The more smug, the less convincing

Over the past several years, I have noticed the more smug* a politician, pundit or public official is when they push back on an issue, the less convincing they are with their argument. The tactic is used to overwhelm the interviewer in a condescending manner, making them look stupid for daring to differ or ask a question.

Our new administration and its supporters seem to be using smugness as a weapon of defense more than any other group I have witnessed. And, as I have noted before, I believe organizations take on the personality of their leader, so they are taking their cue from our President. When caught in a lie, it is never (or as close to never as possible) Trump’s fault or he will try to convince you it is not a lie.

Whether it is Spicer, Conway, Miller, Preibus, Bannon or other officials who have been interviewed, the smugness is brought out like a weapon. “How dare you ask that question or think that way?” is the manner intentionally used to belittle the interviewer.

Yet, the elephant that cannot be ignored in the room is their boss has a very hard time with the truth. During the campaign he is on record as lying about 70% of the time per fact checkers. Not ironically, the fact checkers have revealed he is lying about 70% of the time as President. And, even during his more presidential speech, he had eight or so major misstatements, not to mention the little embellishments. Sadly, this was a prepared speech which could have edited out these misstatements.

But, none of this is new. He has worked with six authors to write biographies and his most popular book, “The Art of the Deal.” In a group interview these authors have noted the man treats truth as a commodity. And, an attorney who worked with him said he lies all of the time, even about inconsequential things. This attorney was amazed at how routine the lying was, especially as he stiffed contractors – Trump would say it was due to bad service, but the frequency of stiffing folks was too common for that to be correct so many times.

So, the next time Trump or one of his spokespeople pulls out the “smug” weapon, listen even more carefully to what is being said and the opinions and questions of the interviewer. Smug does not make you right, it just means you are smug. With a 70% rate of untruthfulness, the odds are the boss is not right and should not be so smug.

 

*Smug is defined as:

having or showing an excessive pride in oneself or one’s achievements:
“he was feeling smug after his win”

synonyms: self-satisfied · self-congratulatory · complacent · superior ·

[more]

pleased with oneself · conceited

One written speech and 16 lies

What has been drowned out of the news by his own inability to avoid saying something hateful, inflammatory or inane, is Donald Trump’s economic speech in Detroit on Monday. This was supposed to be the reset of his campaign to make him look like a more serious-minded candidate. Our blogging friend Jill Dennison, a CPA by trade, as summarized her thoughts on the economic changes, a link which I provide below called “The Wizard of Trump…Smoke & Mirrors.”

What I want to focus on is the fact a written and read speech by Trump included sixteen untruthful statements. Let’s just call them what they are – lies. Per the two main nonpartisan fact checkers, Trump has been the most prodigious liar ever in a Presidential campaign. As a voter, I pay attention to fact checking, even though Trump has done a yeoman’s job to tell his followers fact checkers are all biased. However, I can recite off the top of my head at least a dozen lies by Trump that are verified as such by multiple sources.

Yet, what makes the speech so troubling, is it was likely written by his speechwriters with influence by his economic advisors. Given its importance, it was likely reviewed multiple times. With all of that review, it still contained sixteen lies. Why? The sad truth is “truth” no longer matters in politics, especially with Trump. Stephen Colbert termed it “truthiness” but that gives too much credit to Trump and his team. Many of these lies have been repeated multiple times and proven to be incorrect, but he and his team still use them. For example, we are not the most taxed country in the world, not even close, although Trump would have you believe otherwise

Rather than reiterate them here, a link to a brief article can be found below that summarizes each of the lies, their frequency and their relative lack of veracity. So, when a Trump supporter says he or she is voting for Trump because he tells the truth, please feel free to share this one example. In truth, Donald Trump, like most narcissists, would not know the truth if he tripped over it.

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The Wizard of Trump … Smoke & Mirrors

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/factcheckingtrump/fact-checking-donald-trump%E2%80%99s-speech-to-the-detroit-economic-club/ar-BBvpLda?li=AA5a8k&ocid=spartanntp