The mariner was sitting at a lunch counter the other day with a few of his acquaintances. It was his first encounter with avid Donald fans. These were good, loving people, active in church life, not the extremist type in any measure. The acquaintances had great disdain for the professional politician no matter the party or even some of the views about abortion, states’ rights, or immigration. More important, they were professional politicians – a species to be despised. Other republicans the mariner had conversations with on other occasions were disdainful of the whole lot, including Donald. They had a hard edge to them; heavy duty pro-gun, no abortions under any circumstance and, sadly, much in line with the Deep South’s resistance to homosexuals. These hard-edged folks were the tea party kind he understood. They carried paranoia with them like others carry a lunch box.
Carefully entering the conversation at the counter, he asked, “What is it about Donald that appeals to you?”
“He never lies,” they said. “Every other politician lies – all the time.”
The mariner didn’t pursue a response as they continued to laud Donald for being his own man, spending his own money, and again saying that, “Whatever Donald says, he never lies! He says what he means!”
When Donald says he will remove 12 million Hispanics from the US and “ship them back to Mexico,” isn’t that a lie? Can’t anyone in his audience understand he can’t do that even if he put up the money himself? The audience likes his arrogant and irreverent homiletics but can’t they see it is a lie? It is pure bullcrap. He says he will overturn the Fourteenth Amendment to prevent immigrants from coming over the border for “one day” to have an anchor baby. This is a lie, too – regardless of one’s opinion. Donald’s cadre of “expert lawyers” is a lie, too. No honest lawyer would dare go near the Fourteenth Amendment, a cultural precedent that is older than the US and traces all the way back to pre-American times in Great Britain. And the mariner suspects Donald knows it’s a lie as well – or maybe he believes he can do it. Either way, an incongruous falsehood. Sadly, his fans distrust non-whites in the first place and would rather enjoy a lie told as a truth than give Donald’s words a second thought.
When Donald says he will build a 12 billion dollar fence along the border with Mexico, it is a deliberate lie. Congress cannot possibly afford to spend that much on a fence; 12 billion is more than even Donald can spend. Adding the army and air force flies in the face of credulity. Who wants a war with Mexico?
The mariner has offered a taste of the truth as told by a careless fabricator. Yet Donald sits firmly at the top of polls in popularity. He is there because a homophobic, xenophobic, and racist vein runs through American culture. How many are out there? The mariner fears there are enough to derail a truly historical moment in US history that will position us to survive a while longer.