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Letters

The Pinocchio president

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving the White House last week.
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving the White House last week.(Manuel Balce Ceneta/File/AP)

Trump’s rain of lies takes page from Putin’s playbook

In “Why Trump lies, and why you should care” (Opinion, Jan. 18), Drs. Leonard L. Glass and Bandy X. Lee send us down a dead end of psychological speculation that leaves us little better off than when we started. If anything, the president has more political street smarts than most of those who purport to “analyze” him.

The real reason for all of Donald Trump’s lies was understood well before he was elected. A 2016 study by the nonpartisan RAND Corporation detailed how current Russian propaganda efforts are based on a “Firehose of Falsehood” technique. It’s all a clever effort to use “rapid, continuous, and repetitive” lies to “entertain, confuse, and overwhelm the audience.”

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It seems clear that our president has essentially copied the technique to his own advantage. He has dominated the national discourse and hampered legitimate journalism (now kept busy with endless fact-checking), all while keeping his supporters fired up.

Is President Trump crazy? Sure — crazy like a fox. Don’t be fooled.

Glenn C. Koenig

Arlington

It’s Trump’s base whose psyche we should be probing

I agree with psychiatrists Leonard L. Glass and Bandy X. Lee that it is of considerable importance just why Donald Trump continues to lie, whether he believes his own lies, or even whether he knows he’s lying. However, I believe it is even more important to study, assess, and apply every modern psychological, sociological, and scientific tool at our disposal to try to understand the behavior of his voters and why members of that incomprehensible base continue to swallow dose after dose of his snake oil.

Yes, Trump continues to pounce on and exploit the often justifiable anger, frustration, and desperation of many of our citizens, but the irrefutable reality is that this “populist” or “nonpolitician” continues to demonstrate — and top — in countless ways the absolute worst qualities of the most dishonest, disingenuous, deceitful, and fraudulent politician imaginable. It is baffling just what is possessing those who will not accept or confront this, no matter the damage and no matter the cost.

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I might add that more than one study is desperately needed to ensure that this nightmare we find ourselves in does not reoccur.

Tom Mirabile

Norfolk