Class Warfare Blog

March 5, 2017

The Man Who Cried Wolf

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 11:14 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

I read yesterday that Donald Trump had accused Barack Obama of “wire tapping” his offices in New York City before the presidential election in November last year, claiming the former president had overseen a “Nixon/Watergate”-style caper.

The idea is not particularly absurd but with some thought, no, it is absurd. Since Mr. Trump bleats out everything he is thinking on line, why go to the trouble of tapping his phones?

What this brought to mind more importantly was the fairy tale of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” These “children’s stories” were designed as training aids to teach kids the kinds of behaviors that will get them into trouble and which will get them out. If you can recall this one, a mischievous child cries “Wolf, wolf” a number of times just to get a reaction. The adults who respond each time with axes and pitchforks soon came to ignore the child’s cries as being bogus, and when a real wolf showed up, well it didn’t end well. The moral of the story, kids, is to not make false claims and thus lose credibility. If you do, no one will believe when you make a true claim.the-boy-who-cried-wolf

Fast forward to Mr. Trump and you can see my concern. He has made such a number of false claims, the reasons for which I will leave up to others, that a time will come when he will be frequently ignored or patronized (Oh, that’s just Donald being Donald.”). But we play the part of the alarmed villagers in the fairy tale, not the childish shepherd. And rather than the child being at risk from a single wolf, we all may be at risk from a rather larger predator.

Many are noticing that Mr. Trump’s penchant for making false claims and the Republican’s ideological disdain for facts that do not fit their narratives undermines the foundations of the American Democratic Experiment. As Sam Harris says, “We either have conversation or violence.” And conversation is impossible if neither side in an argument can accept the “facts” of the other. One can only converse productively when looking at the same facts, which can be interpreted differently but not made to disappear.

We can now add to this a concern that Mr. Trump may soon become “unbelievable” to a large fraction of the populace and not in a good, yuge way.



  1. I read this morning in the Guardian (and haven’t tracked down any details) that a recent poll shows a (small) majority of Americans think Trump is a more reliable source than the news media. I think we’re witnessing the collapse of democracy.


    Comment by realthog — March 5, 2017 @ 11:23 am | Reply

    • This is a serious threat. As if we weren’t already undermined by the plutocrats running this country for their own benefit (and the rest of us can go fuck ourselves) now we have an autocrat who knows very little but claims a great deal. I could claim I knew everything if I felt free to make everything up.

      Someone said that “Donald Trump is a stupid man’s idea of a smart man, a poor man’s idea of a rich man, and a weak man’s idea of a strong man.” Welcome to the wonderful new world of American politics.

      On Sun, Mar 5, 2017 at 11:23 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — March 5, 2017 @ 11:28 am | Reply

  2. What I found most worrying about this latest brain fart is that Trump doesn’t even seem to understand what the powers of the President actually are.


    Comment by john zande — March 5, 2017 @ 5:12 pm | Reply

    • Oh good grief, John! Are you just now figuring that out? It’s been pretty obvious since Day One. He doesn’t have a CLUE!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Nan — March 5, 2017 @ 5:18 pm | Reply

      • Well, yes, I did understand that in a general sense (he thought the supreme court investigated cases, I recall), but he’s actually the president now. Didn’t anyone around him say, “Actually, sir, you couldn’t do that even if you really, really, really wanted to.”


        Comment by john zande — March 5, 2017 @ 5:22 pm | Reply

        • Those “around him” don’t know any more than he does. And the ones (in lesser positions) that do, he ignores.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Nan — March 5, 2017 @ 5:24 pm | Reply

          • Oh dear… I hope the head of Strateigic Air Command has quietly disabled the Nuclear Football.

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by john zande — March 5, 2017 @ 5:27 pm | Reply

    • You would think Trump could have been bothered to go to Wikipedia and look up “powers of the president” … but, no.

      On Sun, Mar 5, 2017 at 5:12 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — March 5, 2017 @ 9:23 pm | Reply

  3. This article says it all:

    Especially this: Needless to say, it would be unprecedented for the Justice Department to publicly rebuke the sitting President. However, this is unlikely. Trump has filled his executive branch with amoral cronies. (emphasis mine)


    Comment by Nan — March 5, 2017 @ 5:47 pm | Reply

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