‘Stolen election’ the latest of Trump’s lies


If my mother were still alive, she would be pressing the mother of Donald Trump to do the old-fashioned formula for reforming liars. You sit the liar down at the table as you soak the washcloth in soapy water; a strong soap. Then you have them wash out their mouth with the washcloth, tongue first, since the tip of the tongue is the start of the serpent that spews the lie. It should be a thorough washing. No stopping after the first taste.

Mothers don’t put their hand in the mouth. They make the liar do it. Liars can also bite, even their mothers. 

If my father were alive, he would be advocating a Donald Trump spanking. Depending on the size of the lie, it might instead be a beating. A lie large enough to bring down a democracy would probably require a hospital stay. Mind you, I’m not advocating this! I’m a devout apostle of nonviolence in almost all circumstances. But these were standard methods for dissuading liars, used by many parents when I was growing up.

We’ve had liars in the White House before. In my lifetime, I’m convinced we’ve had at least four. Lyndon Johnson used an incident in the Gulf of Tonkin to escalate our involvement in Vietnam to a full-scale war. His was a lie of exaggeration. One takes a partial truth and uses it to justify ones actions. Those of my generation remember well the consequences of Johnson’s lie; body bags by the thousands, a chaotic divided country, and a hasty chaotic withdrawal.

Richard Nixon faced the Watergate scandal pretending he didn’t have anything to do with it. His was a “feigning innocence” lie. (My mother was onto that one, too.) Only when the Supreme Court forced the release of the tapes recording his involvement in the Watergate re-election scheme, was he forced to resign.

The signature lie for Bill Clinton was, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Eventually the truth emerged, that for a year and a half he was having sexual relations with “that woman,” an unpaid intern, and he was impeached by the House of Representatives for lying to a grand jury. His is what we think of as a “bold-faced” lie. 

George W. Bush led us to believe that 9/11 was the work of forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and they should reap the violence of our response, even though most of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia; none from Iraq. We invaded Iraq on the premise they had “weapons of mass destruction” in the hands of an untrustworthy dictator who needed to be removed. The weapons of mass destruction were never found, and Iraq and Afghanistan are presently troubled and ruined nations.

Which brings us to the present. We might have seen it coming. When Donald Trump came on the scene, he was already preparing us for the BIG LIE with lots of little ones. He was practiced in lies where he would withhold the full story, as well as in the lies of exaggeration, so we shouldn’t have been too surprised by the STOLEN ELECTION lie. The Washington Post fact checker posted 30,573 false or misleading claims from Donald Trump during his four years in the White House, more than half coming in his last year in office.

The problem is, Trump hasn’t been facing his mother with a soapy washcloth. He has been facing a larger audience who believe all Mexicans are rapists, protestors are rioters, and the mainstream media are “fake news.” Call your enemies names, long and loud enough (even a name like RINOs), and some people begin to believe you.  

When I was in high school, I sang in the choir. I also worked at a business downtown as a delivery boy. Our choir director and music teacher booked an engagement for us on a Saturday. I felt it was inappropriate for him to do this, without any consultation with us choir members. I didn’t attend with the excuse I had to work. He knew my boss and checked on my excuse, to find out I had lied. As a consequence, he scuttled my nomination for membership in the National Honor Society at our school.

There is such a thing as evidence of lying. There is always the possibility of testimony, of questioning those closest to the lie. And there are consequences for lying, as was true in my case. Hopefully, we can learn from those consequences.

If his mother isn’t alive to wash Donald’s mouth out with soap, or his father to spank him, let us at least expose the truth of his stolen election claim and implement the consequences. Our judicial system, and our processes for testing truth and lies of presidents, has so far survived the test of time. May it continue!

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