Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Brief Point about Political Dishonesty

 

It’s taken as a given that our President is a dishonest man. There’s some truth in that, and I’ve said it myself.

But I think the way President Trump is dishonest and the way Vice President Biden is dishonest are different, and different in an interesting way.

President Trump uses dishonesty to impress people and win approval. He boasts, exaggerates, and denies foolish things he’s said. What he doesn’t do, and this seems important to me, is hide his agenda. He didn’t come into office claiming one thing but intending to do another. He was blunt and forthright about what he would do, or try to do, once in office; for the most part (and more than most Presidents, I think) he has done or tried to do the things he said.

Vice President Biden, in contrast, uses dishonesty to mask his intentions. He evades direct questions when he thinks people might not approve of his answers. Will he pack the Supreme Court? He won’t say. Does he support the Green New Deal? Not last night, apparently (but, actually, yes).

Trump tells you what he plans to do, and lies so that you’ll like him.

Biden doesn’t tell you what he plans to do and lies so that you’ll give him the power to do it.

Biden also lies about silly things, like where he went to school and how he ranked in his class — and who actually wrote the paper he turned in. So he wants to be liked as well. But his big lie is that he’s a moderate who will stand up to the growing hard-left portion of his party. He isn’t. That’s just what he wants us to believe so that we’ll give him the power to do to us what he and his party want to do to us.

Yeah, I’d rather a thoroughly honest man were one of the choices. But I’ll take the guy who is at least honest about what he intends to do if elected — particularly as he’s already proven that he’s good for it, and has done a pretty good job.

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  1. PHenry Member

    I long ago stopped demanding ‘honesty’ in my politicians. That is like demanding virginity from a prostitute. You don’t become one without sacrificing the other.

    But what I do demand is loyalty. Loyalty to the country, loyalty to the constitution, and loyalty to the ideas you claim to represent. After all, if a politician isn’t true to the policies and principles he runs on, he is nothing.

    So sure, I would love it if a politician came along who never stretched the truth, never padded his resume, and never put on a public persona that differs from his inner self. Till then, I will just look for someone who can do the job I am ‘hiring’ them to do. Fight for what they run on. 

    Trump is very good at that.

    • #1
    • September 30, 2020, at 10:12 AM PDT
    • 26 likes
  2. Arahant Member

    Henry Racette: President Trump uses dishonesty to impress people and win approval. He boasts, exaggerates, and denies foolish things he’s said.

    Not all of these things are lies. Trump uses affirmations. They are a spiritual tool. Ever hear of The Power of Positive Thinking? The guy who wrote it was a minister. Specifically, he was minister of the church Trump attended growing up. Right in the first paragraph of the Wiki article on the book, it says, “These techniques usually involved affirmations and visualizations.” Many of the times that people say, “Trump is lying!” I hear it and I think, “Trump is affirming the Truth over the facts.”

    Tell me, Hank, and others who come in this conversation:

    • Are you familiar with the tool of affirmations?
    • If you are, have you noticed that is what Trump is often doing?
    • #2
    • September 30, 2020, at 10:21 AM PDT
    • 15 likes
  3. Sandy Member

    The distinction you draw is a good one, though I would add that at least at this point, Trump exaggerates more to persuade than to be loved. Four years ago I would not have said that, but watching him try to display the benefits of his actions through the lens of a hostile, lying press gives one a different perspective. In addition it should be pointed out that attacking Trump for lying is just one of a long list of charges Progressives have made that in fact reflect their own characters.

    • #3
    • September 30, 2020, at 10:25 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
  4. James Gawron Thatcher
    James GawronJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette: What he doesn’t do — and this seems important to me — is hide his agenda. He didn’t come into office claiming one thing but intending to do another.

    Henry,

    I’m glad you brought this up. It is the difference between puffery and fraud. Anybody who has worked for a living in the commercial world knows you’ve got to sell yourself. When you go a little over the line that way it is just puffery. However, when you intentionally deceive, like Biden, presenting a complete falsehood so a customer thinks they are getting A when they will get B, that is fraud.

    Biden is a cheap fraud. He tells the left he’ll go their way in the primary. Then he tells the general public he’ll go their way in the general election. Obviously, he would tell anybody anything to secure the vote he needs right now. Tomorrow he’ll just forget the whole thing.

    He is a rat-faced lying rat.

    Regards,

    Jim

     

    • #4
    • September 30, 2020, at 10:27 AM PDT
    • 20 likes
  5. PHenry Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: President Trump uses dishonesty to impress people and win approval. He boasts, exaggerates, and denies foolish things he’s said.

    Not all of these things are lies. Trump uses affirmations. They are a spiritual tool. Ever hear of The Power of Positive Thinking? The guy who wrote it was a minister. Specifically, he was minister of the church Trump attended growing up. Right in the first paragraph of the Wiki article on the book, it says, “These techniques usually involved affirmations and visualizations.” Many of the times that people say, “Trump is lying!” I hear it and I think, “Trump is affirming the Truth over the facts.”

    Tell me, Hank, and others who come in this conversation:

    • Are you familiar with the tool of affirmations?
    • If you are, have you noticed that is what Trump is often doing?

    I did not know that about Trump and Peale, and it is illustrative. I think you have something there!

    • #5
    • September 30, 2020, at 10:35 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  6. Arahant Member

    PHenry (View Comment):
    I did not know that about Trump and Peale, and it is illustrative. I think you have something there!

    Scott Adams also knows about affirmations and visualization. I would not be surprised if that is part of the reason he understands Trump and his success as well as he does. I don’t remember which book, but Adams mentioned his getting up to third most popular cartoonist behind Gary Larson and Bill Waterston. He continued with affirmations to be the number one cartoonist, and the other two decided to pursue other careers. Adams understands.

    • #6
    • September 30, 2020, at 10:44 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. Michael Brehm Member

    Jordan Peterson had a good answer when he was asked about the 2016 election in one of his many interviews. He said something to the effect of: “The people preferred the blustery, off-the-cuff lies of Trump over the calculated, focus-grouped lies of Clinton.” 

    • #7
    • September 30, 2020, at 10:46 AM PDT
    • 20 likes
  8. The Cynthonian Member

    Trump exaggerates a lot. That’s part of his blustery personality. That, coupled with the fact that he’s inarticulate, enables the media to characterize so much of what he says as “lies.”

    • #8
    • September 30, 2020, at 10:53 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. Stina Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Tell me, Hank, and others who come in this conversation:

    • Are you familiar with the tool of affirmations?
    • If you are, have you noticed that is what Trump is often doing?

    No, but I’ve recognized it.

    Biggest crowds ever wasn’t a lie – it was affirming a positive thought.

    Its motivational to him and his supporters.

    • #9
    • September 30, 2020, at 10:54 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. Bishop Wash Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: President Trump uses dishonesty to impress people and win approval. He boasts, exaggerates, and denies foolish things he’s said.

    Not all of these things are lies. Trump uses affirmations. They are a spiritual tool. Ever hear of The Power of Positive Thinking? The guy who wrote it was a minister. Specifically, he was minister of the church Trump attended growing up. Right in the first paragraph of the Wiki article on the book, it says, “These techniques usually involved affirmations and visualizations.” Many of the times that people say, “Trump is lying!” I hear it and I think, “Trump is affirming the Truth over the facts.”

    Tell me, Hank, and others who come in this conversation:

    • Are you familiar with the tool of affirmations?
    • If you are, have you noticed that is what Trump is often doing?

    I’ve seen a few people point this out during Trump’s presidency and it makes sense. He also comes across as a salesman, exaggerating the good things and hiding the bad things. 

    • #10
    • September 30, 2020, at 10:59 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  11. Stina Member

    On that book, Arahant, does it address honest evaluation of self, too?

    • #11
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:03 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. Maguffin Member

    Being a not ‘top of the class guy’ myself wouldn’t a compelling message from Biden be to point to his humble academic beginnings? It’s a classic American tale of humble origins not preventing one from achieving great (in terms of momentous/positional – not in terms of good/right) things? A bit of ‘hey slacker, even you can turn it around and become somebody’?

    Oh, yeah. Identity politics. Can’t do that kind of schtick any more.

    • #12
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:05 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This debate needed to happen only to prove that Biden is not senile. Their words can be quickly dismissed because both have track records in office. We don’t need to believe anything they say. 

    • #13
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:06 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  14. TBA Coolidge

    PHenry (View Comment):

    I long ago stopped demanding ‘honesty’ in my politicians. That is like demanding virginity from a prostitute. You don’t become one without sacrificing the other.

    But what I do demand is loyalty. Loyalty to the country, loyalty to the constitution, and loyalty to the ideas you claim to represent. After all, if a politician isn’t true to the policies and principles he runs on, he is nothing.

    So sure, I would love it if a politician came along who never stretched the truth, never padded his resume, and never put on a public persona that differs from his inner self. Till then, I will just look for someone who can do the job I am ‘hiring’ them to do. Fight for what they run on.

    Trump is very good at that.

    Such people will never be let anywhere near the levers of power. 

    • #14
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:09 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. TBA Coolidge

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: President Trump uses dishonesty to impress people and win approval. He boasts, exaggerates, and denies foolish things he’s said.

    Not all of these things are lies. Trump uses affirmations. They are a spiritual tool. Ever hear of The Power of Positive Thinking? The guy who wrote it was a minister. Specifically, he was minister of the church Trump attended growing up. Right in the first paragraph of the Wiki article on the book, it says, “These techniques usually involved affirmations and visualizations.” Many of the times that people say, “Trump is lying!” I hear it and I think, “Trump is affirming the Truth over the facts.”

    Tell me, Hank, and others who come in this conversation:

    • Are you familiar with the tool of affirmations?
    • If you are, have you noticed that is what Trump is often doing?

    When he describes himself as a ‘cheerleader for America’ this is what he is talking about. 

    Muhammad Ali didn’t walk around saying, ‘I’m the greatest just like every other boxer thinks of himself as the greatest.’ 

    Americans will not be led by the humble, and false humility has lost whatever charm it ever had. 

    • #15
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:16 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  16. TheRightNurse Member

    James Gawron

     Tomorrow he’ll just forget the whole thing.

     

    Why put off til tomorrow, that which he already does today?

    • #16
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:20 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  17. TBA Coolidge

    Michael Brehm (View Comment):

    Jordan Peterson had a good answer when he was asked about the 2016 election in one of his many interviews. He said something to the effect of: “The people preferred the blustery, off-the-cuff lies of Trump over the calculated, focus-grouped lies of Clinton.”

    Bold, New Lies for a Bold New America™ 

    • #17
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:20 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I approach the subject of “lies” warily. Especially when it comes to politics. How many “lies” are simply a genuine dispute over facts? How many “lies” are just a difference of opinion/interpretation? How many “lies” are actually someone being mistaken? 

    I won’t say that President Trump doesn’t lie. I think everyone does. However, I will say that most examples of his “lies” are actually either one of the other circumstances I mentioned or they are just total mischaracterizations.

    Joe Biden, on the other hand, dropped many actual lies in that debate last night alone. Not only that, but Biden is a master at presenting lies with such righteous anger that’s it’s persuasive if it’s not offputting or if you don’t already know that he’s always full of it. I mean, he sounds so convincing – who would act like that for something they know to be untrue? I think you can read which lies Biden is comfortable with and which he’s worried about by how he delivers them At the debate last night his responses about his son’s paydays from Russia and China weren’t quite so bold. Either way, President Trump shouldn’t be thrown off pursuit of any of the points.

    He just needs a better response to the “moderators”. If it were me, I’d set up an hour on Rogan. Enough to have a good discussion without getting bogged down in hour-two or hour-three nonsense that might be entertaining with other Rogan guests but would be bad political communication. 

    • #18
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:21 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  19. TBA Coolidge

    The Cynthonian (View Comment):

    Trump exaggerates a lot. That’s part of his blustery personality. That, coupled with the fact that he’s inarticulate, enables the media to characterize so much of what he says as “lies.”

    I don’t think he’s inarticulate, I think he’s ineloquent. People do know what he means when he speaks or writes (unless his stuff gets filtered through a lying news media). 

    • #19
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:23 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  20. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    TBA (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: President Trump uses dishonesty to impress people and win approval. He boasts, exaggerates, and denies foolish things he’s said.

    Not all of these things are lies. Trump uses affirmations. They are a spiritual tool. Ever hear of The Power of Positive Thinking? The guy who wrote it was a minister. Specifically, he was minister of the church Trump attended growing up. Right in the first paragraph of the Wiki article on the book, it says, “These techniques usually involved affirmations and visualizations.” Many of the times that people say, “Trump is lying!” I hear it and I think, “Trump is affirming the Truth over the facts.”

    Tell me, Hank, and others who come in this conversation:

    • Are you familiar with the tool of affirmations?
    • If you are, have you noticed that is what Trump is often doing?

    When he describes himself as a ‘cheerleader for America’ this is what he is talking about.

    Muhammad Ali didn’t walk around saying, ‘I’m the greatest just like every other boxer thinks of himself as the greatest.’

    Americans will not be led by the humble, and false humility has lost whatever charm it ever had.

    At the very least, we will never be led by people who are constantly tearing down America and telling us how terrible we are. (Not since we got rid of Obama anyway.) So you have a President who speaks well of America and its people. Who seeks to reassure in the tough times and not panic people.

    And on the other side you have people who say we’re fundamentally racist, can never be not-racist, and white people are the devil. They say that manufacturing is dead and never coming back. They say that fossil fuels are evil, and seek to shut down the whole industry, putting millions out of their jobs.

    And then they ask for your vote.

    • #20
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:32 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  21. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    Ed G. (View Comment):
    Joe Biden, on the other hand, dropped many actual lies in that debate last night alone. Not only that, but Biden is a master at presenting lies with such righteous anger that’s it’s persuasive if it’s not offputting or if you don’t already know that he’s always full of it. I mean, he sounds so convincing – who would act like that for something they know to be untrue? I think you can read which lies Biden is comfortable with and which he’s worried about by how he delivers them At the debate last night his responses about his son’s paydays from Russia and China weren’t quite so bold.

    Joe Biden’s blatant lies were the worst part of last night’s train wreck. He was repeating long-debunked garbage as truth. And he knows that he’ll never get called out on it. Charlottesville, Russian bounty, “Losers,” “He said to inject bleach!” . . . it was disgusting.

    Where was Wallace to correct him on those things?

    And Wallace himself connecting forest fires in the West to climate change was ridiculous. But it gave Biden the opening to run with it, until he connected all weather everywhere to Climate Change. It’s a religion with these people.

     

    • #21
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:36 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  22. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western ChauvinistJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette: President Trump uses dishonesty to impress people and win approval. He boasts, exaggerates, and denies foolish things he’s said. What he doesn’t do — and this seems important to me — is hide his agenda.

    Yes, but! I will add that what he exaggerates about are things that are inconsequential from a policy perspective. The crowd at his inaugural? Who cares??? That Ted Cruz’s father might have been involved in the Kennedy assassination? Snort! That’s a joke, and don’t we know it? 

    And that’s another element of his exaggerations — humor. People who don’t get it are mostly on the Left or they’re Nevers. The phrase “humorless scolds” would seem to apply. 

    Now, in the 2016 campaign, Trump said some things that were ugly and stupid. What he said about Cruz’s wife’s appearance and Carly Fiorina’s looks? Those were ugly comments and utterly unnecessary. He’s a deeply flawed man. The rest of us sinners should welcome him to the human race.

    The Left on the other hand. . . “fetuses are just a clump of cells.” “You can keep your doctor/insurance.” “The police are systemically racist and are hunting down innocent young black men to murder.” “The very existence of humans and the fossil fuels that make human flourishing possible are destroying the planet!!” These deceptions matter. They matter to ordinary Americans who suffer the consequences. These leftists are the People of the Lie. 

    • #22
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:42 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  23. PHenry Member

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):
    And Wallace himself connecting forest fires in the West to climate change was ridiculous.

    I was most disturbed with his comments about Critical Race Theory, and spinning it as “racial sensitivity training”. As if equality was it’s mission!

    “This month, your administration directed federal agencies to end racial sensitivity training that addresses white privilege or critical race theory. Why did you decide to do that, to end racial sensitivity training? And do you believe that there is systemic racism in this country, sir?”

    Trump missed the opportunity to address this properly, and I’m not sure why. But it should have been easy to say ‘you don’t fight racism with racism’.

    • #23
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:42 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  24. Arahant Member

    Stina (View Comment):

    On that book, Arahant, does it address honest evaluation of self, too?

    No idea. I’ve never read it. 😁 I come to the practice of affirmations and denials through Unity. In my case, I recognized what Trump was doing, and then did enough research to find that he was indeed exposed to the idea and how he was exposed.

    One of the things about affirmations, though, is they are not where you are, they are where you are going/want to be. One may do a self-evaluation, and one may look at how one needs to change. Then one can craft the denials and affirmations appropriate to one’s situation. There are many common affirmations, such as, “I let go and let God do the work,” or “I am a radiating center of divine love, mighty to attract my good and to radiate good to others.” There is a short list here. But one can create the denials and affirmations necessary for any situation or goal. There are more affirmations at the top of each of these inspirational readings.

    • #24
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:46 AM PDT
    • Like
  25. Steven Seward Member

    Excellent post, Henry! It is a great point about lying that I had not considered before.

    • #25
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:49 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  26. Arahant Member

    TBA (View Comment):
    Muhammad Ali didn’t walk around saying, ‘I’m the greatest just like every other boxer thinks of himself as the greatest.’

    Muhammad Ali was another example of somebody who sounded like he was bragging, but was using affirmations.

    • #26
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:51 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    PHenry (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):
    And Wallace himself connecting forest fires in the West to climate change was ridiculous.

    I was most disturbed with his comments about Critical Race Theory, and spinning it as “racial sensitivity training”. As if equality was it’s mission!

    “This month, your administration directed federal agencies to end racial sensitivity training that addresses white privilege or critical race theory. Why did you decide to do that, to end racial sensitivity training? And do you believe that there is systemic racism in this country, sir?”

    Trump missed the opportunity to address this properly, and I’m not sure why. But it should have been easy to say ‘you don’t fight racism with racism’.

    He tried. I recall that he did say “It’s racist!” but of course it’s not like anyone cares what the President actually says. They prefer to read his mind and they claim to know his heart.

    But you’re right. That was a low point. (That might have been when I posted in the live feed that I’d wished for a Newt Gingrich-style “I reject the premise of your question” response.)

    • #27
    • September 30, 2020, at 11:53 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  28. Bob Wainwright Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: President Trump uses dishonesty to impress people and win approval. He boasts, exaggerates, and denies foolish things he’s said.

    Not all of these things are lies. Trump uses affirmations. They are a spiritual tool. Ever hear of The Power of Positive Thinking? The guy who wrote it was a minister. Specifically, he was minister of the church Trump attended growing up. Right in the first paragraph of the Wiki article on the book, it says, “These techniques usually involved affirmations and visualizations.” Many of the times that people say, “Trump is lying!” I hear it and I think, “Trump is affirming the Truth over the facts.”

    Tell me, Hank, and others who come in this conversation:

    • Are you familiar with the tool of affirmations?
    • If you are, have you noticed that is what Trump is often doing?

    I would call this technique “speaking into existence what you want to be true.” 

    I actually know people who do this, and I think it’s annoying. It’s often overbearing and used by people who bluster and browbeat their way through life. I don’t really like this part of Trump’s personality but I’ll take it over the alternative. 

    • #28
    • September 30, 2020, at 12:08 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  29. PHenry Member

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):
    He tried. I recall that he did say “It’s racist!”

    Yes, and he did fumble around about it being Anti American and inappropriate for government employees and students. But he seems reluctant to call it out by name (Critical Race Theory) and to deny the implication he is banning racial sensitivity, whatever that means. CRT, specifically, needs to be disavowed and discredited. It is racist separatism and it is anti American at the core. Trump did absolutely the right thing banning it. Now, use the bully pulpit to explain why that kind of thinking is not acceptable nor benign.

     

    • #29
    • September 30, 2020, at 12:10 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  30. Randy Webster Member

    PHenry (View Comment):
    So sure, I would love it if a politician came along who never stretched the truth, never padded his resume, and never put on a public persona that differs from his inner self.

    You’ll not hear of him, because someone like that couldn’t be elected dog catcher.

    • #30
    • September 30, 2020, at 12:42 PM PDT
    • 3 likes