Now it matters, doesn’t it?
Some 18 months ago or so, I wrote a column about the problem with President Trump’s compulsive lying (“Trump lies a lot; it’s not unpatriotic to point that out,” June 10, 2018). Most readers who responded agreed with the point; some did not. No problem with that; when you write about politics you receive feedback from across the spectrum.
But one response has stuck with me. “Yeah, but Trump just lies about little things,” one reader wrote. I’m paraphrasing, but it was something like that.
I remember the response because of its absurdity. If your child lied about eating the cookies or punching their brother or spreading peanut butter on the wall, you probably would call them on it. You wouldn’t let it slide because it is a “little thing.” You would nip it in the bud before it becomes a habit.
A child who learns that lying can allow them to avoid consequences will soon be lying about the big things. Any parent understands that.
It might seem ridiculous to be conflating childish behavior with the president of the United States, yet here we are. That is what happens when you have an infantile adult in the White House; that is what happens when you have an administration that willfully lies.