(Tom Toles)
Editorial cartoonist

President Trump is running out of things to lie about, so now he’s getting around to lying about the lies he lied about before.

This was the inevitable result of his ever-increasing rate of lying. When you have blanketed the earth with an unbroken surface of lies, covering every subject, you have no choice but to start a second layer contradicting the first. This, of course, makes the proof of lying rather simple. All you need to do is place two contradictory Trump statements side by side, and one of them has to be a lie. Alas, it does not make the job of fact-checking any easier, as the accumulating sticky goo of lies atop lies makes penetration with a shovel problematic at best.

This, of course, is the point of nonstop lying. As Trump’s idol Vladimir Putin put it, “You can trust no one.” That used to be a lie. Trust actually can be built up, between individuals, between groups, between nations. All you need to do is be credible (i.e. honest) over a certain period of time so that your word and your handshake are taken to mean something. But like many things, it takes a lot longer to build this than to destroy it.

The benefit of switching from truth to lies as a political tactic is much like the benefit of running up credit card debt. Immediate gratification and long-term suffering, plus an insupportably high interest rate. Eventually you can’t even pay the interest, let alone the principal, and then you get to declare moral bankruptcy.

And here we are, watching Trump use our ethical credit card, and every day the total damage grows worse. It almost makes you wonder about the oath Trump took when he became president.