Tuesday, May 10, 2016
A lie repeated often enough can become a fact if enough people believe it. This appears to be what is happening in this case. Donald Trump has repeated in the media several times that Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, called him a "genius." At issue is translation of an ambiguous Russian word. Language experts agree that the word does not mean "genius" but perhaps "colorful" or at most, "bright." Since most Americans don't speak Russian and don't have access to the press conference where Putin talked about Trump, they have only Trump's translation to go on. It appears clear that Trump has escalated the meaning of the word to a falsehood,and he is getting away with it. How is it that candidates can engage in such self aggrandizement? Perhaps Adolf Hitler said it best: “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” Trump is not Hitler, but he has a low regard for truth telling.