today in black history

May 29, 2024

Tom Bradley defeats incumbent Mayor Sam Yorty and becomes the first Black mayor of Los Angeles on this date in 1973.

The Lying Truth

POSTED: September 10, 2020, 3:00 pm

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The revelations in Bob Woodward’s coming book, Rage, of the lies and deceptions of Donald Trump in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are only shocking against the ideal we hold of the veracity and character of the individual occupying the Oval Office. Presidents have lied in the past, even those we have held in high regard, but Donald Trump has eviscerated the line between facts and truthfulness to a degree unlike any of his predecessors. Lies are the substance of Donald Trump’s personhood and are what drives his self-interest. He was a liar before he was elected and remains one today, despite being given the honor of leading this nation. What the Woodward book should finally settle is the idea that we should hope for better from this man. He is not capable. This is fundamentally who Donald Trump is – an arrogant, self-serving, lying miscreant.

Trump kicked off his presidency in January 2017 with the boldest of lies, suggesting his inauguration crowd was the largest in history. He took an easily verifiable figure and inflated it to stroke his own ego and feed his neurosis regarding his Black predecessor. Clearly lying about the crowd as pictures from the National Park Service revealed, Trump’s only concern was to paint a grandiose vision of how he was received on a day that historically partisan politics has been swept aside. He soiled the tradition of a day when grace is usually in abundance and nation’s around the world marvel at the peaceful transition of power in the United States. It was a warning sign that Trump never heard or believed the words of the oath he had taken and intended for his presidency to be as close an approximation to a dictatorship that he could achieve.

The audio recordings of Trump by Bob Woodward should frighten any thinking American. Knowing the deadly nature of the coronavirus, Trump chose to downplay the threat to the public’s health and engaged in an infantile attack upon the medical science that confirmed the horrible truth. COVID-19 was an airborne contagion, it spread easily and could infect the old and the young. His claim that he did not want to pose a panic is a half-truth. Trump did not want to panic his supporters as his only focus was re-election and he did not want to cause a stir in the financial markets because any economic downturn would harm his re-election chances. So, what did he do? He did what he always does. He lied. The President of the United States claimed the coronavirus was a ‘hoax,’ a Democrat plot to undermine his presidency, that it would magically disappear one day and that it was no worse than a flu, something he acknowledged to Woodward was not true. Worse, he encouraged reckless behavior, put his own supporters at risk during a political rally causing one his staunchest Black supporters, Herman Cain, to become infected and die, and had the audacity to downplay the health threat to children and college students. Still, despite my obvious disdain for this man, what I am clear about is that he is not capable of better.

We need not ask, why? That question has been answered countless times over the course of the last 4 years and was evident decades earlier. Donald Trump is evil. There is never a reasonable answer for evil. It is what it is. History teaches us that you cannot reason with evil or reform evil. The only response is to eradicate it, bury it and put in place prohibitions to prevent its resurfacing. That is what Germany did after the Third Reich and it is what America failed to do after the Civil War. Our mistake has been holding out hope that evil can be reformed, that some degree of goodness can be extracted from wickedness, and that those like Donald Trump have some redeeming value. They do not and never will.

At this juncture, the only recourse Americans have is to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and send the Trump administration packing. Four more years of Donald Trump will spell the end of America, as imperfect as it is, and usher in fascist and despotic rule. The Trump team has no redeeming values. They are all made in the image of Donald Trump. They will lie, cheat, deny and manipulate to maintain power, and sacrifice the lives of Americans so long as it serves their political purpose. We cannot expect any better from this criminal enterprise that has taken control of the federal government.

Walter Fields is Executive Editor of

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