months of 2019, the government said Friday.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/economy-grows-32percent-in-fir
st-quarter-gdp-shows-much-stronger-than-anticipated/ar-BBWjOzA?OCID=ansmsnnews11



* Is done here. Off to enjoy weekend *

The 2nd Quarter of the FY has been the low point of the year cycles, and this one was surprisingly high, closer to 2018 than to 2017. All 3 of these Trump Q2s are higher than all but 2 of Obamanomics' 8 Q2s.
Still high enough to post a $1 T growth through 4 Quarters, which Obama NEVER did.
Yes, the Legacy of Obamanomics will haunt Libtards for a long time to come.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019 8:02 AM

THG


Quote:

Originally posted by captaincrunch:
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/10/trump-lies-kavanaugh-khash
oggi.html


Why Trump’s Supporters Will Believe Any Lie He Tells

President Donald Trump has been bending and breaking laws all of his life. Michael Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer, stated under oath that Trump directed him to violate federal campaign finance law; the state of New York has evidence that Trump and his family have been cheating on their taxes for years; the Trump family’s “persistently illegal conduct” and “repeated and willful self-dealing transactions” have led the New York attorney general to file a lawsuit against the Trump Foundation. The list goes on.

Trump is open about his disdain for law. In April, he told an audience in Michigan that “our laws are so corrupt and stupid.”

Trump is also clear about why he is breaking these laws. The entire point of Trump’s campaign to “Make America Great Again” is to lead us back to a time before the civil rights movement, before laws against insider trading, before the New Deal and federal agencies that regulate the commerce of plutocrats. This was an era of white male supremacy. The rich paid no income taxes and there was no minimum wage, so the wealthy lived like royalty. His thinking is akin to the way past activists viewed sit-down strikes. Like these past civil dissenters, Trump views himself as breaking the laws that he doesn’t believe should exist, which includes most of the laws and regulations put in place since the 1930s.

Indeed, instead of preparing a traditional legal defense, Trump is confounding legal observers by doing things that, by all objective standards, should make matters worse. He obstructs justice openly. In fact, in vowing to “fight back” against the Mueller investigation, he announced his intention to continue obstructing the probe. He also continually changes his story. First, he denies everything (“I have nothing to do with Russia”), then he says there would be nothing wrong if he had accepted help from Russia.

Obviously, a person who keeps changing his story is not a credible witness. Moreover, you can’t devise a legal defense while you are committing crimes, and Trump’s continuing efforts to obstruct justice suggest ongoing criminal behavior.

It’s easy to conclude that Trump has lost his mind and his lawyers are asleep at the switch. In fact, there’s a method to what appears to be Trump’s madness: The president intends to beat Mueller and his would-be interlocutors in Congress by torpedoing factuality and the rule of law itself.


Trump is open about his disdain for law.
Robert O. Paxton, in his classic work The Anatomy of Fascism, defines a cult of leadership as one in which the followers believe the leader’s instincts are better than the logic used by elites. The followers are willing to give up their individuality and freedom in exchange for the leader’s “protection.” And what is Trump protecting his followers from? Scholars Karen Stenner and Jonathan Haidt offer an explanation. In their essay “Authoritarianism Is Not a Momentary Madness but an Eternal Dynamic Within Liberal Democracies,” Stenner and Haidt describe the psychology behind the fervor of the embrace of authoritarians. A certain percentage of the population has “bias against different others” including racial and other minority out-groups. The authoritarian leader stokes their fears, creating a normative threat. These people then turn to the leader as something of a savior. The leader embraces the mythic destiny of the nation. He doesn’t follow laws. He is the law.

When Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump’s lies by arguing that his false statements actually point to something true, she offered an explanation for why Trump supporters embrace transparent lies. “President Obama was born in Africa,” for example, is a provable lie, but it points toward what to Trump’s supporters see as a deeper truth: President Obama is black, and therefore, isn’t really a real American.

Sanders’ argument is psychologically sound. Scholars Oliver Hahl, Minjae Kim, and Ezra W. Zickerman Sivan, in “The Authentic Appeal of the Lying Demagogue,” explain that those who want to destroy the “political establishment” willingly embrace a liar because they understand that the lies themselves serve a destructive purpose. The people who want to destroy the political establishment today are those who are threatened by growing diversity. Trump’s lies work toward that end.

In a totalitarian regime, state-controlled media normalizes the leader’s constantly changing stories, which serves to further obliterate any notion of a shared truth. Trump’s favorite news outlets similarly normalize his changing stories, thereby undermining factuality. When people can no longer sort out what is factual and what was invented, they conclude that the truth is unknowable. It’s the ultimate in relativism and skepticism. Without facts and a shared reality, jury verdicts have no meaning, and the results of law enforcement investigations are easily manipulated or even dismissed.

Look at what happened when Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for the Supreme Court was nearly derailed by credible accusations of sexual assault. While the confirmation was in doubt, Trump protested that Kavanaugh was “innocent until proven guilty.” He then ordered an extremely limited investigation of the charges that interviewed a small number of witnesses and didn’t even speak with the accuser or the alleged culprit. Ultimately, he falsely declared that Kavanaugh had been “proven innocent” by the whole charade. This false fact—Kavanaugh was exonerated—now becomes reality to all of his followers.

The same exact dynamic is playing out with the apparent murder by Saudi Arabia of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Trump has applied the “innocent until proven guilty” notion to the Saudi state, even directly comparing the case to Kavanaugh’s. Despite the reported audio evidence of Khashoggi’s brutal dismemberment at the hands of Saudi officials, physical evidence of an attempted cover-up, and the plain fact that Khashoggi entered a Saudi Consulate never to be seen again, Trump is treating the case as a stone-cold whodunit. Don’t be surprised when, in spite of all this evidence, whatever cover story is eventually manufactured for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, or any other probable culprits, is ultimately accepted as fact by Trump and then by his followers. Once again, the lie will then become the fact.

Steve Bannon explained a broader administration strategy for dispensing with facts. “The real opposition is the media,” he has said. “And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.” Yale professor Timothy Snyder, in his groundbreaking book The Road to Unfreedom, explains in detail how leaders like Vladimir Putin and Trump undermine factuality by flooding the zone in this way. Putin dominates Russia by propagating grand lies that take the entire society off balance. For example, when Ukrainians protested against Putin’s puppet ruler, Viktor Yanukovych, Putin’s press reported that the protesters were organized by an LGBTQ group attempting a “homodictatorship.” Enough people believe the lie—or pretend to believe the lie—that a shared reality becomes impossible.

Part of Trump’s defense against his various investigatory pursuers is to persuade his followers that all politicians are corrupt liars, which is one reason the “Lock her up” chant has been so devastating. If people believe all politicians are corrupt, going after Trump becomes political persecution, or a “witch hunt.”

Trump’s final aim isn’t simply to escape accountability for his crimes. The final aim is to replace democracy itself with a form of autocracy, under which he and his cronies are forever unaccountable for criminal actions. Normalizing lies and flooding the zone shatters the public sphere upon which democracy depends. Without that shared reality, Mueller poses no threat to Trump. Similarly, without a shared public sphere, Trump doesn’t have to worry about resistance. As Yale professor Jason Stanley says, without truth it is impossible to speak truth to power, so there is only power.

The United States is on a steep learning curve. Because truth, factuality, and our very public sphere are under attack, our democracy (and republic) is in danger. The attack is devastatingly effective, partly because we have never experienced anything like this and thus are largely unprepared. Our task now is to save our public sphere. The way to do this was demonstrated by how the Chileans got out of the far more extreme Pinochet regime and reinstated democracy: All sides opposed to authoritarianism and committed to democracy worked together. That means they started actually talking, and listening, to one another. In the United States, this would mean that all groups that claim to be committed to continuing our democratic republic, from supporters of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Never Trump Republicans, would need to join forces. We will likely soon find out if the nation is up to the task.



T


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Tuesday, August 13, 2019 8:49 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:

The 2nd Quarter of the FY has been the low point of the year cycles, and this one was surprisingly high, closer to 2018 than to 2017. All 3 of these Trump Q2s are higher than all but 2 of Obamanomics' 8 Q2s.
Still high enough to post a $1 T growth through 4 Quarters, which Obama NEVER did.
Yes, the Legacy of Obamanomics will haunt Libtards for a long time to come.

The second quarter of 2019 was 2.1%, Updated: Jul 26, 2019, which is nothing special, no matter how loudly Trump voters crow about it and give all credit exclusively to Trump.

As you can see from the graph, below, Obama had better and worse quarters, yet he couldn't truthfully take all the credit or blame, which is completely unlike either Trump's normal boasting or blame-shifting to the Federal Reserve Bank, depending on what the most recent percent is.

Real Gross Domestic Product - Percent Change from Preceding Period, Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate, Frequency: Quarterly
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=mTc9


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019 9:52 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


I believed Trump about the economy when he was calling out the Obama Administration, the Democrats and the MSM for lying about how good it was before he was president.

I stopped believing Trump about the economy when he started lying about how good it was when he was president.



I have a long post history here regarding that, debunking the OP.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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