Too ignorant to lie

October 3, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

Joe Raedle



Don Krieger

Shortly before the first 2016 Presidential debate, Donald Trump claimed that the debate moderator, Lester Holt, was a Democrat.

This turns out to be false since Mr. Holt has been a registered Republican since 2003.

When Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway was asked about this, she replied, “I don’t know that he knew what Lester Holt’s voter registration is,” and added, “a lie would mean he knew …”

(The relevant video begins at 7.45 into this clip and a newspaper report (LA Times) of the text and context may be found here).

If Mr. Trump was truly unaware of Mr. Holt’s party affiliation, it’s arguably true that his falsehood was not a lie, however willfully deceptive it may have been.

Rather he was, as Ms. Conway asserts, simply wrong.

This curiously highlights a non-sexist cause for the “uneven playing field” about which so many supporters of Secretary Clinton complain.

She is universally recognized as singularly well informed.

When she states a falsehood, she is not excused for having not known; rather she is summarily condemned as a liar.

When she is wrong, the universally recognized fact of her knowledge becomes a liability because she is too knowledgeable to be innocently wrong rather than too ignorant to lie; her exceptional competence is exceeded by her opponent’s willful disregard for knowledge.









Don Krieger

I have built satellites, worked in the operating room, been in a cult, …

I earn my living as part of a group which is trying to understand and treat head injury.

In my poetry and short blog pieces, I want to express ideas with unambiguous clarity and intensity.

I willingly sacrifice rhyme and meter, art, cleverness, elegance, and beauty for these.


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