The former guy’s (TFG’s) lies do keep on coming. After disseminating over 30,000 overt lies and misleading comments during his presidency, TFG was off to a good start as he announced his candidacy for President in 2024. Perhaps my favorite of TFG’s several false and misleading claims made during his subdued announcement was the following quote he cited from his favorite, always unidentified and uninformed “they” source:
“They say the ocean will rise 1/8 of an inch over the next 200 to 300 years.” (Donald J. Trump, Mar a Largo, 11/16/2022)*
Anyone who is reasonably well educated and makes even a modest effort to stay in tune with what is going on in the world knows that such a claim is a product of either careless or willful ignorance. In the past 100 years, sea level has risen a total of between 6 and 8 inches, and over the past decade, sea level has been rising at more than 1/8 inch per year!* Even if the rate remained steady (it’s not; it’s increasing), 1/8 inch per year would amount to a sea level rise of 25 inches in 200 years.
My second favorite false claim is one that is refuted not by science (God forbid!) but by actual indisputable facts …
“I’ve gone decades, decades without a war, the first president to do it for a long period.” (Donald J. Trump, Mar a Largo, 11/16/2022)**
The facts to which I allude are those that anyone who is able to access and comprehend the content of this post knows and accepts: 1) TFG was not President for decades (even if, for some of us, it may have felt that way), and 2) during TFG’s entire term of office, the US was at war in Afghanistan, a war he may not have begun, but it was a war he did not end.
After having been subjected over the years to tens of thousands of TFG’s overt lies and ignorance generated falsehoods, my initial reactions to his announcement of candidacy was to laugh out loud. Following quickly thereafter, was a twinge of embarrassment for such a public revelation, yet again, of the man’s shocking lack of a filter that might hide his ignorance.
And then an acknowledgment surfaced in my mind that the failure of American Education over the past half century, and the success of conservative media outlets reinforced by social media, have created a sizable minority of millions of ignorant and/or unthinking Americans who will accept TFG’s lies as truths.
Imagine how many times in following days that statement … “the ocean will rise 1/8 of an inch over the next 200 to 300 years” … will be repeated over coffees at Dunkin’ Donuts, during lunch breaks at work, and on social media by Americans eager to bash the notion of climate change.
As I rewatched the speech, my anger began to boil. What was raising the heat within me is what has happened repeatedly for the past six-plus years: this uninformed, ignorant, and dangerously narcissistic old man and his sycophants have negatively impacted the futures of our grandchildren and those children who might follow, and he has stood as a ridiculous representative of you and me in the eyes of the world.
My anger has cooled, and despite the recent demonstration that a majority of Americans may be willing to vote on the side of American Democracy, in my anger’s stead remains a sadness.
I am sad that—while a strong, two-party system is essential to prevent America from becoming an authoritarian, autocratic, kleptocratic, or even a fascist state—both parties’ elites seem to be far more concerned about their billionaire donors and about power for power’s sake, than they are concerned about the approximately 70% of Americans who earn less than $100,000 per year. ( I encourage you to Google <What percentage of Americans earn less than $100,000 per year?>)
I was surprised, as I rewatched TFG’s speech, that I was also saddened by the apparent possibility that, unlike those of his lies that have been deliberately offered in order to raise an insurrection to end the tradition of a peaceful transfer of power (and the end of American Democracy), the LOL falsehoods TFG offered during his announcement, coupled with an unusual and apparent lethargy, may be evidence of the onset of dementia.
I am far from an expert in most things, including dementia, but the personal experiences that comprise my non-scientific sample of one have me wondering.
In the thinking of journalists, a false statement is only elevated to the status of a lie when it can be proven that the person who made the statement knew, as fact, that the statement was a lie. For example, TFG’s “Big Lie” is, in fact, considered a lie because a significant number of GOP witnesses subpoenaed by the Congressional, January 6 Committee have testified, under oath, that Donald J. Trump had acknowledged and knew the truth that he had, in fact, lost the 2020 Presidential Election.
I have discovered TFG is the focus of the only Wikipedia article that deals directly with the veracity of Presidents past and present: Veracity of statements by Donald Trump. (I encourage you to Google <veracity of American Presidents Wikipedia>)
The featured (title) image is copied, cropped, and compiled from an image by Chip Somodevilla that accompanied a Vox article: The lawsuit accusing Trump of raping a 13-year-old girl, explained. No copyright infringement of the image is intended, its use is related to the educational nature of this blog post, and there is no intent on the part of the blogger to monetize the use of the featured image or any images in Growing Up Boomer.