Note: Blog posts reflect the views and opinions of their authors and not necessarily those of Penn Democrats as an organization.
Lying is something that far too many people seem to take for granted. There is an art to lying that a lot of people don’t appreciate or understand. It’s one thing to blatantly lie to get yourself out of trouble (e.g. “The dog ate my homework!”), but the best liars are the ones who know how to use them to manipulate people. And those are the lies that most people seem to miss. Like herding sheep, many politicians are the best at lying to people and manipulating them. Personally, I love lying and as a student of great lying, I have no one better to look up to than Donald Trump. Like Picasso or da Vinci are to creating beautiful paintings, Trump is to crafting phenomenal lies.
And I’ve learned a lot from Trump. Most people get upset when others lie to them; they want and respect people who “tell it like it is”. But the best liars are the ones that tell people what they want to hear and it’s actually really easy to do. For most people there exist two truths – their truth and then the “real truth.” Every single person on Earth has their own version of the truth – a truth they want to hear, a truth they want to believe. Here’s an example: How many times has a guy wanted to believe that a girl is into them but in reality, the girl just sees them as a friend? These people don’t want to confront the real truth and they’ll do anything they can to find evidence that supports their own truth. “Oh well she called me to do homework with her.” But she’s been calling you for homework help for three years! And let’s not forget, she complained to you about her boyfriend last week!
Sadly, I think some of the Democrats may be living in their own truth. Personally, I think Obama has been a fantastic president. Unemployment has halved under his tenure and during his term, at least 10 million jobs have been added. Stock market indexes are at the highest they’ve ever been, gas prices are low, and there hasn’t been more consistent job growth since the 1990s. However, the harsh reality is also that economic inequality has substantially increased under Obama’s term. From 2010 to 2013, one in ten businesses closed down in some of the poorest neighborhoods. For upper middle class neighborhoods, job growth has been huge and the effects of the recession largely forgotten. But in poorer areas, job growth has diminished and wages have remained stagnant. Polls by NBC News in late 2014 indicated that over half the country still believed we were in a recession.
White, blue collar workers and those with only a high school diploma or less are some of the most distressed according to the Economic Innovation Group. Their conditions have actually gotten worse since the recession started. So it isn’t much of a surprise to see that Trump has dominated every other Republican candidate with that demographic. He constantly preaches that America “has to win again” because for a lot of these people, America has gotten worse. He constantly preaches against immigrants and Muslims because he knows that racist rhetoric appeals to that demographic largely because that demographic wants someone to blame for their conditions. Trump gives low-educated, white, blue collar workers the truth they want to hear, the truth they want to believe. Until Democrats truly understand his appeal, it’ll be harder than it appears to beat him once he’s the Republican nominee.