Somewhere around the twenty-minute mark of the CNN Town Hall, a young lady asked Trump what he would do to deal with the inflation which was causing so much pain. Now the fact that the latest numbers show that prices overall have actually declined for the last nine months was left unsaid, and the questioner, who voted for Trump in 2020, made a point of telling Trump and the audience that prices for gasoline and food were still way too high.
How did Trump answer her question? He didn’t answer it at all. He went into a rant about how terrible everything was under Joe, that the United States was becoming a ‘third world’ country, that gasoline had cost as much as $7 dollars a gallon, and that his orderly Afghanistan withdrawal had become a big mess.
What the moderator, Kaitlan Collins, should have done, was tell Trump that the audience was still waiting for an answer to the question. But she let him get away without making any response at all beyond repeating how the economy had been ‘rocking’ when he was in charge.
Trump then began blustering his way through the issue of January 6th, bragging about how the crowd at the Ellipse was the largest crowd he ever addressed and how so many ‘good people’ came from all over the United States because they agreed with him that the el4ction had been ‘fixed.’
At that point I turned to another station because HBO has a really great mini-series about the White House ‘plumbers’ starring my favorite actor, Woody Harrelson (who plays Howard Hunt) and another terrific performer, Justin Theroux, who plays G. Gordon Liddy in this must-see production based on a book by one of Nixon’s jailbirds, Egil Krogh.
I was going to say before watching the CNN Town Hall that Donald Trump was another favorite actor of mine, because until last night I always had the sneaking feeling that all that MAGA bullshit was nothing more than an acting routine developed by Trump to build and consolidate a leading, alt-right vote. And by the way, just about every pundit who said anything about the Town Hall before it went live at 8 PM EST, held out the strong possibility that Trump would use his CNN appearance to moderate his message, move slightly towards the middle, and try to widen his base.
Au contraire. What we got last night was the exact, same Donald Trump that we have been getting for the past almost eight years – a guy who seems remarkably comfortable injecting at least one lie into just about everything he says.
Now let me make it clear what I mean when I use the word ‘lie.’ I’m not talking about a difference of opinion. I’m not talking about repeating something said by someone else without first checking to see if what the other person said was actually true.
What I’m talking about is the conscious decision to say something you know to be false instead of saying something which you know to be true.
Trump does this just about every time he opens his mouth. He is confronted with a fact which has been accepted by virtually everyone and he repeats a falsehood again, and again, and again.
But maybe he really does believe that he’s not the sitting President right now because the 2020 election was stolen from him. Maybe he really does think in terms of ‘alternative facts.’ When he accused all the people who believe that the 2020 election was legitimate of being ‘dumb,’ maybe he really meant what he said.
Could we have elected someone to be President in 2016 who not only thinks in terms of conspiracy theories but believes those conspiracies are actually true?
Could we elect him to be President again?