There’s been a lot of talk lately about liars. So much in fact, that new phrases have become popular and acceptable, like fake news and alternative facts. People are arguing that ‘all politicians lie,’ as though, if true, it somehow makes it acceptable which causes one to ask, does truth-telling matter? I suppose a blog called The Other Side of Denial should at least address the dilemma.
Interestingly, the basic definition of denial is: the action of declaring something to be untrue.
Well, holy moly, this blog is referencing the act of lying! I’ve been living in denial about my blog about living in denial. No lie.
At the heart of the matter President Trump lies openly and doesn’t seem to mind being called a liar. He verbally attacks former FBI Director, James Comey, accusing him of being a liar (and a leaker, which makes me giggle). James Comey has publicly called the president a liar. Somebody is lying.
We know Donald Trump lies and doesn’t seem to care, but could it be that he is merely living in a constant state of denial? If so, should we go easy on him? Pretend it isn’t so? I’ve heard experts say the difference between Trump’s lies and other politicians’ untruths (like Nixon I am not a crook and Clinton I did not have sexual relations with that woman) is our president may well believe his lies and may not distinguish between truth and untruth. There is another definition of denial: a psychological defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality. Oh dear.
The Other Side of Denial began when I witnessed up close and personal my elderly father’s ability to pretend that certain things were a certain way, when clearly they were not. I never considered it lying. In fact, I saw it as an act of self-preservation, a defense mechanism, in many cases. The older I get the more I understand my father’s tendency for practicing denial. I’d like to believe (and pretend it is so) that I need not get regular dental cleanings, that if I take a daily dose of aspirin I don’t need to schedule a doctor appointment to have my heart checked. My mother believed if you go to the doctor they will surely find something, but if you don’t go . . . denial.
Trump would have us believe his tax returns are being audited (forever?) and America doesn’t care about them anyway. He wants us to believe his doctor’s note stating, he is the healthiest president, is real, that he wasn’t actually mocking a disabled reporter and that he knows more about ISIS than the generals. Why would someone tell such whoppers when they are such stretches of his imagination? Because he can. But if he chooses to do it under oath it becomes an entirely different animal. Perjury.
C’mon, America! It is our civic duty to not accept the lies as normal (political parties aside). There is a difference between a healthy state of denial and uncontrollable chronic lying whether you believe your own lies or not.
It’s probably a good thing that Donald Trump and James Comey are now publicly calling each other liars. It gives us all permission to call it what it is. And that’s the truth.