Is it a Lie if You Believe it to be True? Oh, Wait, Maybe There’s a Better Term than “Lie.” And I Don’t Mean “Alternative Fact.”


The New York Times headlines Trump Repeats Lie About Popular Vote in Meeting With Lawmakers, and describes his claim that “illegal aliens had cost him the popular vote” as “false.”

This on a day when he was taking lots of presidential looking actions–and might logically to have wanted the press to cover him looking presidential. Why, then, step on your own story, as Morning Joe and his merry band asked this morning?

It’s not a lie, folks, it’s a delusion.

We don’t believe things that go to our fundamental notion of ourselves. And the more such facts are repeated, the less we believe them. If you are white, and if a fundamental part of your identify is believe you are superior to black people, then you won’t believe that a black person has become President. The more proof of his Hawaiian birth you see, the more intense will be your belief that he was born in Kenya.

From the Washington Post this morning:

 President Trump had just returned to the White House on Saturday from his final inauguration event, a tranquil interfaith prayer service, when the flashes of anger began to build.

Trump turned on the television to see a jarring juxtaposition — massive demonstrations around the globe protesting his day-old presidency and footage of the sparser crowd at his inauguration, with large patches of white empty space on the Mall.

As his press secretary, Sean Spicer, was still unpacking boxes in his spacious new West Wing office, Trump grew increasingly and visibly enraged.

Pundits were dissing his turnout. The National Park Service had retweeted a photo unfavorably comparing the size of his inauguration crowd with the one that attended Barack Obama’s swearing-in ceremony in 2009. A journalist had misreported that Trump had removed the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office. And celebrities at the protests were denouncing the new commander in chief …

Over the objections of his aides and advisers — who urged him to focus on policy and the broader goals of his presidency — the new president issued a decree: He wanted a fiery public response, and he wanted it to come from his press secretary.

The Post goes on to elaborate on “turbulence and competing factions” as a source of the misstep, but observes, “At the center, as always, is Trump himself, whose ascent to the White House seems to have only highlighted his acute sensitivity to criticism.”

But is “acute sensitivity to criticism” the explanation that best fits the facts?

Aardvark is overweight, and is acutely sensitive to criticism of his obesity. But when Aardvark went to the doctor this afternoon and they weighed him in, he did not go into a hissy fit screaming that the scales must be at least 50 pounds off.

As I finish this post on the evening of January 24, 1984 is among the top 5 in book sales on amazon.