Telling lies is easy. The hard part is remembering what you said so you don’t trip up later. As a toddler, if my parents caught me doing something I had been told not to do, I wriggled out of it by saying, “Ronnie made me do it.”
He was two years older, and also knew the boundaries we were expected to live by. Did he actually put me up to my shenanigans? I doubt it.
What my punishment might have been for misbehaving, and then lying about it, I don’t recall.
Somewhere along as I grew up I concluded that maintaining a lie was too exhausting and perilous to be worth it. But not before my excuse became part of family lore, recounted at family gatherings and reunions.
In the 1970s and 1980s comic Flip Wilson became famous for his female character, Geraldine Jones, an outrageous flirt, yet faithful to her unseen boyfriend, Killer.
Wilson’s character Geraldine Jones, was known for three signature lines: “What you see is what you get”; “When you’re hot, you’re hot and when you’re not, you’re not”; and her best known, all-purpose excuse for anything she knew she shouldn’t have done, “The Devil made me do it.”
She punctuated her everyday existence with that excuse. In one scene, while sashaying along an avenue of boutique shops, she noticed in one display window a mannequin modelling a particularly gaudy gown.
Against all rational reason, for she wasn’t rich, she sidled into the store and moments later emerged wearing the dress. Questioned, “Why did you buy the dress?” she smirked and said, “The Devil made me do it.”
Geraldine’s fibs were as transparent as ice, meant only to create humour. They held no malice, no attempt to deceive.
President Trump’s lies are far from funny and spoken with every intention to deceive, to distract, and invariably to puff up his fragile ego. What a sad excuse for a U.S. president.
Yet he spouts one lie after another as though voters and viewers are too dazzled by his orange coif and fake bullfrog smile to recognize his insincerity.
Minutes after Trump’s inauguration he began boasting his inauguration crowd had been far bigger than Obama’s.
Next day at White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s first press conference, he too proclaimed Trump’s crowd bigger than Obama’s, “Period”.
A TV newsman disputed that claim while interviewing Kellyanne Conway, one of Trump’s “advisors”.
That’s when she invented a term that’s dominated news reports and brought laughs on comic shows ever since. She said, “Spicer offered alternative facts.”
“Alternative facts are falsehoods”, the newsman countered. “Lies.”
Conway snapped, “Don’t be so dramatic!”
Today news media presented official proof Trump, Spicer and Conway were wrong about Trump’s crowd total. Completely wrong. Period.
Thanks to an Access to Information request, the American government has released official archival videos of the two groups of inaugural spectators. For comparison, CNN displayed both videos, side by side.
During the inauguration, to prevent trampling of the lawn, the mall viewing area was overlain with protective white panels from close to where Trump took the oath of office extending to the Washington monument. No viewer needs 20/20 vision to tally the large bare white patches in Trump’s crowd.
Besides habitual lying, 70-year-old Trump avoids taking responsibility for anything that goes wrong on his watch. I was only three or four when I blamed Ronnie for my misdeeds. It’s time Trump grows up.