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Published on Apr 23, 2016
I began writing this book on the day that Donald Trump the Republican front runner for President of the United States announced that he will become a different person over the next few months. Trump’s campaign manager is willing to be publicly quoted as saying that it has all been an act -- a role and that “the part that he’s been playing is now evolving into the part that you’ve been expecting.” Trump himself says that he is not quite ready to act presidential “yet,” but that he could make himself into anything that he wants to be. Donald Trump and the American media have allowed a presidential election to be turned into a reality TV show where nothing is real, everyone is an actor, all positions are merely roles to be played and the audience is being played for a fool.
The only word that even begins to describe the rampant dishonesty which such willing illusions display on the part of their creators is mendacity. Mendacity, to be mendacious, is willful dishonesty.
This is not a book about Donald Trump. But, Trump’s willingness to display mendacity in his role playing and the success with which that strategy has been met suggest that it is high time that someone warn America that our eternal faith in simplicity is the source of many of our troubles.
Mendacious simplicity is the story of what happens when our efforts to simplify, when our efforts to make things easier to deal with, when our efforts to make things approachable by the lowest common denominator, when our efforts to make things fit into a soundbite, a label, or a keyword, all go very awry. When simplification works, it can, indeed, be very effective. But, simplification does not always work. More is not necessarily better. And when simplification fails, it fails miserably.
We are seldom taught that simplification has a large risk of failure. We are even less seldom taught that simplification only works up to a point and then after that point all that lies on the road ahead is failure itself. Instead, we are taught that the key to effectiveness is more simplicity. Well oft times that is a lie. That kind of simplicity is dishonest. It is mendacious simplicity.