I have an awkward relationship with WordPress, which I use to publish my posts. A former American president has an awkward relationship with the truth. My problem is easier to deal with. 

WordPress analyzes a post’s “readability.” My drafts always receive a frowning icon and a warning: “Needs Improvement.” One exception stands out.

“Putin’s Secret Demands” (Feb. 4, 2022) drew a smiley face. Unreal. The post was a “letter” from Vladimir Putin to Joe Biden written in the fractured English of a Russian speaker. It began:

Comrade Joe: Do not mind “Comrade.” Takes me back to glorious days of Soviet Union, which all Russia wishes to return. Except way things are now, situation not bad.

Years of schooling and writing taught me standard English usage. This includes articles like “the” and “a.” Also reasons to employ disjunctive grammar. No verb. How people often communicate. Yet WordPress praised Putinspeak. 

Likewise, many Americans award Donald Trump smiley faces for lying about the 2020 election. They include voters in 2022 Republican primaries.

Since election night, journalists and government investigators have revealed the truth about the Big Lie. Trump still spews falsehoods. Former Attorney General William Barr suggested that Trump may have become “detached from reality.” I can see reasons.

Prior to the 2020 election, Trump declared that he would reserve judgement on the election’s outcome—unless he won. A Trump loss seemed not only unthinkable but impossible. Many Evangelical preachers and their followers had proclaimed Trump Jesus’ choice. 

Lesli White noted on beliefnet.com (undated), “While many Evangelicals supported Trump because they believed he shared the same politics and values, some supported him because they thought he was a Messiah.”

Katherine Stewart wrote in the New York Times (December 2018), “I have attended dozens of Christian nationalist conferences and events over the past two years. And while I have heard plenty of comments casting doubt on the more questionable aspects of Mr. Trump’s character, the gist of the proceedings almost always comes down to the belief that he is a miracle sent straight from heaven to bring the nation back to the Lord. I have also learned that resistance to Mr. Trump is tantamount to resistance to God.”

On June 9, the House’s select committee investigating January 6 began pulling the Heavenly Miracle’s claims down to earth. The presentations are hardly off the cuff. The committee interviewed 1,000 people and studied a vast number of documents. 

Perhaps WordPress would disagree, but I found the opening sessions to be cogent and “readable.” The upshot: Biden won fair and square. Oh, and money Trump raised to fund legal efforts to overturn the election results went to other purposes.

Does Donald Trump truly believe he’s America’s savior? Does his ego overwhelm rational thought? Does he buy into the conspiracies presented by Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell? Does he think legal scholar John Eastman’s bogus advice regarding then-Vice President Pence’s dismissing Electoral College slates passes muster? Or does the would-be Putin/Xi/Kim see himself as above the law and entitled to undermine it by any means necessary? 

The committee may reveal more about what Trump has done than why. But Barr, who resigned in December 2020, summed up Trump‘s insistence that the election was stolen with the same word I address to those frowning WordPress icons: “Bullshit.”

Order my new novel Lola Flores in softcover or e-book from Amazonbarnesandnoble.com or your favorite bookstore.

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  1. David Sperber on June 17, 2022 at 10:48 am

    Jan. 6 commission freaking amazing as well as the 2021/2022 Warriors.

    • David Perlstein on June 17, 2022 at 11:16 am

      This, David, reminds me of a simple principle. Sports outcomes (in this case basketball) can be determined with precision. The nature of human integrity and the soul, as revealed by the Select Committee, are not easily measurable and yet can be understood. The committee is making a strong case of malfeasance by Donald Trump. I hope that a some Americans who bought into the Big Lie will recognize the existence of a greater truth.

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