NORTH ADAMS — In this presidential election, the perception that Hillary Clinton might be telling a lie seems more important to some people than Trump's constant stream of provable lies on camera.
Even if you don't want to fact check his statements, his personal history speaks volumes about his attitude about the truth.
That a candidate like Trump can get as far as he has shows how far the bar has been lowered in my lifetime, both for our expectations about politicians and the standards by which the national press go after the truth.
Clinton's scandals are deceptive. It seems like there are hundreds, but really it's a couple things being repeated again and again by Republicans and the press, keeping suspicion out there even as every bit of new proof falls limp.
Particularly nasty are the media's clickbait headlines that promise some new bombshell that hasn't come to light, and is actually the opposite of what the news story says if you actually read it. I've seen numerous headlines from legitimate news sources pushing innuendo that is thoroughly rebuffed, but only if you read a few paragraphs into the story itself.
Not so Trump. His record of transgressions is astonishing, but the press doesn't take one scandal and repeat it again and again and again until it sticks. Reporting on Clinton is reliant on a "where there's smoke, there's always fire" mindset.
Clinton has a trickle of smoke and people claim blazes regardless. We're all about to die from smoke inhalation caused by Trump, but refuse to acknowledge the cause of our deathly hacking.
Given the facts, it appears a certain portion of Americans cannot process information. If they could, they would understand the story of Trump allegedly bribing Florida attorney general Pamela Bondi in order to obstruct justice. Trump did the same thing in Texas with Gov. Greg Abbot when he was attorney general.
They would understand the Federal Trade Commission's anti-trust lawsuit against Trump and the $750,000 settlement he paid to get out of it.
They would understand the vast swath of allegations, including housing discrimination, hiring illegal immigrants across, operating with his multiple shady businesses like Trump University, the Trump Network, the Trump Institute, his casino bankruptcies that left investors in the lurch, his refusal to pay contractors, his Mafia ties.
They would understand Trump had to pay a $2,500 penalty for violating tax laws when his Trump Foundation made an improper donation to the Florida attorney general after she hinted that her office may investigate Trump University.
They would understand how Trump used foundation money to help Citizens United in its lawsuit against the New York Attorney General at a time that office was suing over Trump University.
They would understand that Trump has funneled donor money back into his own businesses during this election, making a profit off the true believers who send him their hard-earned money.
His campaign bought thousands of copies of one of his books and Trump received royalties for these sales. He raised prices four times as high on his campaign offices — offices that he owns — once he stopped paying for his campaign and his donors started.
Trump makes Nixon look like an altar boy and major news organizations know this. It is in their interest to keep the contest exciting down to the wire, though, and they are willing to sacrifice all of us to do that. Trump trumps truth.
Contact John Seven at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @damnjohnseven. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of The Berkshire Eagle.