Trump is the Archangel of Truth, knocking on the GOP’s door

Obama-somber-AP

So, you wanna know how we ended up with Donald Trump as the Republican nominee?

OK, I’ll tell you how we ended up with Donald Trump as the Republican nominee. In fact, I’ll explain the whole thing, from beginning to end, and I’ll do it using the results of just one seemingly unrelated polling question as my evidence.

Ready? Here goes:

Barack Obama has twice won election as president of the United States; he has served in that role for seven and a half years. Yet even now, in August of 2016, with Obama’s final term coming to an end and more and more Americans coming to appreciate his leadership, some 72 percent of Republicans either still believe that Obama was born overseas or claim to be uncertain about his birthplace.

In fact, according to a new NBC News poll, only 27 percent of registered Republican voters are willing to acknowledge what is absolute, concrete, extremely well-publicized fact: The president was born right here in the United States, in Hawaii, on Aug. 4, 1961, just as his birth certificate documents.
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So there you go: That’s my explanation for how we ended up with Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.

And no, I’m not just referring to the fact that as far back as 2011, Trump used the birther nonsense to build his standing with the party faithful, claiming to have sent investigators to Hawaii to uncover the real truth and “you won’t believe the amazing stuff they’re finding”, yadda yadda yadda. While all of that’s true, the real importance of the birther issue is as a symptom of problems that go much deeper and broader.

If only one out of four Republicans is willing to admit something so banal as the president’s place of birth, if the denial of that simple fact still runs that deep, then you have a political party that has chosen to divorce itself from reality. You have a political party that encourages itself to believe what it prefers to believe, what it finds convenient and comforting to believe, without regard to whether it is actually true or not. You have a political party that has retreated into its own self-created mythology about the world, that defends itself with an endless flurry of conspiracy theories and half-truths, and that turns on any member who might dare to question that mythology.

More importantly, you have a political party that acts upon that invented reality as if it were actual reality, and that squawks in outrage when actual reality refuses to play along.

It shouldn’t be an act of courage for a Republican politician to admit, in public, within earshot of Republican voters, that Obama is a native-born American who is fully qualified under the Constitution to be president, and who loves his country just as the rest of us do. In a party that was at least somewhat grounded in reality, anybody who suggested that Obama wasn’t a natural-born citizen would be dismissed to the lunatic fringe and barred from serious responsibility.

Instead, when you have a party in which just 27 percent of voters say the president was born in this country, you also have a party that has no defense mechanisms against a con man for whom such tall tales are just a launching point for ever bigger, more attractive lies and conspiracy theories. Because if you can make yourself believe that Obama was born in Kenya, why not also believe that Mexico is going to pay for the wall and that we’ll root out and deport 12 million people? Why not?

Myself, I’m willing to believe — in some ways I even want to believe — that a lot of Republicans who flirt with this birther nonsense actually know better.  A good number of them probably do accept what the real facts are, but they just can’t admit it, not even to themselves, because doing so even in the quiet of their own minds makes them feel vaguely disloyal.

But if so, that just makes the problem worse. If they can’t admit the obvious truth that Obama is a native-born citizen, then they can’t even entertain the notion that the global climate really is warming to a dangerous extent, that supply-side economics is voodoo economics, that Hillary Clinton did not abandon her friend Chris Stevens to the terrorist hordes at Benghazi and that Lee Harvey Oswald acted without the assistance of Ted Cruz’s papá.

In his recently published memoirs, former CIA Director Michael Hayden recalls talking with a political officer in the Bulgarian government, back in the days before the Iron Curtain fell. The conversation wasn’t going well and finally Hayden got frustrated.

“What is truth to you?” he demanded of his Communist counterpart.

“Truth? Truth is what serves the Party.”

A few years later, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, we saw the inevitable results of such an attitude. As the Soviets learned, you can invent your own reality and you can try to live in that invented reality for a long, long time, but eventually, actual reality is going to show up at your door and demand to be respected. Sometimes the Archangel of Truth shows up in the form of an economy that comes crashing to the ground, unable any longer to sustain the contradiction between party truth and actual truth. At other times, apparently, it can show up in the form of an orange-haired man who takes your invented reality and blows it up into a cartoon version of its already overblown self, until only the truly blind can claim not to see its fatal contradictions.

Reader Comments 0

1486 comments
Wayne Cleary
Wayne Cleary

I'm pretty sure you can't use Trump and Angel in the same sentence!

Kenneth Shane White
Kenneth Shane White

Hey Bookman! " Yada Yada Yada " that's what I hear from your very biased opinion.

Daniel Gomez
Daniel Gomez

KESHA, WHY WEREN'T YOU ABORTED? WHAT YOU JUST WROTE IS DIVISIVE !

Todd Cummings
Todd Cummings

God, I hate this freaking paywall. Love the paper - hate the paywall.

Carla Carroll
Carla Carroll

We ended up with Donal trump because this country is sick of these crooked Washington politicians. It should be pretty obvious.

Kevin Lacy
Kevin Lacy

Lol - that would make the wife of impeached treason committing draft dodging philandering intern molesting perjuring pedophile rapist bill clinton the queen of lies

Tamara Wells
Tamara Wells

Hahahaha hahahahaha! Trump is a liberal you gullible fool.

Mary Sikes
Mary Sikes

Speak for yourself......do not include me in your liberal nightmare!

Anthony Achimasi
Anthony Achimasi

Yeah, let's never mind the fact that most voters are tired of these career politicians who always make the same promises and deliver nothing. Let's never mind the fact that Trump was the only non politician in the race for the GOP. Let's blame it all on the birth certificate issue...

Kim Miller
Kim Miller

No..but it would be nutty to even consider voting for Hillary Clinton

Wally Moryl
Wally Moryl

Trump could never be as Truthful as Obama has been to US CITIZENS ? ? ?

Mark Tatum
Mark Tatum

You can keep your doctor, gaving money to Iran, sound familar

Lynn Coffey
Lynn Coffey

What turnip wagon did you fall off from?

Mark Tatum
Mark Tatum

The ajc is not worthy of toilet paper

Starlan Hoke
Starlan Hoke

DONALD running a game he said it 1998 he been Democrat his all this time He would run as a GOP THEY WATCH FOX LISTEN TO LIES HIS NUMBER WOULD BE GOOD WELL HE DOING THIS BY THE WAY HE NOT GOING HELP THE POOR LOL HE SAID THE POOR WILL VOTE FOR HIM BENGHAZI 4 IRAQ 4800 people kill Bush MADE AWAY WITH EMAILS I DID THINK THAT TRUMP WAS TRUE WHEN HE CAME OUT I WAS WRONG A NUT I WAS LOCK IN THE HALLWAY WITH TRUMP AT MGM TYSON HOLYFIELD MATCH WHO KNEW HE WAS CRAZY

Mark Tatum
Mark Tatum

If Trump cuts tags you'll have more money and the government will have less to gave to people that hate us

John Boggs
John Boggs

I'm thinking the lefty press is ramping up figuring that if they show enough support they'll get to keep more stuff when it comes time to slicing everybody else's up. Kinda like Bernies new crib.

Ericca Love
Ericca Love

Easy. White Racist America Was So Pissed and Angry That White Non Racist America Put A Black Man Into Office Not Once But Twice! That White Racist America Reacted Immaturely* Out of FEAR and Decided That An Arrogant Narcissistic Sociopath Will As Much Charm As Rumpelstiltskin Would Be Their Best Choice of Representing Them In Their Time of Pure Hatred Based Off of Fear ALONE. THAT'S HOW!!

Ericca Love
Ericca Love

Okay.....and you're entitled to your opinion too....lol!

Jan Marynowski
Jan Marynowski

Ericca Love, based on your comments you are the racist.

Ericca Love
Ericca Love

And See Ppl....thats how arguments start. You have to Ignore nonsense and never validate it with more nonsense or even attempt to rationalize Anyone's nonsense #EriccaLoveIsARacist

Jan Marynowski
Jan Marynowski

Obama is probably the worst President ever, let's see: thanks to him our GDP growth the worst ever , 43% increase of people on food stamps, poverty jumped from 40 to 47 million of Americans, median income dropped by $4000.00, debt jumped from 10 to almost 20 Trillion, black youth unemployment rate is over 30 % in major cities, lowest work force since 1977, home ownership dropped by 4%.........should I continue. ..and you think he is criticize because he is black. Then you are showing your ignorance.

Ericca Love
Ericca Love

All your opinion. I only read the first four words. Enjoy yourself

Roderick A. Meadows
Roderick A. Meadows

I'm praying AGAINST Trump. He comes off like an immature, petulant child when he doesn't get his way. At this point, the only candidate I'm really interested in supporting is Jill Stein.

Kesha Shuntae
Kesha Shuntae

Why are we still talking about the POTUS? He is not running for President, Hillary is!!!!!? He has nothing to do with this upcoming election and I see as stated the numbers speak for themselves. The numbers speak for the POTUS, the numbers speak for the people. Americans feel that the President has done a great job. While I don't agree with everything he did, he did a good job with what he walked in to. So well done President Obama. I wish the FLOTUS would have run because I know she would have won it. I am definitely not for Trump. He will only keep this nation more divided, and that is something that we do not need at a time like this. #dumptrump

Chellie Mallet
Chellie Mallet

I don't what world you are leaving in but most think Obama is awful

Mark Tatum
Mark Tatum

Keisha, are you any better off or did obama just go from a couple million to a hundred million, hillary did the same thing during the same time

Kesha Shuntae
Kesha Shuntae

Mark Tatum, I am no better off than I was when Clinton or Bush was in Office than I am while Obama is in office. I am also not a fan of Hillary. But one thing is for sure, we do not need Trump in Office. I would rather vote for Hillary over him. I guess it comes down to the greater of the two evils. When I look at it this way, I definitely want vote for Trump. He has not said anything that would convince me that he is capable of running this country. He does not even have the brains to realize that he is hurting his own campaign.

Kesha Shuntae
Kesha Shuntae

Also Mark look at all the Billions Bush messed up while in Office. No one wants to really talk about that.

Kesha Shuntae
Kesha Shuntae

Chellie Mallet did you read the article? Numbers don't lie.

Ashley Blue
Ashley Blue

all politicians are liars. plain and simple. if you think otherwise then you are a simple minded fool

Tim Duke Sr.
Tim Duke Sr.

That is true trumps not a politician though... he'd be the only man to ever take a pay cut to try to fill this job

Rose Budd
Rose Budd

Tim Duke Sr. He is a politician so just accept it. It's ok.

Kim Miller
Kim Miller

Somehow I must have missed how Trump is a racist.. can you or anyone give me an example of him being racist?

Rose Budd
Rose Budd

Hilary Wehrle yep! Power and control.

Kim Miller
Kim Miller

And you think Hillary is a better candidate? Gimme a Break

Val Smith
Val Smith

Kim Miller is someone paying you to post these nutty comments?

Kim Miller
Kim Miller

When do we beat Mexico at the border? They’re laughing at us, at our stupidity. […] When Mexico sends its people they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you; they’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting.”

Kim Miller
Kim Miller

Trumps words...misinterpreted by the media

David Anderson
David Anderson

In 1973 Trump was successfully sued for not renting his apartments to minorities. He also suggested he wouldn't get a fair trial in the Trump University lawsuit due to the judge's ethnic background.

Tim Duke Sr.
Tim Duke Sr.

The man that used to sleep with black women and has Jewish children these people don't know the real racist is cuz a real racist would never sleep with a black woman nor have Jewish grandchildren they clearly don't know what a real racist is

Hilary Wehrle
Hilary Wehrle

learn what racism is... it is about finding another person inferior based on color, religion etc. Having sex with someone does not eliminate racism if it is about an unequal power relationship.

Rose Budd
Rose Budd

Tim Duke Sr. This statement is so idiotic. Slave "masters" slept (raped) black women all the time and were still racists.

Hilary Wehrle
Hilary Wehrle

Rose Budd dont hold your breathe they will never understand.. its too much of a threat to their bubble.

Russell Lewis
Russell Lewis

Trump was quoted several times asking " How did Obama get into Harvard University (a black man), when he couldn't get in there?"(a white man.) He dog whistled a lie that blacks already have it better in this country than whites and he has the full support of white supremacist groups.