I showed Trump’s tweet to Swamp Rabbit. “Do you believe this guy? Have you ever encountered such a low-down, mangy liar?”
“Sure,” he said. “I worked for some sidewinder who sold junk furniture to poor peeps. He could lie about anything. He showed some old lady a broken old rocking chair and said this here’s an antique, Abe Lincoln rocked in it. She said don’t tell me that, I ain’t no fool. But she was laughing. He kept at it and she bought the chair.”
I shook my head. “Trump is the president of the United States, not some junk dealer. He’s been trying to kill Obamacare since he got elected. He wants to protect insurance companies, not people with pre-existing conditions.”
The rabbit waved me off. “What he wants is to not get impeached, which might happen if the Dems do good in them midterms. He’ll say anything to avoid that.”
I objected. Surely there’s a limit to the amount of lying Trump can get away with. There’s a point where even his most ardent fans will realize they’re being played.
“Ain’t gonna happen,” the rabbit said. “Most peeps like to be lied to, so long as you look them in the eye and sound like you mean it.”
The rabbit elaborated: Trump long ago mastered the art of the con. He knows that the best way to defend his lies is to tell more lies, because the media unfailingly report his lies as if they might be truths. And he knows his fans will believe his lies, or pretend to believe, because his lies are tailored to fit their fears and prejudices.
After ruminating, I had to agree. The bigger Trump’s lies, the more his fans believe him. Reporters are “enemies of the people.” Democrats aren’t the other party, they’re an “angry, ruthless, unhinged mob.” That “caravan” of migrants is a cover for “unknown Middle Easterners” heading toward the U.S. border with bad intent.
Trump’s fans thrill to this sort of talk, the way kids (and adults with short attention spans) thrill to superhero movies. They want Trump to be like the savior in that David Bowie song:
Someone to claim us, someone to follow
Someone to shame us, some brave Apollo
Someone to fool us, someone like you
We want you Big Brother
If you think I’m exaggerating, you haven’t seen videos of Trump exhorting enthusiastic rednecks at his get-out-the-vote rallies. You haven’t seen them laugh when he pretends to body-slam a reporter.