Can Democracy Survive Trump's Lies?

How can democracy survive when the President endlessly lies while attacking anyone who pursues the truth?

Last week the media got hold of a transcript of Donald Trump's phone call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

While the transcripts provided a troubling glimpse into how Trump is dealing with other world leaders, it also raised a number of questions, such as: why is Mexico's president even humoring the idea of a wall?

Mexico's former president Vicente Fox put it crudely and bluntly on CNN Friday morning.

"You can use my words: we'll never pay for that f--ing wall. With that full f-- wall. That makes it more clear."

But Trump doesn't want people to read those transcripts.

Instead, he wants us to remember the great phone calls he's made - like the one he took from Peña Nieto congratulating Trump on his border efforts, or the one he took from the Boy Scouts congratulating him on giving the best speech they've ever heard.

Neither of which actually happened!

Which brings us to the real question: can we have a functioning democracy when the President of the United States is constantly lying about what he's said or done?


Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 5 years 43 weeks ago

Keep the peasants ignorant is a deliberate and well known ploy by the elite throughout millenia

This is why they destroy what works continuously


jmstarry's picture
jmstarry 5 years 43 weeks ago

Support the free press. Subscribe to at one newspaper, two if you can afford it. Write pro-journalistic letters thanking your news magazine or newspaper for specific revealing anti-Trump coverage. Use your imagination. Read and put into practice Timothy Snyder's On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century Paperback – February 28, 2017

tonydincu's picture
tonydincu 5 years 43 weeks ago

I thought Bill Clinton's Presidency did more good than harm, and that relentless Republican policies are driving the Nation to ruin - regardless of Trump's obvious flaws. Nonetheless, those of us on the leftist side probably need to acknowledge that a great deal of the current national political cynicism and incapacity to sort out leaders' truth from falsehood probably derives from a 90's original sin: Bill Clinton's big lie. Perhaps it wasn't impeachable, and perhaps it was borderline legal (aside from the grand jury testimony problems). But it was colossolly unethical and an unforgiveable breach of public trust by the President - of whom we must expect more than simply the absence of technical illegality. Bill should have resigned 18 months before his term ended. If he had, the nation could easily now demand and expect the same of Trump. Even Nixon knew when enough was enough. And Al Gore would have been much more likely to be President...and then...and then... Finally, none of this was Hillary's fault and could never have then been a vicarious issue in her subsequent campaigns.

tonydincu's picture
tonydincu 5 years 43 weeks ago

An equally probing question is whether democracy can survive Bill Clinton's lie. See my more extended comments.

tylf's picture
tylf 5 years 43 weeks ago

The leaks Trump wants Sessions to investigate are the ones that expose Trump as a liar, as those transcripts did.

Marty's picture
randolphgarriso... 5 years 43 weeks ago

Our democracy is almost all gone already! He will be a Fascist leader of a Fascist government by the end of his term if allowed to stay. There are only 4 or 5 honest people in congress presently, the remaining need to be executed by firing squad!

Scotty11 5 years 43 weeks ago

Firing Squad?...Revolution...How about simply stripping them of their power and sending them back home to live among those who's lives they've so sorely impacted...perhaps they can spend time 'unbuilding the wall', serving at soup kitchens (or eating there) and donating time at health clinics.

Much better than turning them into martyrs...instead we'll turn them into responsible, caring adults...

Howard Laverne Stewart's picture
Howard Laverne ... 5 years 43 weeks ago

George W Bush lied US into Iraq and we will be paying for it forever.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 5 years 43 weeks ago

Democracy cannot survive the corpse media machine that provided Crooked Donny with $billions$ in free campaign coverage.

I doubt anyone that posts on this site watches network news, but if you happened to, you would never even know the Democratic Party exaggeration here. Case in point, since the primary, Bernie Sanders by far the most popular politician in the country has been blacked out totally.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 5 years 43 weeks ago

Personally, I filed Bill Clinton's "big lie" in the trash bin along with Benghazi, the 33 thousand emails, Whitewater and all the other bullshit Republican witch hunts brought about by these filthy, lowlife, lying, despicable scumbags of the Nazi/Fascist GOP and their treasonous attempts to bring down the Clintons. Bill Clinton's "big lie" had nothing to do with anything other than the personal life of the Clintons, no matter how much the Republicans, in their self-righteous fanatical dedication to bringing down our democracy, tried to make it something more.

Bill Clinton lied about a question that Republicans had no business asking in the first place. But thanks to Ken Starr's endless fishing expedition, they finally found a lie that they could trap Clinton into making.

Our democracy officially ended when the Supreme Court made George W. Bush president. It has been on life-support ever since. The question is: did the electoral college pull the plug? Hopefully, in next years elections we can start to raise democracy from the ashes. There is still a pulse!

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 5 years 43 weeks ago

Once again a lowly pigeon makes my day.

Ronin's picture
Ronin 5 years 43 weeks ago

"this is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper..." Not Trump's of course, ours.. the unpowered.. the citizenry. As long as we cling to an idealism that has become a cliche... vis-a-vis the "marketing collateral" used to sell America as a "great nation" we aren't and have not been since WW II when we banded together to defeat world domination by a fascist regime.. only to see it eroded by greed and self-interest. We are now dominated by a "Christian Reich" and America will never be the same country I served... and can no longer feel proud of.. as Trump's presidency is a watershed event in our history and as all historians affirm: history is always written by the winners, not the losers .. IE the American people. To proclaim we still live in a democracy is little more than propaganda... not a truthful analysis of what is, not what ought to be. Bucolic wisdom was ignored among Trump's base: the grass is always greener over a septic tank." And the "gomers" that voted for and still support Trump will never retreat from their ideal that some crotch-grabbing "messiah" that will save America for "Jee-suz". Pat Robertson and the Falwell brothers thinks so.

Ronin's picture
Ronin 5 years 43 weeks ago

You're too kind in your wrath. Valid commentary on what transpired... but the real truth is that we live in an oligarchy... not a democracy.. one that cannot be expected to value people over "things." Our civil religion is based upon getting all one can to the detriment of others... our nation's logo says justice.. equality... things that declare we all matter. We don't. As citizens we are little more that indentured servants... serving the few that benefit from unfair tax codes and privileges only afforded to the wealthy. America was and is ran for the benefit of those that run it... or in the case of Republicans via their core theology-Calvinism..., ruin it for the rest of us.

Ronin's picture
Ronin 5 years 43 weeks ago

You are too kind. The US Congress is the largest brothel on earth and thee are no members that do anything but use their "pimps" financing to maintain a career. Al Franken even expressed his goal was to live out his wotking life as a Senator... getting pay check and benefit package for life. Mavericks like Sanders was and is refreshing.. but factually he is as effective as a fart in a hurricane. Note how democrats still try to "make nice" versus attacking that crotch-grabbing fascist in the Whitehouse? Joe Biden for decades was the glad-handing face of the Democratic party... now it's Franken... both "bllisters on the ass of progress." Poster children of Democrats. When all know party members that dealing with Republicans is like going to a wife swapping party... and coming home alone.

Ronin's picture
Ronin 5 years 43 weeks ago

Dreamer... as the Whitehouse said a few weeks ago, they now control all three branches of government so they cannot be stopped.

PaulHosse's picture
PaulHosse 5 years 43 weeks ago

Well, as you know Thom, we're not really a "democracy". We are, as you've written and as academia and other sources have pointed out, an Oligarchy. We are essentially a neo-fascist nation with a survallence state. So, to reframe your question correctly, can the Oligachy survive Trumps lies? The answer is an obvious "yes", just as it survived Hillary's lies, treason, and rigging of the Democratic Primary against Bernie. The only real question is where the Oligarchs are taking us? But then I think you already know.

Radical's picture
Radical 5 years 43 weeks ago

Dear Ronin: Thank You Very Much for your great comments. . This country was never a democracy. For a short time in the late 60's early 70's it had a chsnce to be one. That hope was destroyed by the Lewis Powell memo and the ensuing war on the Working class etc that followed it.

pathrider's picture
pathrider 5 years 43 weeks ago

Found this interesting post on LinkedIn today. Don't know if there is confirmation of this.

On the same day that Donald Trump traveled to Bedminster, New Jersey to begin his vacation, a private plane belonging to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich arrived at nearby Newark International Airport. Abramovich isn’t just any Russian oligarch; he’s very close to Vladimir Putin, and his wife attended Donald Trump’s inauguration in January (source: link). This flight pattern was uncovered by Juha Keskinen, who has been tracking the relevant flight information for some time (source: Juha Keskinen). Flight plans of private planes can be publicly tracked online, meaning the owners of these planes have less privacy in their travels than they sometimes think they have.

stephensolomita's picture
stephensolomita 5 years 43 weeks ago

Stopgap has an excellent point here. Villication has been the Republican strategy for a long time. Remember Dukakis,'s wife, Kitty, who burned an American flag at an anti-war rally. Pure bullshit. Then there's the Swiftboating of John Kerry, also a tissue of lies. And let's not forget that Ken Starr was not the original Whitewater Prosecutor. That was a man named Robert Fiske who was replaced because he was about to end the investigation.

Republicans have turned character assasination into an art form, ratcheting up the hate whenever possible. Is it any wonder the party has devolved into TrumpWorld?

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 5 years 43 weeks ago

Blasted internal politics is going to end in world conflagration

changeX's picture
changeX 5 years 42 weeks ago

Aren't we in an oligarchy already?

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