Donald Trump is incapable of lying.
How can that be?
Well here is the answer to the paradox of a pathologically lying truthful Donald Trump.
The key is that Donald Trump has multiple personality problems.
Note lower down on why it is legitimate for the general public to judge whether Donald Trump is normal or not. See Judging Trump.
More than 63,000 psychologists and psychiatrists have signed the Duty to Warn petition. They consider the president’s mental state and personality to be a threat to the country.
Over the years Donald Trump’s statements, interviews, speeches and behavior has been analyzed by mental health professionals and they have come up with various diagnoses:
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder
- Malignant Narcissist
- Antisocial Personality Disorder
There are many traits that define these conditions, and some of them are shared in the different conditions.
The majority of us in any culture can spot if a person does not act, behave or speak normally. We are able to do this without a university degree in psychology or linguistics. We use terms such as creepy, weird or strange. We can recognize if someone does not behave in an appropriate manner. Likewise we can recognize if someone is not a native speaker or speaks incoherently. A linguist might be needed to give a technical analysis of the sentence structure, but most people will instantly pick up that the sentence is not correct, or does not make sense.
Donald Trump visited Puerto Rico after the hurricane that destroyed the island. There he met a hurricane victim and parted with, “Have a good time”. That was not normal. Then he threw rolls of paper towels into a crowd like a visitor to the zoo throws peanuts to the animals. That was inappropriate and not normal. Every day some statement or action by Trump shows that the man is not normal.
When Trump is not reading a speech from a teleprompter he sounds like an uneducated adolescent. At other times he speaks like a petulant toddler. And sometimes his speech is just plain incoherent. We don’t need to be linguists to recognize this. It is enough to be reasonably fluent in English.
If an odd behaviour is to be legally diagnosed in a court of law or for a medical insurance, then a licensed professional is required for a diagnosis.
While we can disagree about the policies that USA presidents have had, most of us consider John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama within the range of “normal” in western society. However Donald Trump is showing obviously abnormal behaviour and speech daily.
Allen Frances, the psychiatrist who defined narcissistic personality disorder, says that Donald Trump does not have narcissistic personality disorder because he does not experience distress from it:
Most amateur diagnosticians have mislabeled President Trump with the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. I wrote the criteria that define this disorder, and Mr. Trump doesn’t meet them. He may be a world-class narcissist, but this doesn’t make him mentally ill, because he does not suffer from the distress and impairment required to diagnose mental disorder.
Mr. Trump causes severe distress rather than experiencing it and has been richly rewarded, rather than punished, for his grandiosity, self-absorption and lack of empathy. It is a stigmatizing insult to the mentally ill (who are mostly well behaved and well meaning) to be lumped with Mr. Trump (who is neither).
Bad behavior is rarely a sign of mental illness, and the mentally ill behave badly only rarely. Psychiatric name-calling is a misguided way of countering Mr. Trump’s attack on democracy. He can, and should, be appropriately denounced for his ignorance, incompetence, impulsivity and pursuit of dictatorial powers.
Obviously Dr Francis is living in the clouds of his academic ivory tower, but down here on planet Earth we have newspapers and excellent reporting on the daily goings on in the White House. We read daily about the president’s rantings, ravings and fumings. We even get the inner thoughts of the Trump mind in real time through his tweets. Donald Trump is very obviously suffering distress from his narcissism. Trump is probably unaware that the cause of his distress is his coming from within himself, blaming everyone else. But isn’t his lack of self insight caused by his narcissism?
One characteristic many people with personality disorders have, is projection of an internal reality onto other people.
Most of us share a common reality. We may have different views and opinions within this reality, but we remain inside this shared reality. That is sanity, short and sweet.
A characteristic found in many people with personality disorders is having a unique internal reality that exists only in their inner mind. Donald Trump obviously has this trait. Nowhere else in this universe can Donald Trump’s reality be found. Not only that, but it is a dynamic reality changing with time. This is why during an interview Donald Trump will say one thing only to contradict himself a moment later.
This is not something Trump is consciously aware of. He actually believes his fantasy reality at that moment. When that imaginary reality changes a few minutes later, he will believe the new version of his Trumpian reality.
None of us go around thinking consciously about our reality. Our sense of reality is a process that takes place in our subconscious. We all function that way. Donald Trump does too. The difference between Trump and most of us is that our shared reality is stable. Interacting with other people sharing that reality helps us to subconsciously continually adjust and stabilize that shared reality.
Donald Trump is disconnected from that process, so his reality is in constant flux.
A person lies when some aspect of reality is not convenient, like doing something we are ashamed of. We “bend the truth.” The truth being our shared reality. So when someone says something that does not correspond with reality we consider that person is lying.
For Donald Trump, he never “bends the truth.” It is his reality that bends to eliminate the inconvenience. So we perceive Donald trump as lying because we assume he shares our reality. He doesn’t. He is not with us. He really does live in an alternative universe.
This explains his malignant narcissism. Donald Trump shows the classical narcissistic grandiose sense of self-importance without commensurate achievements. He believes he is very knowledgeable yet unbelievably ignorant for someone in his position. He was going to see to it that China will pressure North Korea, yet after a 10 minute phone call with China’s president he realized “It is not that simple.” He talks in interviews around subjects that he knows nothing about, and showing by his avoidance of specifics that he has no clue about the subject. These are subjects like NAFTA, health care, NATO, ISIS, the European Union, and even what the “border wall” is.
Donald Trump says whatever his perception of reality is at that present moment. In other words he is honestly true to his reality at that moment.
Unfortunately he is surrounded by people who affirm his bizarre reality. During an interview Trump was asked about China as a currency manipulator, which he was banging on about during his presidential campaign. He replied that China stopped their currency manipulation the day he took office. They didn’t. China stopped the currency manipulation years earlier. China was not manipulating currency while Trump was on the campaign trail.
Next to Trump sat Steven Mnuchin, Trumps Secretary of the Treasury, a Wall Street banker and former hedge fund manager. When the interviewer turned to Mnuchin, Mnuchin repeated that China stopped currency manipulation the day Trump took office.
Trump was not lying, because he believed that was true.
But Mnuhin? He knew very well that it was not so.
When Donald Trump was on the campaign trail promising to his supporters that he would deliver a “great health care” he really, really meant it. When he was president making every effort to push through a health care bill that was obviously not what he had promised, increasing premiums, denying preexisting conditions, penalizing the elderly, etc. he still believed he was keeping his promise.
Trump bragged about what a “great health care” bill this was. 83% of the population saw that they were getting a bad deal. Trump did not understand what was in the health care bill. He was not even aware that he did not understand it. Trump honestly believed that it was a “Great bill. Best ever.”
The top 0.1% of the country were going to get incredible tax breaks. the top 1% were going to get great tax breaks. The rest of the population, the mere 99% were going to pay for this by losing their health care, reduced Medicaid, increased premiums and generally subsidizing the top 1% in one way or another, directly or indirectly.
Donald Trump does not lie. He appears to lie. But that is simply our perception because we assume he is sharing our common reality. Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America is living in a different series of changing realities than the rest of us are in.
In Donald Trump’s world, he is absolutely honest, never lies, and cannot comprehend why he is constantly accused of lying.