I’LL GIVE YOU MY REALITY IF YOU GIVE ME YOURS – By Tom Curley

I figured it out! The solution to reality! This reality! This reality TV reality!

The problem is not so much that we are living in a reality TV reality. The problem is that we’re living in a REALLY BAD reality TV reality. Face it, it’s not working. Each time something happens that we might think is positive, the next day — or the next hour — we discover we were deluded.

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Do you know what does work?

Fictional TV reality!

Think about it. There was a show called “Designated Survivor.” In it, the whole U.S. government was blown up during a State of the Union Address.  The Executive Branch, Congress, Supreme Court? Wiped off the earth.

The only cabinet member that had to stay home becomes the President. He has to rebuild the government from the ground up. While he’s doing that, there’s a mysterious cabal in which the ones responsible for blowing everybody up are also trying to take over the country.

In spite of that, their government and President are doing a lot better job than ours! They are noticeably more sane and coherent and sometimes, they make intelligent decisions. Imagine that!

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So here’s what we do.  We switch realities!

It’s a win-win for everybody. How? It’s simple — at least in theory.

First

The current administration leaves the government and instead, goes on real TV, 24/7. Every day. You like watching the news? You’ll never miss another show!

Second

On Fox News. They all go to work on sets that look just like Washington, D.C.  They do the exact same things they do now. It will be just like on  “Big Brother”. Only bigger.

And on Fox News.

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They can pass laws, write executive orders, cancel health insurance for the whole nation, eliminate “Meals On Wheels” or just kick puppies. Whatever they want! Trump supporters won’t be upset because they only watch Fox News.

As far as they’ll be concerned, everything is normal.

It just isn’t real.

“And it’s only on Fox.”

Third

OK, great you say. But what about real reality? Who’s going to be the real President? The real cabinet?

Here’s who. Honest to God fictional ones.

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The cool part is, we have a lot of options. We have lots of choices for President. And if we dig into the DNC pool, we’ve got dozens more. Hell, every billionaire is ready to declare!

We could have Jeb Bartlett. He was a great President. Don’t believe me? Watch “The West Wing.” Again. As a matter of fact, just keep watching it over and over until you feel better. It’s like a political tranquilizer.

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We’ve got Dennis Haysbert. I’m pretty sure he was President twice.

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We’ve got Morgan Freeman. Not only was the President, but he was (is currently, I believe) also God!

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The list goes on. Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline, Jack Nicholson, Peter Sellers … (Oh, for God’s sake, Google the rest.) You get my point.

Now, appointing a cabinet becomes fun!

Fourth

Secretary of State? How about Tia Leoni? She’s already a Secretary of State and seems to be doing a pretty decent job of it every Sunday. Let’s give her the job for the rest of the week.

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Attorney General? Julianna Margulies. She’s a lawyer, ran for State’s Attorney and by almost all accounts, is a good wife.

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Secretary of Defense? I admit, at first, I was leaning toward Schwarzenegger or Stallone. Then it hit me.

CHUCK NORRIS! Think about it. We could cut the military budget down to nothing. Nobody’s going to go to war with us. Nobody fucks with Chuck Norris!

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ISIS COMMANDER: We will destroy America!

ISIS GUY WATCHING THE NEWS: Sir, America just made Chuck Norris Secretary of Defense.

ISIS COMMANDER:  Shit.

(Insert favorite Chuck Norris joke here. My favorite? Chuck Norris once counted to infinity. Twice.)

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Department of Education? The cast of Sesame Street.

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Depart of Health and Human Services? Pick any of the stern but kindly Chiefs of Staff from any medical show you’ve enjoyed over the years. Any of them will do fine. (Except for Dr. Zorba. I’m pretty sure he’s dead.) (Extra points if you get that reference.)

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Department of Housing? Chris Rock. OK, he really doesn’t have any more qualifications for the job than Ben Carson does. But I just like the guy. He’s funny.

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(If you get that reference, you get double extra points.) I could go on, but you get the point.

Five: The Election

How do we do this?

We have an election. Not the usual kind. What with voter suppression, low turnouts, gerrymandering, the Electoral College, and just candidates that don’t have the right scriptwriters, our elections are not working out well. That’s how we got into this mess, to begin with.

We have the election the same way reality TV shows do it. Everybody gets to vote from their smartphone, their computer, their tablet, or Android device. You can email or text your vote. You are only allowed to vote up to 20 times on any given device. You can vote up until 10 pm Eastern Standard Time.

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Granted, this will fire up the Millennials and confuse the hell out of old folks. Maybe it’s unfair, but it’s still better than the Electoral College.

We can set up March Madness-style brackets and have an election every week for maybe a month until we get a winner. Imagine how many office pools there will be. You might even win!

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And we, the people, elect everybody. The President doesn’t get to appoint his cabinet. We do.

This is absolute Democracy at work!

It could work!

As a cheese-faced person who somehow actually became President of the United States said to a bunch of totally incredulous Black people:

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“Give it a try. What have you got to lose?”


NEWER MOMS AND POPS – Marilyn Armstrong

Garry came back from the deli with news. Lance and Betsy have sold the place and are retiring. Someone else is taking over.

Quaker Deli and its friendly and generous owners were among the very first people to welcome us to the valley more than 18 years ago. Until we got our feet under us and began to know our way around, it was a required stop in our daily rounds. They make great sandwiches and sell quality cold cuts. And they always know how we like it sliced.

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But time has had its way with them, as it does with us all. It’s what happens nowadays to almost all “mom and pop” shops. In this case, it’s not a lack of business. It’s simple tiredness. The kids don’t want the business. Mom and pop don’t want to spend all their remaining years on their feet. So, they sell.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if only whoever takes over the place would keep it as what it is … a place to pick up a few necessities without going into town. Where you can buy a great lunch, made for you. Buy a lottery ticket or whatever. Most of the new owners of these shops are immigrant families. They see a small business as a ticket to the Dream of America.

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They don’t mind the long hours and hard work. But they don’t necessarily maintain the place in any way that resembles how it was. They go more heavily into higher volume, bigger profit items — like lottery tickets and cigarettes. They stop selling food and making sandwiches. This has happened to every little deli or mini grocery sold since we’ve lived in the Blackstone Valley. If it happens here, we will have to go into town for everything. The last convenience store will be gone.

I have heard over and over again that mom and pop stores are disappearing because we don’t support them, but that’s not necessarily true. It may be true sometimes, in some places. In this case, Lance and Betsey have plenty of business, maybe more than they can comfortably handle. All the truckers stop there to buy lunch. It’s the only place at this end of town where you can get an emergency supply of eggs or half-and-half.

The problem is that — not unreasonably — their kids have different dreams. They don’t want to run the family deli. They want a job where they can sit at a desk and go home without worrying about the business.

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Small business are nonstop work. Buying, selling, bookkeeping. Ordering supplies. Tracking sales and figuring out what you should buy in greater or less quantity … or just stop selling entirely. The shop may be closed, but there’s always work to be done. I’m sorry to see them leaving and we will miss them very much. But I understand. I couldn’t do it.

Among many other reasons, this is why we need immigrants. They will happily do the jobs we can’t or won’t do. Think about that the next time you begin to rail against newcomers to our shores.

Do you want that job? Could you do it? Would you?

AN AMERICAN CARAVAN STOPPED BY THE WALL – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Wall

Mexico is building a wall to keep Americans out. With hundreds of thousands of unpaid Americans, all of whom have no salaries on which to pay their mortgages or for that matter, buy peanut butter sandwiches, everyone is heading for Mexico. At least it’s warmer down there.

Ohio gets very cold in the winter and Washington D.C. is no picnic either.


“We cannot handle these caravans of starving Americans. They can’t just come into Mexico unless they can prove their value to our nation. So we are building a wall to keep them out.”


The president of Mexico said it in Spanish, so I can’t quote him directly … but as it turns out, Trump got what he wanted. All he had to do was turn America into a desperate shithole country, with starving people seeking asylum. In Mexico.

It wasn’t nearly as hard as he thought it would be. And see? The Mexicans ARE paying for it after all!

A TRUMP CHRISTMAS CAROL – BY TOM CURLEY

I spent Christmas day watching various traditional Christmas movies. I’ve seen them all a zillion times, but I did anyway. I think it’s the law.

I watched Miracle On 34th Street. The original one.

I watched A Christmas Story.

Well, part of it. I mean, I’ve seen it a zillion times.

And I watched Scrooged. A modern update of A Christmas Carol starring Bill Murray.

Like all remakes of A Christmas Carol, Bill Murray is a mean miser of a boss who gets shown his past present and future by three ghosts and shown his good side and is redeemed and becomes a good person. God bless us, every one.

So, after immersing myself in movies where there is peace on Earth, goodwill towards men and a kid can get a Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock (even though you could shoot your eye out), I turned on MSNBC.

Back in the real world, the government was shut down because Fox News told the Toddler-in-Chief to do so.  Two children had died in the custody of the Immigration Department. And the poor President of the United States tweeted he had to cancel his two-week vacation in Florida and was stuck all alone on Christmas Eve in the White House.

He even tweeted “Poor me.” And whose fault were these things? The Democrats of course.

Then I got to thinking, a President alone on Christmas Eve (not counting his now unpaid Secret Service detail) is Scrooge on steroids. If anybody needed to be visited by three ghosts, it’s this dick. But then I got to wondering how that would turn out.

First, he has to be visited by an old partner who warns him he is evil and is going to be visited by three ghosts. Hmm, who would that be? Of course! Richard Nixon!

GHOST OF RICHARD NIXON: (Really dead looking and bound in chains and the Watergate tapes) Donald Trump!

TRUMP: AHHH! Who are you?

GHOST OF RICHARD NIXON: I am the ghost of Richard Nixon!

TRUMP: Really? You don’t look like him. You look like shit.

GHOST OF RICHARD NIXON: Well, of course, I look like shit. I’m dead you asshole.

TRUMP: You should try some of my daughter Ivanka’s spa treatments. It’ll take years off your face. I can get you a discount.

GHOST OF RICHARD NIXON: Really? I’d love to get rid of the bags under my eyes… wait, what am I doing? I’m here to tell you that if you keep leading the life you’ve been leading you are going to end up like me.

TRUMP: What? An ugly ghost with really bad bags under my eyes Not going to happen. I have dermatologists. The best dermatologists.

GHOST OF RICHARD NIXON: What? No! You’ll be doomed to wander the Earth, bound by the chains you created in life.

TRUMP: Will they be the best chains? I know a lot about chains. I know more about chains than anybody in the world.

GHOST OF RICHARD NIXON: Jesus Christ, Tillerson was right, you are a fucking moron. Look, here’s the deal. Tonight, you will be visited by three ghosts.

TRUMP: Will they be the best ghosts?

GHOST OF RICHARD NIXON: Yes, no, I don’t know, oh fuck this. I’m out of here. God, you’re an asshole.

The ghost disappears, and Trump goes to the bathroom and sends a series of tweets blaming Obama and the Democrats for, well, everything. He leaves the bathroom to find the ghost of Christmas Past, who looks a lot like Howard Stern.

TRUMP: Howard Stern! How’d you get in here?

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST: I am not Howard Stern! I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.

TRUMP: Really? Are you sure? You really look like Howard Stern. Babba Boey!

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST: I’m not fucking Howard Stern! I’m here to show you your past.

TRUMP: Why? My past was great.

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST: No, it wasn’t

TRUMP: Yes, it was.

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST: No, it wasn’t.

TRUMP: Was too.

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST: Are you kidding me? You bankrupt four casinos in Atlantic City for Christ’s sake. You were a billion dollars in debt and used that to not pay any taxes for over ten years! You’ve been laundering money for the Russians since 2001! You stiff your contractors and your lawyers. You’ve been sued over 3000 times!

TRUMP: Fake news. Never happened.

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST: What? No, of course, it did. It’s on record.

TRUMP: No, it isn’t.

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST: Yes, it is! Oh, for God’s sake, I can’t deal with this anymore. Nixon was right. You are a fucking moron.

At this point, the Ghost of Christmas Past dissolves in a cloud of disgust and Trump goes back to the bathroom to write more rage tweets that contain the words “No Collusion” and “Witch Hunt!” When he comes out, he is confronted by the Ghost of Christmas Present, who looks a lot like Rachel Maddow.

TRUMP: Rachel Maddow?! How’d you get in here?? You’re fake news! I never watch you! I watched your show last night! You’re very unfair! NO COLLUSION!

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT: I am not Rachel Maddow. I am the Ghost of Christmas Present!

TRUMP: You’re bringing me a present? Great! I’d like a gold toilet for the Lincoln bedroom.

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT: No, I’m not the Ghost of Christmas Presents. I’m the Ghost of Christmas Present!

TRUMP: What’s the difference?

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT: What’s the difference?? I’m here to show you how bad your present is! You’ve shut down the government over a stupid wall that will never be built. You’re forcing people to work for no pay. You are separating babies from their parents at the borders and you’re under 17 different investigations over all the crimes you’ve committed.

TRUMP: No, I’m not. If I was, nothing I’ve done is against the law. And even if it was against the law, it’s Obama’s fault. Fake news!

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT: Nixon and the Ghost of Christmas Past warned me about this. I didn’t believe them. Nobody can be this much of an asshole. I’m gone.

The Ghost disappears in a puff of disbelief and disgust and Trump (you guessed it) goes back to the john to retweet a video exposing the faces of Seal Team Five. When he returns to his bedroom he is confronted with the final ghost. The ghost of Christmas future. Who looks just like Steve Bannon.

TRUMP: Steve! I thought I fired you! Wait, I get it, you’re like one of them ghosts right? You just look like Steve Bannon.

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE: No, I’m Steve Bannon. I just moonlight as the Ghost of Christmas Future. Been doing it for years.

TRUMP: Is that why you always looked like death warmed over?

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE: No, I’ve always look like this.

TRUMP: So why are you here?

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE: You know, the usual. If you don’t change your ways, you will end up penniless and alone. Your life will have been a waste, and no one will remember you. Blah blah blah.

At this point, they both break up laughing.

TRUMP: Yeah, like that’s going to happen.

GHOST OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE: Hey, I had to try, or I don’t get paid.

The Ghost disappears is a cloud of dust and rancid bourbon and Trump goes to bed. He wakes up Christmas morning and opens his bedroom window and sees a boy.

TRUMP: Boy! Who are you? What is your name?

BOY: It’s Eric. I’m your son.

TRUMP: What day is it?

ERIC: It’s Christmas.

TRUMP: It’s Christmas! So, it’s not too late!

Trump goes down to the Oval Office and signs an executive order canceling pay raises for all Federal Employees.

So, there you have it. Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men, and God Bless us every one.

But only if you’re white of course.

CLUTCHING AT FREEDOM – Marilyn Armstrong

I want everything to last forever.

When I buy a television, I don’t expect to ever buy another one. I will keep using the old one until it simply won’t work anymore … or someone gently tells me that I really need a new one.

“Oh,” I say, “But I just bought this one.”

“You bought it 14 years ago. I can’t even connect most things to it. It doesn’t have the right connections.”

“Is it really that long ago? It seems like yesterday.”

It does seem like yesterday because I can remember buying it. I remember deciding which TV would give us the best pictures, be reliable. Which is how come it lasted 14 years. Actually, it still works. It’s just too old to be of much value — and too huge to get rid of, so I guess it will live in the basement forever.

The only things I buy more or less on a schedule are computers because operating systems change and software won’t run on old systems. I don’t want to get new computers. In fact, I hate new computers. Setting them up is a total pain in the butt. But I cope because I need them.

On the other hand, things like refrigerators, washing machines, ovens? The roof, the water heater, the floor, the sinks, and toilets — aren’t they forever? Don’t you buy them once, then never have to worry about them again?

I’m on my third water heater and beginning to worry about the roof. I’m discovering that the vinyl siding wasn’t a permanent investment as I thought it was. And the ants keep coming back.

Just to remind me how impermanent the world truly is, the rights we fought so hard to create, the young are fighting for them. Again.

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How can that be? How can we have made so much progress and find ourselves back — not only where we were, but back to where my parents were. I feel like we haven’t regressed to the 1950s, but more like the 1930s.

The changes we make, the changes we paid for, fought for, battled for … they are supposed to be forever or at least for our lifetime. The roof should never need to be replaced. The heating system should be a lifetime investment.

Freedom should be given — and once achieved, you should always be free. We should never need to battle again for the right to live our lives as we please. I don’t think we should have to fight for it in the first place. We should be born free and take on obligations as a conscious choice.

Freedom has come and gone many times throughout human history. Rome was free until it wasn’t. Greece was free … until it wasn’t. Many countries were briefly free until swallowed up or conquered by others. I guess it’s our turn, my turn, to realize that the freedom I thought we’d won was merely a respite from the despotism of the world.

I’m not sure why it’s like this. Why is it freedom for which we need to fight? Why doesn’t tyranny require a battle? Why do the bad guys always seem to have the upper hand?

I think it’s because we let them. We say “Oh, a few huge corporations won’t really matter” and then we look around and the entire world is made up of huge corporations and we don’t matter. We give up our freedom incrementally.

We surrender it for higher wages, cheaper toys, nicer cars. We give it up because it sounded like fun and we don’t see the downside. We elect the wrong people because they sound good. We fail to examine if they are really who they say or are capable of being who we need.

We do it. Ourselves. We give up our freedom in tiny pieces until we have nothing left to lose.

Freedom is a costly gift which does not come to us without commitment and a battle. I didn’t imagine I would live long enough to need to fight for it again.

Is that some kind of bizarre payback for living longer?

WHEN HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY – Rich Paschall

To Tell The Truth – Rich Paschall


At times it may seem OK to tell the “innocent little lie.” You may want to “protect” someone from the truth. You may not want to hurt them. You may want to save bad news for a “better time.”  Maybe it is not the other person who can not handle the truth, maybe you are just too uncomfortable with it.

Of course, we may think it is perfectly alright to tell children little lies, or even big ones because we do not want to hurt them or crush their childhood fantasies. We may wish to wait until the right time to tell children there is no Santa Claus. I’m sorry if no one told you that before now. You may even want to keep the fantasy of the Easter Bunny alive, or the Great Pumpkin. Some children’s holidays are built on stories that are exaggerated or simply untrue.

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Then there is the matter of superheroes. There was a time when I wanted to believe in Superman, and Flash and the Green Hornet. Then there was Batman and Wonder Woman, well, the whole Justice League actually. Didn’t you? Why crush a little one’s belief in these characters? They may wish to dress up as these superheroes at Halloween, or other times because they believe.

The issue of life and death looms as a major area to toss around the lies. “Where do babies come from?” might be cause for lies because the parent is uncomfortable with the topic.  It may be the same as “Where does the dog, parakeet or even Aunt Martha go when she dies?”

There could be plenty of stories handed out to cover that. Eventually, children stop asking because they know parents are lying. At a certain age, they may even be bold enough to call them on it.

When does the time come when we dispense with these little lies in favor of the truth?  When should we just tell children the real story, no matter how awkward or painful?  That is probably best decided on a case by case basis, but what if the lies go on and on?

Does the legacy of lies lead to people who grow up thinking it is OK to lie?  Perhaps some tell so many lies to protect their children, it becomes habit long after the necessity passes.  Perhaps children learn that in some situations it is just OK to lie and therefore they adopt the habit themselves.  After all, the message was sent at a young age that there are times when it is perfectly alright if we do not tell the truth.

Few people doubt that the government lies to us sometimes — or daily in the case of 45 — for national security, or to protect us from some inconvenient truth.  We have entered into an era where commentators and politicians do more than just spin the news. They make it up. They out-and-out lie “for the national good.”

Does that make it okay?

The polarization of America and its political parties seems to come, at least in part, from the untrue stories that each side is telling.  It is bad enough that members of the general public knowingly repost items on social media they know are not true (see Hate, Anger and Social Media), but politicians and their supporters sometimes appear to be doing the same. Do you believe everything your elected official tells you? Really?

In a world made up of “pretty little liars,” do we trust anyone?  Perhaps you have seen the syndicated television show “Cheaters.” In it a spouse or at least a mate has come to suspect that the other person has been telling lies and wants the Cheaters detectives to find out the truth. I have never seen an episode where the one being investigated was not lying to their mate.  Yes, I have seen the show too often. It’s like watching a train wreck. You know it’s not going to end well, but you can’t keep from looking.

Do you know when it’s okay to lie to your spouse or close friends? Never. Aside from the story you told to pull off a surprise birthday party or a spectacular marriage proposal, the answer is never. If you believe it’s okay “to protect the friendship,” then you are not as close as you think.

When a friend and I had an issue to sort out early in our friendship, we ended the conversation saying the only thing that could hurt our friendship was not telling the truth. Any problem could be overcome. We declared honesty as the only policy.

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So less than a year later, in a beer hall in Germany, my friend asked me a personal question that I was not prepared to answer.  I thought about it only for a few seconds as the conversation about honesty replayed in my head, and I told him the truth. Then he wanted to know why I never said anything, so I told him that too.

It was fine. It may have been a surprise and the reason may not have sounded good, but it was the truth. I may never tell him everything, but the importance of friendship means that lies cannot be told. A friendship built on a foundation of truth will not crumble.

SURPRISE AND MORTIFICATION

What We Know Now, by Rich Paschall

From the 2016 campaign right up to the 2018 midterm elections the best and worst of America has been on display, mostly the worst.  While the vocal Trump minority will not agree, the picture of America now not only is degrading to most, it is also an international embarrassment of epic proportion. Having just returned from an international trip, I can verify that we look like third world thugs from the outside.  Forty-five’s supporters just don’t care, however.

Believe me, folks.

Imagine if you can, any America politician saying the following:

“A vote for the Democrats in November is a vote to let MS-13 run wild in our communities.”  (MS-13 is a criminal gang, most of Central American ethnicity.)

“Democrats want anarchy, they really do, and they don’t know who they’re playing with, folks.”  (Another fear tactic of epic proportion)

“Who wouldn’t take Kate’s picture and make lots of money if she does the nude sunbathing thing. Come on, Kate!” (Regarding the Duchess of Cambridge)

“Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest – and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault.”  (You be the judge.)

“This is an island surrounded by water, big water, ocean water.” (On Puerto Rico, see above)

“We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden! Who would believe this?” (This was said on Feb. 18, 2017.  Nothing of note was reported in Sweden the night before.)

There are literally thousands of these statements.  Reputable websites and media outlets have reported them to the general public.  There is video evidence on these and just about all of the thousands of lies and outrageous opinions expressed by 45.  It would seem to be an indisputable fact that 45 is not just a bad president, he is also one on the most narcissistic and deceitful people on the planet.

The level of the con job being perpetrated on the American public by 45 might be of little surprise to the people who have done business with him in the past.  It might also be of no surprise to those who followed the celebrity of the reality TV star.  But it sure seems to be a surprise to much of the public.

With someone who is not a politician, diplomat or even a good businessman (reportedly), the West Wing of the White House often seems to be in disarray.  The lies and contradictions that come out are not as bad as some of the policies put into place by Cabinet appointees and Republican legislators.

The party of Trump would like you to believe they have a mandate for their harmful positions.  You know the ones: tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations that have exploded the deficit, deregulation allowing pollution of the air and waterways, elimination of school policies that protect students from unfair treatment,  filling federal court vacancies with extreme right-wing conservatives (that will protect them), putting immigrant children in cages, ignoring the needs of Puerto Rico (a Commonwealth of the United States), and the list goes on.

The fact is they have no mandate at all.  Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by 2.9 million votes.  While 45 likes to tell his followers that the Democrats stole millions of votes as a way of explaining this, if the Russia collusion claim is true, millions of votes may have been stolen for Trump.

Here is the mortifying part of all this.  There is an overwhelming number of people in this country who believe the lies told regularly, daily in fact, by the Trump administration, or they just don’t care.  They have a man who will speak his mind, no matter how crazy it is, and they like that.  While they are cheering him on, his government is enacting policies that hurt almost every one of them.

“I think the most damaging aspect of Trump’s lies is that many people believe him. The more Trump tells lies, the fewer people seem to care,” opined Ted Slowak of the Daily Southtown.  “I think it’s wrong for the president to say those who disagree with his views on immigration want terrorists and violent criminals to come into our country.” But that is what he says and what his followers believe.

As he left the Senate, former Senator Al Franken commented that he felt we were losing the war for truth. “And if that’s the case — if that’s what happens — then we have lost the ability to have the kinds of arguments that help build consensus, or at least help the American people make informed choices about the issues that affect their lives.”

Sources include: “The 11 most dangerous things Donald Trump said in his Montana speech,” The Point, July 6, 2018, cnn.com
“(Only) 35 of the stupidest Donald Trump quotes,” 4 October 2017, tattler.com
“Trump’s biggest whoppers of 2017,” December 24, 2017, nbc.com
“Trump’s ‘best policies’ are the worst,” 8/12/2018, opinion, washingtonpost.com
“Slowik: Worst part of Trump’s lies is so many people believe him,” June 28, 2018, chicagotribune.com