It seems like all of Trump’s critics write and talk about Trump being a pathological liar. We just can’t say this with any certainty. In fact, if he was a pathological liar I think, were he not so deplorable in so many ways, we might just have some empathy for him.
Wait before you zoom down to the comments. Here’s why. “Pathology,” from the Latin “pathologia” is generally used to describe the causes and effects of disease. It can also be used to describe a mental, social, or linguistic abnormality or malfunction. In other words, if that’s what Trump is, he’s sick.
What then is the disease, abnormality, or malfunction that causes Trump’s incessant lying? We can say that he’s an inveterate or incorrigible liar. We can even compare him to other public figures and say that he’d a world class liar.
This morning I wrote about Trump and his lying from a psychological perspective in “Analyzing Trump’s Lies.” There’s no particular reason to refer to it because I couldn’t draw any conclusions. After doing some research all I could come up with is that there’s no way of knowing why he lies. We don’t know whether he deliberately lies or believes his lies. Either way we have no way to discern whether his lies are an unabashed attempt to win, or an unconscious attempt to avoid psychological discomfort.
I put a poll on that diary to see how readers came down on the deliberate vs. the delusional (so to speak). The results are on the right.
I wrote about how pathological lying was not currently a psychiatric diagnosis, and how it didn’t even fit into the symptoms of any other diagnosis.
How can one deal with a politician about whose lies there is only one dispute: does he lie every 3 ½ minutes or every five minutes? This is the topic all over the media. Should the debate moderators hold the candidates to a standard of truth telling? Should we rely on journalists and others to live Tweet fact checks. Should we count on the media to fact check after the debate? Or should we listen to Kellyanne Conway who said this evening on MSNBC that it wasn’t the job of journalists to fact check, leading one of the commentators to say something to the effect of “what does’t that make us, stenographers?”
What I’m left with is, as the King said in the immortal musical “The King and I:”
There are times I almost think
Nobody sure of what he absolutely know.
Everybody find confusion
In conclusion he concluded long ago
And it puzzle me to learn
That tho' a man may be in doubt of what he know,
Very quickly he will fight...
He'll fight to prove that what he does not know is so!
Oh-h-h-h-h-h Sometimes I think that people going mad!
Ah-h-h-h-h-h! Sometimes I think that people not so bad!
But not matter what I think I must go on living life.
As leader of my kingdom I must go forth,
Be father to my children and husband to each wife
Etcetera, etcetera, and so forth.
If my Lord in Heaven Buddha, show the way!
Everyday I try to live another day. If my Lord in Heaven Buddha, show the way!
Everyday I do my best for one-more day!
[Spoken] But...Is a puzzlement!
Listen here. Hopefully it will cheer you up if you’re stressed out over Trump.