Last night in his first (and maybe last?) debate against Hillary Clinton, Trump said that not paying any taxes shows that he's smart. Then an hour later he denied saying any such thing.
Which makes yesterday a pretty average day for Trump in terms of honesty and integrity. And millions of people have noticed this, and more and more people are noticing.
Trump is following a political strategy which still functioned occasionally a few decades ago, before the Internet, before Presidential candidates were constantly televised. In 1972 Hunter S Thompson wrote about his fellow Democrat and Presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey:
"There is no way to grasp what a shallow, contemptible and hopelessly dishonest old hack Hubert Humphrey is until you've followed him around for a while on the campaign trail."
Because of the changes in technology, today a lot more people "follow the candidates around" via TV and Internet. Back in '72 Humphrey could get away with saying 3 completely different things about an issue in the same day. But today when Trump does it, a tech-savvy 5-year-old can put the video clips together and nail him for it.
I'm not saying that any of this will actually hurt Trump politically. I hope it will. I think it will. But I'm not sure it will. It should be clearer a few days from now, after more polls are in, whether the huge number of people who saw the first debate last night are now more aware that Trump is a lying sack of crap -- even compared to most politicians.
But I'm not sure what effect the debate will have, because I don't understand how Trump has succeeded so far. I really don't know how anybody has ever seen him as anything but a crude snake-oil salesman. I'm hoping that the debate will swing more undecideds from Trump over to Hillary -- but I don't understand how someone can be undecided between Hillary and Trump.
Maybe I just need to put such things into the Nietzschean category of things I don't even want to understand, and move on, and deal with the people with whom I can deal.
As of 3PM, the headlines say that Hillary won the debate by a wide margin, except for some completely crappy biased polls which say Trump won, which are the only polls some right-wing outlets are reporting on. Mendacity.