The Frog Notices the Water’s Getting Hot

Donald Trump has promised to reduce regulations, and he has started by increasing them. His presidential order that prevents any release to the public of scientific or other studies relating to the environment, as well as the freezing of any grants or new studies, is effectively declaring a war on Science as well as a surprising limit on free speech.

Yes, the frog has noticed the water’s getting hot.

And so has the media. I applaud the halting progress of the media in its increased willingness to identify falsehoods as lies when they are not inadvertent. But as Mr. Trump (or, as he is becoming known, The Great Despoiler) continues substituting his desired truths for actual truths, perhaps its time to consider that there is a real pathology at work.

While conceding that my expertise depends almost entirely on my ability to see and hear and compare, any objective and sentient person can recognize the signs of an emotionally crippled and desperately needy personality whose judgment is warped by the necessity to appear supreme in all he does. By reinterpreting reality so that it elevates him, he is hardly an improvement over the clinical schizophreniac.

As with all schizophreniacs, the voices heard are the voices within his own head, and the inventions of his hungry and diseased ego seem as real as if they were reliably observable. That we have given this damaged and dangerously insecure man control over this nation is more than frightening, it is a testimony to our country’s inability to respond appropriately to madness.

Of course there are other voices he hears, the flattering and manipulating voices of his clutch of intimates: his children, a son-in-law whose business pedigree equals his, an anti-semitic media mogul whose politics lean toward the fascistic, and a number of over-rich and under-qualified white men, carefully coiffed.

There are also the double-speakers, coming up with strategies to classify falsehoods as simply optional facts, a tactic George Orwell foresaw, now presented as a new reality. These paid liars have long become prominent in our public discourse, and are beneath contempt. They respond to questions of fact with the Rufus T. Firefly challenge: “What you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?”

It’s worth noting that the Republican Party, its Congressional contingents, the TeaParty fringe and the Religious Right, have all put their convictions in the long-term parking lot in order to gain short-term advantages by pre-approving all of Trump’s desecrations. The penalty we will all have to pay is as sure as the Climate Change facts you are not able to hear.