Donald Trump’s Staggering Bullshit is Dangerous for America
In wednesday night’s third and final presidential debate, Donald Trump was once again outmaneuvered and definitively proven to be the most unqualified presidential candidate in decades. Trump continued to weave a web of half-truths, lies, and cherry-picked facts to paint a picture of America in decline. His use of rhetoric that plays among his supporters, while flying in the face of facts, is a deliberate strategy to lure in disenfranchised voters from poorly educated backgrounds. This is a strategy he has proudly proclaimed.
In spite of these historically poor debate performances, Trump remains committed to condemning the election process and tangentially threatening the stability of the global economy by ludicrously suggesting we should scrap all existing free trade agreements. If that isn’t bad enough, he repeated claims that more nations should be allowed to invest in and utilize nuclear weapons for their protection, lied about $6 billion missing from the State Department budget, and repeated entirely false claims of widespread voter fraud.
Trump once again changed his relationship status with Vladimir Putin from “In a Relationship” to “I don’t know Putin”, refuting his own claims from a 2014 video. He falsely suggested illegal immigrants are better off and have more rights afforded to them than American veterans. The fact is that Trump is willing to lie about just about everything in order to be elected President of the United States. He’s told blatant lies on everything from foreign policy goals to the fact that there are no chess grandmasters in the United States. These lies are easily refutable, but routinely get passed off as fact by people regurgitating his arguments to paint America as a failed or failing state, of which we are neither.
Donald Trump’s very candidacy hinges on the fact that refuting his incessant line of bullshit is tiresome. His strategy follows what is sometimes referred to as Brandolini’s law or the bullshit asymmetry principle. The bullshit asymmetry principle states that the energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude greater than the energy necessary to spout the bullshit in the first place.
This principle is why Politifact has been working overtime during this election cycle. This explains why it isn’t worth the time to argue with the myriad of people linking to self-referential Alex Jones pieces and other laughably poorly reported stories. It is why these stories are so often repeated as fact despite never coming from verified sources in the first place. This is a dangerous precedent to set in modern American politics. Facts are being increasingly replaced by truthiness.
This has lead increasing distrust of the mainstream media, which is attempting to warn the American public of Trump’s dangerously loose relationship with the truth. If it seems like the media is stacking the deck against Donald, that’s because the fourth estate is trying to serve its intended purpose, to provide verified reports to the American public. Not trusting sources is any individual’s prerogative, but when a sweeping majority of legitimate sources are saying Trump is dangerous, we should believe them.
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
― Daniel Patrick Moynihan