I was having this conversation with a few people who were trying to figure out why so many people don't seem to care that Trump outright lies. Whether it was during the campaign or now during his Presidency. Whether it is during his speeches or his many tweets. There are verifiable factual inaccuracies (i.e. lies) nearly every day. That's just what we hear about from the news media.
So why don't his supporters seem to care?
There are two reasons. The first is ignorance. A large number of supporters actually believe anything he says, despite facts to the contrary. Those are not the most fascinating though. I'm most interested in those who do understand that he is lying but still don't care.
The answer for this second group is pretty simple. The lies are not material to them. The things that he says that are inaccurate are viewed as ancillary to the central message. When he talked about the crowds at the inauguration and the media called him out on it, leading to the infamous "alternative facts" statement by Conway. His supports saw this as nitpicking. Who cares how large the crowds were or what Trump said about them. When he talks about the dangers in Sweden, they don't care about that either. They don't care if it is really true that Sweden has had more or less crime or if it was really a terrorist act. They see cars burning and that's enough for them. Whether or not this is actually caused by refugees or immigrants is immaterial. Refugees are causing problems in other countries. So what if Sweden isn't one of them. I could go on and on.
The part that is really scary though is what happens next. The conclusion Trump supports draw from all of this is that the news media doesn't care about the truth. They only care about finding any small detail that they can use to pick at and unravel the President. It is those that report on the facts that become vilified and not those that are lying about them. The Trump administration is taking this to the next level by excluding certain members of the press that they have decided are doing the most to undermine Trump's credibility. Never mind that they are merely trying to point out the truth.
The second effect of all this lying is that the lies are being used as justification for actions being taken. They "ring true" as a general theme, even if they are outright wrong. This is confirmation bias at work and it is very scary. Trump supports are eagerly supporting him and they look around at all these things around them and see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear and now they are excited about the things being done, however horrible they may be.
We are in for a real ride folks and if this keeps up, it WILL be 8 years and not just 4.
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; John Muir