Donald Trump and the End of Time.
Still, as we head into the last few days of this malodorous campaign, we find that Trump is still generally regarded as more “trustworthy” than Clinton.
Clinton’s problem I think is that she obscures the truth occasionally, perhaps roughly to the same extent that most people do. Possibly, rather less than most politicians do. When Clinton tells you something, she’s probably telling you the truth but by all means go and check. On those relatively infrequent occasions when she can be factually disproved she becomes awkward. She can, like the rest of us, be caught lying. And, like the rest of us, the sense of having been less than truthful is uncomfortable. It feels like failure. Clinton, like the rest of us, is a flawed and compromised being who desires congruence with an ideal of truthfulness.
Trump on the other hand has no concept of objective truth whatsoever, so he can fully commit to whatever nonsense he’s spouting at any given time. All independent fact checking reveals that Trump’s statements are “off the chart pants on fire” when applied to any description of observable reality. Of course it helps Trump that he thinks Americans are the most worthless imbeciles on earth – which is how he can announce with a straight face that if Clinton is elected then 650 000 000 people will immigrate to the USA in just one week. Nobody despises America and its people more than Trump, which is why he believes there is no market for facts of any kind in a U.S. Election campaign.
It is because Trump has no concept of objective truth that he can never be caught ‘lying’ in the same way that Clinton and the rest of us can. For Trump there is no external standard of reality against which he can be judged, no reality at all other than whatever benefits Donald Trump at any given moment. It is a concept of language which is completely performative rather than referential or connotative.
And ‘any given moment’ is where Trump lives. He has does not live in time as we know it. His wildly contradictory behaviour and diametrically opposed statements regarding people and events all illustrate that he lacks the temporal consciousness that is a prerequisite for a stable self image based on internal consistency. It’s a sort of ego weakness that defines the true egomaniac. He not only resents being held to account by any external reality, but he also hates being constrained by the Donald Trump of five years ago or even five minutes ago.
President Trump would proclaim the End of Time because time represents consistency and continuity. It is why, despite his exploitation of Christianity as a ‘brand’ – as a badge of cultural privilege – he has a profound contempt not only for the low energy Nazarene but for the entirety of Abrahamic religion with its talk of binding covenants and a God that is the same today as She or He has always been. Trump’s sense of himself as a Deity is far more old-school Bronze Age pagan deity – an unpredictable Potency to be appeased.
Shamelessness is not Honesty. Fully committing to the lie does not make you truthful. But Trump’s shamelessness frees him from the visible symptoms of lying. Because he doesn’t react to his own flawed relationship with truth in the same way Clinton and the rest of the human race react, he somehow doesn’t “look” as much of a liar.
If you’re going to lie in politics, we learn, lie big and lie always. See “Brexit”.