The Scariest Disaster Movie Ever, Plus Some Philosophical-Psychological Analysis

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This terrific poster is from an article at Daily Kos. 

The article at Daily Kos is a summary of another article: “On Bullshit and the Oath of Office: The ‘LOL Nothing Matters’ Presidency”.

The thesis of both articles is that the Orange Menace doesn’t simply lie. He shovels bullshit at an alarming rate. 

And what is the difference between lies and bullshit? The authors cite the distinction made pretty famous by the philosopher Harry Frankfurt:

Lying [is] an act undertaken intentionally to obscure the truth and which therefore must be performed with a knowledge of the facts… Bullshitting [is] an act undertaken without any relationship to truth whatsoever.

Hence, when the Orange Menace claims he was always against the war in Iraq, he might be lying. He knows he wasn’t against it, but wants us to think he was. Or he might be bullshitting. He doesn’t remember what he thought about the war and doesn’t care. Today he says he was against it. Tomorrow he might say he was for it. It’s all bullshit.

Personally, I don’t find Frankfurt’s distinction very helpful. But if pressed to decide, I’d say the O.M. is more of a liar than a bullshitter. The evidence is that his falsehoods are always self-serving. He doesn’t simply make stuff up to fill the air. He makes stuff up that he thinks will make himself look wonderful.

People find it hard to believe he’s merely a liar because he’s such an obvious liar. Rational observers can’t believe anyone outside of an institution can lie so blatantly, so they conclude that he doesn’t know what’s true and what isn’t. 

I conclude that it really doesn’t matter. He lies and bullshits and is mentally ill.