Friday, September 2, 2016

The Post-Reality Election: When Did Candidates Start Insisting That The Obvious Truth Wasn’t True?

One of the more surreal things about the 2016 campaign is the frequency with which the candidates insist that the reality we’re seeing and hearing is false, asking us to believe them and not our own eyes and ears.
In November, Donald Trump promised to create a “deportation force” to deal with the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants if he was elected president. “They’re going back where they came [from],” he declared. Wednesday night, in an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, he indicated he’s no longer convinced that mass deportation is necessary: “Can we go through a process, or do you think they have to get out? Tell me. I mean, I don’t know.” 
Thursday morning, Trump’s dutiful spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson, insisted once again that her boss’s sterling consistency was being misinterpreted. “There’s not a different message. He’s using different words to give that message.”
Everyone saw and heard Trump’s words; everyone who reacted with surprise understood what all of the words in his sentences meant. Trump did not speak in a foreign language, subtle code, complicated metaphors, or veiled literary allusions. The plain meaning was clear: Trump had begun to back away from a central promise of his campaign. And yet Pierson insisted that everyone around her was wrong; she denied the reality everyone had just witnessed.
Read the rest of Jim Geraghty's op-ed HERE.

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