When voters prefer lies over truth

The only way to really understand Donald Trump is to think of him as a Frankenstein creation.

That is Trump the Political Phenomenon. Not necessarily Trump the Person.

He is crude, mean, and lewd. So offensive that we can turn to members of his own party to describe his faults. Senator Lindsey Graham called him a “race baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot”.

Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate in 2012, said, “Dishonesty is Trump’s hallmark”.

Congressman Bob Dold won’t support him because he’s denigrated war heroes.

Barbara Bush, the wife of one president and the mother of another, said, “I mean, unbelievable. I don’t know how women can vote for someone who said what he said about Megyn Kelly, it’s terrible.”

Liars telling lies for their own advantage makes sense. What is strange is the desire of listeners to prefer lies. Yet during the Republican primaries, the more lies a candidate told, as measured by PoltiFact, who tracks such things, the more popular they became. With Trump ultimately running away with the field. Because that’s what the electorate wanted.

What people fail to keep in mind is that Trump is up against Clinton. ?If the Democratic Party had a better candidate, Trump would not be able to flourish beyond the redneck demographic.

Barbara Bush was against Trump because he was rude to Megyn Kelly. Kelly is very stylish, looks good on camera and is probably quite intelligent. But she is part of the Fox News machine where false is true, fiction is fact, and Donald Trump can flourish.

Also, like other female on-camera talent at Fox, she has been required to present herself as a sex object, wearing short skirts, sitting on furniture specifically designed to have cameras acting like 12 year old boys, trying to sneak a peak up her thighs.

It has recently been revealed that this was more than a mere matter of style. Roger Ailes, and presumably other members of senior management, pressured women at Fox to have sex if they wanted success, threatened their careers if they refused, and acted on those threats.

So Barbara Bush was admiring and defending the real bastion of sexism and chauvinism.

When it became clear that Trump would win the nomination, Lindsey Graham said: “My party has gone batshit crazy”. True.

But Lindsay, look around, it’s not Trump who made it that way. Trump just picked up all your party’s favourite parts and stuck them on himself. Sure, he may be the monster. But your party is the Dr Frankenstein that made him possible. That made him inevitable.

The debate has been a bit of a wake-up call, and unless Trump does better, he may just miss out on the final one or two percent needed to take Clinton down. ?It will be mandatory watching all the same.


-?Larry Beinhart, Al Jazeera