To the Editor:
As reported by The Washington Post’s “The Fact Checker,” President Trump has made over 10,000 false or misleading claims since taking office.
Has Trump finally achieved Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” where these so-called “10,000 lies” now become facts to be believed?
These types of political lies are not new. In 1933, Joseph Geobbels, Propaganda Minister, gave a lecture to the first Cabinet meeting after the election of the new German Führer on the art and science of propaganda. Here’s a snippet:
“I have learnt how to influence the masses so that they will follow us without question. Whatever decisions we took during those years, we prepared the ground by the incessant repetition of suitable slogans, until the party members believed every word of them. We shall now have to use the same methods to convince the entire German nation of the necessity for the Government’s economic and political measures.”
As later recalled by Franz von Papen in his memories (1958), “The years that followed were to show that he went far beyond this programme, until in the end he dominated the entire intellectual life of the nation.”
Has our American Führer finally reached this level?
We should hope not, for as Gustav Noske said of politicians at that time “Men who regarded themselves as leaders of public opinion displayed a degree of bigotry unequaled in the history of political parties. They opposed every step calculated to preserve the institutions they represented.”
Old Sib Road, May 5