Wetting our current political mess, what came to me, as if it were a dream, were the lines that “Big Daddy” said in Tennessee Williams ’play“ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, ”to say: “There is nothing” more powerful than the smell of mendacity. You can smell … it smells like death ”. And elsewhere: “You know what a lie is: they’re lies and liars.”
We all need a good strong dose of Big Daddy’s harangue against intentional distortions of the truth, against those who spend their days throwing lies after another and waiting for the American public to swallow the toxic, and like it.
Yes, almost all politicians, at one time or another, avoid the facts, play with the truth or work so that unpleasant realities do not appear in the public square. However, since Donald J. Trump took the national stage as the 45th president of the United States, we have been swimming for life in a fetid swamp of lying.
And the falsehood he has dealt with smells of death. The death of our 245-year-old democracy.
Worst of all, his begging has been contagious. Trump’s culture of deception has been bought and marketed by certain GOP politicians and experts and sold to millions of aggrieved Americans looking for a savior to save their wounds and rescue them from the oppression imagined by “ The other”.
“The Other” is about people who don’t look or think like them and who had the audacity to vote Democrat and leave Trump out of office, installing Joseph R. Biden as our 46th president. Biden spent 36 years (six terms) in the U.S. Senate and eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president learning the ropes; Trump had not spent a day in the public service before his election.
During Trump’s four-year term, the Washington Post tracked down his false statements. The count shot himself. The total weighed in at 30,573 is from his inauguration until his last day at the White House. That’s an average of 21.2 lies a day.
The mendacity continues straight for the present. Trump has never admitted that he lost the 2020 election to Biden; in fact, he continues to encourage his supporters to “Stop the Robbery” and to say “Trump won by current.”
He didn’t. In what has been described as the fairest and safest election in U.S. history, Biden won the popular vote on Trump by more than 7 million votes and won the Electoral School count from 306 to 232 .
It is currently the proposal of a bipartisan congressional commission to investigate the January 6 Capitol revolt, which sought to prevent the Electoral College votes from being counted to formalize Biden’s victory. The commission was initially viewed favorably by Republicans, and in fact 35 Republicans in the House voted with Democrats to establish it.
Trump has made it known that he opposes the commission. And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Seems to be willing to calm Trump down and prevent the commission from being set up.
The two West Virginia senators, Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Shelley Moore Capito, may be able to divert the Senate from lying and seek the truth. All the power of this effort!
John Patrick Grace, a former reporter, editor and foreign correspondent for the Associated Press, writes a weekly column for The Herald-Dispatch.