It's not unusual for newspaper editorials to criticize a president's policies. But the editorial board at the Los Angeles Times is taking the concept to a new level with a multi-part series called "Our Dishonest President." Part one on Sunday issued a warning that President Trump is "so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation." Those traits may have helped him get elected as an "outsider," but hopes that they would be reined in once he entered the White House are fading. The editorial ends with a plea for voters, protesters, members of Congress, state legislators, the courts, the media, etc., to be vigilant about protecting America from its own president.
On Monday, part two focuses on Trump's capacity to lie. Plenty of politicians lie, of course, but what Trump "brings to the equation is an apparent disregard for fact so profound as to suggest that he may not see much practical distinction between lies, if he believes they serve him, and the truth." What makes this especially dangerous is that Trump repeats the lies of others, even crackpots. "He gives every indication that he is as much the gullible tool of liars as he is the liar in chief." Verification seems to be a foreign concept to Trump, but it can't be for everyone else, write the editors, who close with advice: "Investigate. Read. Write. Listen. Speak. Think. ... Be suspicious of those who confuse reality with reality TV, and those who repeat falsehoods while insisting, against all evidence, that they are true. To defend freedom, demand fact." Read part one and part two.