Two Truths and a Lie: Presidents' Day Edition

Two Truths and a Lie: Presidents' Day Edition


One weekend into No. 45's presidency, his adviser Kellyanne Conway used the unforgettable, unbelievable phrase "alternative facts" to cover for White House press secretary Sean Spicer. Spicer, in his first official media briefing on behalf of No. 45, claimed at the beckon of No. 45 that "this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period." With that, alternative facts entered the cultural lexicon and became a phrase seemingly perfectly emblematic of the ethos of No. 45's fledgling administration.

For we the people, here was something quite different from the typical truthiness of politics-as-usual. Bret Stephens, foreign-affairs columnist at The Wall Street Journal, recently summed up the worldview of No. 45: "Truth is what you can get away with." Especially, Stephens notes, if you have incredible power and no shame.

For example, he writes:

If you can sell condos by claiming your building is 90% occupied when it’s only 20% occupied, well, then—it’s 90% occupied. If you can convince a sufficient number of people that you really did win the popular vote, or that your inauguration crowds were the biggest—well then, what do the statistical data and aerial photographs matter?

I had to remind myself that Stephens is a conservative columnist who does not work for an enemy-of-the-people like The New York Times. Later, in fact, he calls No. 45 the "crack-cocaine version" of President Clinton. It really is an incredibly funny description—until you realize how incredibly scary it is.

In the spirit of Presidents' Day, then, I wanted to offer up a very special edition of "Two Truths and a Lie," the classic ice-breaker game.


Two Truths and a Lie: Presidents' Day Edition


Grouping #1

  1. He tells it like it is.
  2. That isn't what he meant when he told it like it was.
  3. Very few people can make logical sense of what he says when he tells it like it is, but, anyway, that's not what he meant, and, even if he has "the best words," they don't really matter in this case or in any case.

Answer: 1, 2, and 3 are all true. Well, at least some of 3 is true.


Grouping #2

  1. Bowling Green is a place in Kentucky.
  2. Bowling Green is a place in Ohio.
  3. Bowling Green is a place in Sweden.

Answer: 1 and 2 are definitively true. 3 is false, except when a Bowling Green-style terrorist attack happens in Socialist Europe, then it's true.

Addendum: Yes, it is true that Sweden is facing difficult challenges regarding Muslim migration. It is also true that for No. 45 "what happened last night in Sweden" actually referred to a Fox News television program he had watched. But perhaps what is most true is that the documentary framing the Fox News report has been discredited by Swedes themselves due to serious errors and exaggerations.


Grouping #3

  1. There is no "I" in TEAM.
  2. There are three or four "I's" in VLADIMIR PUTIN, depending on whether or not you include UKRAINE.
  3. There is no "I" in PROPECIA.

Answer: 1 is true. 2 is true. 3 isobviously!false. Indeed, there is a quantifiable "I" in PROPECIA. There is also a quantifiable "I" in VANITY, which may or may not account for a hair-growth pill that No. 45 may or may not take.


Grouping #4

  1. Sean Spicer has the broad shoulders of a fullback playing American football, which is ironic given all the blocking he has to do.
  2. #TinyTrump sensation is breaking the Internet, as the kids like to say, which is ironic given the size of No. 45's bigmanism.
  3. Shepard Smith will not be getting a Christmas card this year, or a "War on Christmas" card for that matter, which is ironic given that Fox News is "very nice" to No. 45.

Answer: 1, 2, and 3 each contain a measure of truthfulness. But, determining the exact truthfulness of individual ironies in relationship to each other is well-nigh impossible.


Grouping #5

  1. Large numbers of Christians in America claim to read the Bible and believe its truths [e.g. Leviticus 19.9-18] and also claim to follow Jesus and his core teachings [e.g. Matthew 5:38-48].
  2. Large numbers of Christians in America voted for No. 45, and support No. 45, because they value the basic or traditional moralities of truth, truthfulness, and truth-telling.
  3. Large numbers of Christians in America do not see any spiritual inconsistency or political discrepancy between Statement 1 and Statement 2.

Answer: I don't know what to say anymore.

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