19 Aug '16     home | previous

Truthiness is Back

Ronald Reagan did his campaigning for president without scandal mongering or distorting the truth about his opponents. Reagan didn't get everything right, but he was basically honest and straight-talking. So too was John McCain. (McCain corrected a woman at one of his rallies about his opponent Obama being an Arab.)

Yesterday, Donald Trump told his audience: "But one thing I can promise you is this: I will always tell you the truth."

In my opinion Trump is no Ronald Reagan or John McCain.

Today "truthiness" is back in the news. Writes Wikipedia: "Truthiness is a quality characterizing a "truth" that a person making an argument or assertion claims to know intuitively "from the gut" or because it "feels right" without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.

This past Tuesday, Trump did his thing by declaring that Hillary Clinton "is against the police – believe me. You know it and I know it, and guess what, she knows it." Clinton has been talking up support for the police, but no matter. Trump's gullible supporters responded with chants of "lock her" and "treason."

We all believe we know what truth is. This philosophy website opines that truth is reality outside our head described accurately. It recognizes that some people apply wishful thinking to their view of what that reality is. They see what they want to see and describe it in the context of their general ideas or gut feelings. And if they are heroes like Trump they have followers who apply their own wishful thinking to his claims. They want to hear Hillary Clinton maligned.

I don't want to join those who simply call Trump a liar. Let's cut down on the simplistic accusations. I'm less than thrilled hearing Hillary Clinton call Trump as a racist (and hearing Trump deny it.

Trump is one of those who doesn't know his own mind well. He hasn't been much of a practitioner of introspection. In wanting to defeat Hillary in November you can bet that he will continue speaking falsehoods regarding her, and we may not know whether he really believes those falsehoods.

As his campaign chairman Kellyann Conway says, Trump will continue to be Trump. And Trump says that not changing is his way of being honest with people.

Most of those who today are his devoted followers will go along with Trump's interpretation of his honesty. Some of us think his thinking is too disorganized for honesty. Put another way, Trump is a bit wacko. Let's see whether while being himself he can change the minds he needs to change to win the election in November.

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Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.