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His Lips Are Moving

February 27, 2017

Donald Trump presidential campaigning, Las Vegas, America - 21 Jan 2016

His Lips Are Moving.

There’s an old joke that has become standard fare on every film production, passed on by crew and cast alike to each new generation of the production community.  It’s in the form of a question and answer and it goes like this:  “How can you tell when a producer is lying?” The answer is, “His lips are moving.”

Donald Trump is nothing if not a producer.  As the producer of so-called reality television this joke takes on additional meaning for our so-called president because far from real, the show itself is a lie.  It can be said that it is also true for his surrogates, who must propagate his falsehoods in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary, buffering him from accountability, absorbing the blame and suffering the embarrassment of his obvious deviations from recorded fact.

But, some lies are less obvious because they are half-truths. Skilled politicians understand that the best way to pass a lie is to surround it in a wrapper of partial truth, thus blending the objective of the lie with a widely accepted truth.  Take for example the recent example of two candidates, Vincent Viola and Phillip Bilden, who refused to accept Trump’s appointment as Secretary of the Army and Secretary of the Navy, respectively.  I’m sure there are any number of reasons for refusing the posts. They follow Vice Admiral Harward’s example, declining a Trump appointment for “family and financial” reasons, a safe choice, which, while totally accurate, may only be half the reason, possibly less. One has to believe that given the choice between profit or patriotism, they would have seen the advantage to patriotism.  All were offered the opportunity to be seen center stage in a national arena making a significant difference for their country.  Seems to me that a savvy candidate would understand the long term financial advantage and career advancement after office of a decision to accept, rather than to decline because of an immediate short term disruption and inconvenience to their finances.  No, I think there was another factor.  The Donald factor.

Sylvester Stallone was another who refused a Trump appointment (it’s almost forgotten by now) to be Head of the National Endowment for the Arts.  Smart guy that he is, he recognized deep conflict brewing and Rambo hightailed it like a scalded dog in the other direction, masking his retreat with the suggestion to run Veteran Affairs.

No, I think they, like Harward, saw the choice to accept as likened to eating a shit sandwich and who would want to be remembered as one with shit on his face?

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