Try to imagine it yourself. You’re born into the baroque circumstances of the insanely rich. It’s not just that no thing is denied you, no belief is denied you either. Multiple deferments and a faked injury keep you out of Vietnam. Forget the School of Hard Knocks, your admission into life is a prepaid tuition to the School of No Knocks At All, courtesy of an indulgent father whose middle name is, I’m not making this up, “Christ.” Truly, you are the son of the Anointed One.
As you get older you surround yourself with yes-men. Since the umbilical cord to the money supply you were hooked up to at birth is virtually unlimited, you cannot make a mistake. Failure cannot happen, because it is repaired with money and more money, money from your father, money from illegal means, money from cheating other people. It doesn’t matter to you where it comes from or how you get it because you have no morals.
That, I believe, is the world of Donald Trump and how he sees himself. It is why when the Washington Post refers to the “lies of Donald Trump” it is being inadvertently less than entirely accurate. Trump doesn’t lie in the same sense that most people do. Trump doesn’t think in those terms. To Trump a lie is what other people do when they disagree with him. Trump doesn’t think he can tell a lie, because his misplaced self-belief, reinforced by decades of having his ass relentlessly kissed, has blinded him to any need for such ordinary self-assessment.
That is why, when Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday his condolences for the “at least 138 million people” killed in Sri Lanka, the wildly overstated “million” was not a lie or a mistake or evidence of declining faculties in the usual sense, it was an exaggeration. Trump has been lying and getting away with it for so long, he cannot distinguish between hyperbole and factual error. By saying “million” Trump was trying to communicate a huge number. He wanted to make people say “Wow!”. Trump likes to make people say “Wow!”.
That may be why it took him so long to delete that tweet. You have to know that he was aware of the error within five minutes of sending it out. Surely someone must have told him by then. His reluctance to change it may have come from the fact that he didn’t see anything wrong with it. In any case, he did change it some 30 minutes later, but he did so without acknowledging it as an error. I remind you again, this is the man in charge of the nuclear codes.