With the release this week of Bob Woodward’s new book, we’re about to find out what happens when it becomes clear, beyond any reasonable debate, that President Donald Trump’s bottomless mendacity has caused American deaths. I fear the reaction (or lack thereof) among his hardcore supporters will be exactly as he once predicted.
On Jan. 23, 2016, candidate Trump, speaking at a campaign rally in Iowa, marveled at the loyalty of his followers like this: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK? It’s, like, incredible.”
What’s incredible is that a candidate could publicly say something so twisted and still be elected. Yet, in the more than four years since Trump gave us that vivid image, he has repeatedly said other things publicly that should have been disqualifying for a candidate — and for a president — in any civilized society.
These aren’t my words, or the words of some anonymous source. They’re his.
Sen. John McCain, captured and tortured in Vietnam, wasn’t a hero, because “I like people who weren’t captured,” said Trump (who had publicly bragged about squirming out of the draft). Confronted with allegations he raped a journalist, Trump’s reaction wasn’t to express horror that anyone would suggest he was capable of such a monstrosity; it was: “She’s not my type.” We all learned from the “Access Hollywood” video that he considers it one of the perks of fame to grab unsuspecting women by the genitals.