Why are the two least trusted politicians in America also the two major party nominees? Maybe there’s an advantage to divorcing what you say from what is actually true.
This isn’t crazy. If you are untethered by the truth, then you have a broader range of things you can say, which enhances your ability to say things flattering yourself or denigrating your rivals and critics.
For instance, Hillary Clinton gets away with saying things like the Supreme Court “took away a presidency” from Al Gore, or that she voluntarily turned over all the emails she had sketchily moved to a private server. She says these things, they serve her purpose, and if she’s unlikely, a fact-checker points out (to a much smaller audience) a few hours later that what she said was false.
Donald Trump today made a plausible-sounding, self-aiding, critic-disparaging, and totally false accusation about Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post and Amazon.com. Bezos, Trump said, is “using The Washington Post for power so that the politicians in Washington don’t tax Amazon like they should be taxed.”