• Hamid Rafizadeh

Mr. Trump and Lying


When it comes to lying, based on millennia of experience, humans have developed two prominent norms. The first: Don’t lie because lying destroys relationships and thus destroys life. The second: Do lie because it gains things and prevents loss and exposure to wrath of others. This simple foundational picture draws the paths we may take in life. In a sense, at every moment, everyone vacillates between these two norms. On one hand everyone lies. One time or other we all lie in order to avoid conflict, or to improve our chances of achieving a better position in life. We do this while being fully aware that “lying” will eventually destroy life and therefore every society on earth and every individual remain fully aware of following, as much as possible, the norm of “not lying”. Thus the dilemma of two societal norms pulling individuals and societies in opposing directions.


Traditionally those occupying the society’s positions of power align themselves, actually or in appearance, with “we do not lie” norm. At minimum, all government officials and corporate executives keep the appearance of adhering to this societal norm. The first glaring deviation from this pattern is Mr. Trump. He is the first to openly follow the norm that “we all lie” and that we gain from doing so. Constantly present in the liar is denying that he lies and asserting that everyone else is lying.


And here is a window into complexity of the human mind when societally managing different norms. Consider this. How many thousand times does Mr. Trump have to lie before everyone recognizes that the country’s top leader is declaring lying as predominant norm in human interactions? Many are quite slow in recognizing it, many are incapable of seeing lies even when told to their face, and many dismiss lying as being a problem and instead see it as a behavior common to everyone. Yet the history is clear. The only problem with pervasive lying—with taking lying as predominant feature of life is that it will unceasingly corrupt and impair all relationships that hold the society together. It will eventually destroy the society.



Let us for a moment step away from benefits that lying creates and instead focus on its societal destruction. Such focus raises a troubling question. By lying so openly and profusely, is Mr. Trump dedicated to destroying the United States? And if so, why? In my next blog I offer that lying is part of a bigger picture of the mission pursued by Mr. Trump—the mission of destroying the United States. Read my next blog and see if you agree. For now I end by saying that perhaps in managing lies we should pay closer attention to the wisdom that the film Sin City offers:


Power don’t come from a badge or a gun.

Power comes from lying.

Lying big,

and getting the whole damn world

to play along with you.

Once you got everybody agreeing

with what they know in their hearts ain’t true,

you’ve got’em

by their balls.


That is all I need to tell you now. To learn more you have to carefully read my books and other blogs.


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© 2018 by Hamid Rafizadeh

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