In the Netflix series Stranger Things, the school kids who league together live by an axiom that binds them: “Friends don’t lie.” The ethos is essential as they work together to fight the monsters of the upside down world as well as the corrupt government agencies that keep those monsters secret and abuse and experiment on people in the name of science.
That Donald Trump has lied copiously to the American people is not really disputable. David Leonhardt of The New York Times has definitively tracked and cataloged Trump’s many lies. I won’t rehearse them here.
Obviously, in his plugging of the recent tax bill, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act which just passed through both chambers of congress, he has been caught red-handed once again lying to the American people in a myriad of ways. He touts as a middle-class tax cut what is really a massive redistribution of wealth to corporate America and our nation’s wealthiest one per cent. He claims the bill is not good for him, even though analysts indicate the bill is especially kind to those involved in commercial real estate. Frankly, there are just too many lies involved in Trump’s and the Republican’s peddling of this bill to enumerate here.
He is no friend of the middle class, no friend of the American people. We should all know this by now.
In celebrating Congress’s passage of the tax bill at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, however, Trump escalated the lying to a new level.
In bragging that the bill effectively repealed Obamacare, he also boasted that he intentionally refrained from talking about this aspect of the bill and also asked others to keep silent about it because he feared media coverage of it. According to Jordan Fabian, writing for The Hill, “Trump said he refrained from playing up that measure because he was worried about how the news media would report it, but added ‘now that it’s approved, I can say that.’”
Typically, Trump’s m.o. in lying has been to never admit to a lie and to just keep piling them on.
Now he is actually glorying in telling the American people that he intentionally tried to deceive them to smuggle unpopular legislation harmful to the American people through Congress.
If we want to see the proverbial glass as half full, I guess we could say that for once Trump finally came clean with the American people and admitted to his egregious dishonesty and to the fact that he knows his agenda is antagonistic to the interests, needs, and desires of the American people.
Trump’s lying has created an upside down world in American politics, and it is hard to imagine a stranger thing in American political history than the Trump administration.
What hopefully becomes clear through Trump’s remarkable admission that he intentionally tried to hoodwink the American people out of their healthcare by presenting it as a tax cut is that he is, most definitely, no friend of the American masses. After all, friends don’t lie.
Tim Libretti is a professor of U.S. literature and culture at a state university in Chicago. A long-time progressive voice, he has published many academic and journalistic articles on culture, class, race, gender, and politics, for which he has received awards from the Working Class Studies Association, the International Labor Communications Association, the National Federation of Press Women, and the Illinois Woman’s Press Association.