Trump’s a Liar and a Crook? So?

For some time, I’ve wondered how a man who’s defrauded his investors, lied every time he’s opened his mouth, and most likely obstructed justice isn’t called to task by a greater percentage of the American people and why so few seem to care about Trump’s actions along those lines.

The other day I got an answer. I was talking to my cobbler, a man likely older than I am who’s been resoling and repairing my boots for more than a decade. He asked me what I thought of Trump, and I, fairly certain that he was a conservative Republican, said that I worried about Trump’s “solutions” and his ethics.

The cobbler’s response was simple. “Aren’t all politicians crooks?”

Now, that’s not true. I worked as a staffer in Congress long enough to know that a comparative small percentage are crooks, and most of those aren’t crooks in the sense of overtly breaking the law, but they’re good at taking advantage of its weaknesses and loopholes, and in the process of doing so able to gain considerable financial advantage.

But that’s not the point. I’ve heard about politicians being liars and crooks for years. A century ago, Mark Twain was saying the same thing. The point is that a significant percentage of Americans believe that politicians are crooked, and they’ve heard it for years.

That may well be why charges of being crooked or corrupt don’t stick to Trump. I suspect there’s a subconscious feeling on the part of many voters that, since so many politicians are crooked, and that they all lie, why single out Trump. This feeling may have also contributed to Hillary Clinton’s defeat because, while most crooked politicians are male, women aren’t supposed to be crooks, and by calling Clinton “Crooked Hillary” Trump was playing to the subconscious bias that women shouldn’t be President, especially women who are crooks.

I also suspect that, unless the Democrats can come up with hard and solid evidence that Trump committed illegal acts, as opposed to the almost entirely circumstantial evidence presently known, any actual vote of impeachment in the Senate will fail, and that the ethics issues won’t be a major factor in the next election.

6 thoughts on “Trump’s a Liar and a Crook? So?”

  1. Derek says:

    People on the right wing will continue to vote for Trump, regardless, so long as he continues to hurt and target the ‘right’ people.

    When his policies inevitably hurt everyone, they’ll turn on him and act as if they’ve always known he was awful.

    Until it hurts them, they’re not going to change.

    1. I’d amend your last statement slightly to — until they know it hurts them. A lot of people who vote for Trump are being hurt, but it’s not obvious to them.

  2. Jeff says:

    I just finished Robert Caro’s first book on LBJ (I’m kind of reading them backwards, starting with his senate book). I was impressed with LBJ’s father and Sam Raburn, both who appeared not to take advantage even of the loopholes. LBJ was another story!

    1. AdrianDominic says:

      I have found all of Robert Caro’s books to be fascinating on the subject of power and bring into sharp focus the trade off between effectiveness and morality in political life. Interestingly some of LBJ’s greatest political strengths seem to have been learnt from the mistakes his father made and a determination not to repeat them.

  3. Daze says:

    I could not bring myself to watch the movie Truth because of knowing that all that great work to expose W as a liar and draft-dodger got in the end treated as equivalent to / no worse than / some doubt about the exact wording of Kerry’s medal citation.

  4. Tom says:

    While I sympathize that Politicians tend to be liars I would add an addenda:

    The electorate supports fantasy and never the truth.

    But … what I still cannot understand about the election of Trump, as our US representative to the world, is that the people who think all politicians are liars would vote for a Lonnegan and not for a Hernry Gondorff!

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