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Trump, Conspiracies And Occam’s Razor!

Let me begin by saying that I think that the trouble with politics is that people are expected to lie. There are the small lies where someone body has to agree with the party line, even though everything they’ve said in the past indicates that they don’t. And there are the big lies: “We didn’t take into account the fact that the electorate was marginal when awarding them a billion-dollar grant to be spent in any way they see fit!”

How else would it be possible for the Liberals to argue that the budget deficits of the Rudd and Swan years ruined our economy but the much larger budget deficit of next week is saving the economy? Surely someone would be asking them to explain the contradiction were it not for the fact that political parties are expected to lie.

Anyone who’s followed the career of Donald Trump would have to acknowledge that not everything he said is the gospel truth… Or rather they would were it not for the fact that, in politics, you can dispute something which is verifiable as the truth and not be thought of as mentally incompetent or stupid. You know, the whole facts and alternative facts thing…

So we have the rather strange moment where – thanks to Trump taking political lying to a whole new art form – nobody believes anything that he says even though those working for him have to pretend to.

And let me quite clear, if either Trump and Morrison told me that I have ten toes, I’d be taking my shoes and socks off to check that they hadn’t removed one while I was sleeping. However, I find it interesting that many of those who were frustrated by Trump’s supporters calling the whole COVID-19 thing a hoax, are now the ones who suspect that it’s Trump who’s pretending to have it. We now have one thing that both his supporters and his opponents are both prepared to agree on: the existence of a corona virus hoax. They only disagree on the nature of the hoax.

While I certainly wouldn’t put it past Trump to create a fiction that helps him win, I also believe that someone who has refused to wear a mask, insisted on packing people into rallies and mocked social distancing has a better than average chance of contracting the virus.

When faced with two competing ideas, I’ve found it’s useful to apply Occam’s Razor which in simple terms means that when faced with competing explanations, the simpler one is more likely to be correct. For example, is the fact that most of the experts who doubt climate change were employed by the fossil fuel industry because they’re the only ones clever enough to see through the deception perpetuated by scientists who’d rather apply for funding to investigate something fictional, or is it because they have a vested interest in suggesting that there’s nothing wrong with fossil fuels and we should all use as much as possible because coal is good for humanity.

So if I were forced to pick between this being real and something Trump made up, I’d pick the scenario that he has actually been diagnosed with COVID-19 for a few simple Occam’s Razor-like reasons:

  • He’s been trying to play down COVID-19 all year, so to now tell people it’s something that can disrupt his election campaign suggests that he might have got it wrong.
  • Disappearing for a few days or weeks disrupts his narrative that he’s a strong man and nothing can stop him.
  • The fact that Hope Hicks was diagnosed first and then he and Melanie got tested indicates a level of planning that I suspect would be too difficult for Trump as it involves a two-step plan.
  • It’s been suggested that the Republicans told him to hide away so that he didn’t have to do any more debates because he lost. Trump never listens to anyone so it’s unlikely he’d believe them about either losing the debate or the necessity of hiding so that he didn’t need to do more.
  • This puts COVID-19 front and centre when Trump has been trying to shift the campaign chatter to the economy. While he could theoretically argue that the big drop in markets when he tested positive shows how much he’s needed, that’s not the sort of argument that sways many people. It’s sort of like when your partner turns up late when you’ve been trying to prepare for guests and says, “Wow, look at the mess you’re in. This just shows how important I am!” If they really wanted to impress, it would have been better to have been there.

Whatever the truth, I suspect that I won’t have swayed anyone. The difficulty of politics in the 21st Century is that it’s all so unbelievable that something like QAnon can flourish, the Brexit debacle can lead to one of the people responsible getting elected PM with an increased majority and Tony Abbott being given a job which requires diplomacy. If Trump is pronounced dead, some people will be sure that Deep State got him and others will be sure that this is just his way of avoiding embarrassment.


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  1. Keitha Granville

    Definitely a lose/lose situation.

    If he has it and dies, people will vote Republican in sympathy no matter the candidate.
    If he has it and lives, they’ll vote for him in sympathy.
    If he doesn’t have it, they’ll vote for him in sympathy cos he was kidnapped in case he had it.

    And then last, if Melania has it and dies, they’ll definitely vote for him in sympathy.

    The country loses.

  2. Jack Cade

    If he has it and gets it bad, I’ll go to the nearest branch of kiddie fiddlers college and light a candle to Covid.

  3. New England Cocky

    Naw Jack, as I stated on another AIMN thread, I am inclined to believe that it is a hoax and a sympathy puller … as stated above by Keitha.

    POTUS Trumpery was visiting a primary school where a young girl student was presented to him.
    “I dreamed about you last night, Mr President” she said. “You were in a big car going down the main street. The crowds were cheering, the bands were playing and everybody was very happy.”
    POTUS smiled and confidently asked, “Did you like my hair”?
    “I couldn’t see your hair, Mr President,” the young girl replied. ”The lid was closed on the coffin”.

  4. Josephus

    All Trump need do is drink bleach and swallow an anti malaria pill.

  5. wam

    Truth and occam are variable with KISS a little less so but there is no fun in any but the first and complex conspiracy theories make the hay.
    So trump has developed the virus by natural means from someone unknown and the convenience of a mild dose is fortuitous.???? His refusal to take precautions suggests he has passed it on to persons unknown.
    It has been a fabulous few days with the melb teams left to decide who is to plat port/brisbane but the joys are, as jack hopes, enhanced by trumps alleged ailment

    aug 25 2013 the post was:
    :not every untruth is a lie’
    is worth a reread.

  6. Phil Pryor

    Cocky’s coffin joke is pointed. The poor bastard, old Donny Donkey, no-one would give him a mask or stay away the right distance, but, he has drugs for cure, essence of bullshit, liquor of lies, phials of propaganda juice, injections of infidelity, indiscretion, inability, so, the old browning turd may have time to edit his script, milk the problem, connive a result, rig a rort, rob a nation, once more. Who knows. But, I’ll remember the joke without a smile.

  7. Jack Cade

    Phil Pryor

    He will emerge in 14 days with superficial wounds in his hands and feet: Gods ultimate sick joke before he pulls the plug holding Yellowstone’s cataclysm in.

  8. Gangey1959

    I’ll believe it all when/0nce his cabinet secretaries of defense, treasury et al start being diagnosed with it.
    Without wishing any of them any personal misfortune, I hope that they do, because then the people of the useless state of antipathy (and guns) might start to realise that they elected a dealer who is absolutely, dangerously full of shite, and he should not be elected again.
    Just a question, and pardon my ignorance, but who the bloody hell are the “proud boys”? They sound like a bunch of really bad drag artistes from some dingy 60’s euro porn movie.

    @PP. Come on mate. It’s worth a smile. It’s funny.

  9. Geoff Andrews

    I’ll bet Grumpy Geezer’s legendary slab of beer that he doesn’t have the virus but that, never the less, he will make a miraculous recovery in four weeks, during which time the country (nay, the world) will listen with bated breath to hourly reports of our hero’s gallant battle & eventual defeat of the Chinese invaders.
    That is the simplest and most beneficial (to him) explanation.

  10. L-GH

    Faking it has so many wins for the Cheeto with little effort. Firstly sympathy, get those bleach blonde Trumpettes all fired up to protect their hero, then if it’s “mild” it supports all his reassurances that it’s no big deal. Him surviving is also going to support the claims he is in “excellent health”, a strong man. Vote winners all round. The bonus is avoiding having to do any more debates or campaigning, let the virus win the votes for you.

  11. pierre wilkinson

    if he has it…
    hopefully he will swap his hydroxychloroquine for sodium hypochlorite
    and give the planet a faster cure

  12. DrakeN

    that coffin joke has a parallel with the actual event at Maggie Thatcher’s Memorial service at the Abbey, with a large crowd singing “Ding, Dong the Witch is dead…”
    Friedeggnburger’s heroine from the past.
    “There is no such thing a Society…” an immortal phrase to be savoured by the sociopaths in the present Commonwealth Government.

  13. Andrew Smith

    The good news is that VP Pence will not be acting President; he’s even worse……

  14. leefe

    I still think it’s a lie. But I keep fantasising about both Trump and Pence carking it in the next couple of weeks, and Nancy Pelosi having to run the country until the election …

  15. Geoff Andrews

    As L-GH notes, it’s a win-win for faking it and I note with no surprise that this morning there are breathless reports of a conflict of opinion as to his health: the doctors say he’s doing well (and why shouldn’t he be), so they are in the clear when he emerges Lazarus-like from his death bed. Trump credited God with his 2016 victory (so why not call on the old fella again); while “an unnamed source close to the President” assures us that he’s desperately ill with his vital organs possibly compromised.
    My theory is that it is a script devised by the Coen brothers: it will raise the possibility that the 200,000 deaths are fake news; it cures his fatal foot-in-mouth disease – grammatically correct statements can be issued by Central PR and no more of those pesky debates.
    He will appear in public for the first time a week before the election; he will hold half a dozen rallies in key states, each larger than the previous, which in itself makes great headlines (“Tidal wave of popularity sweeping key states”)

  16. Jack Cade

    Ockham’s Razor (correct spelling of William of Ockham’s home town) tells me
    – it’s a stitch up because he’s losing the election
    – the the virus was a CIA stunt dreamed up at Fort Detrick and deposited in Wuhan by the US military games team.
    QE bleedin’ D.

  17. Mark

    And the landing on the moon was all done with mirrors. Not much credibility here. Bye.

  18. Jack Cade

    Talk about Ockham’s Razor reminds me that all the countries and places that have performed best in the pandemic – including WA – are blessed with an absence of media outlets of Murdoch the Malign..
    Btw, ‘Mark’ came and went quickly – he may have misread the word ‘Australian’ in the site’s name.
    Pity, that..

  19. Roswell

    And he seemed such a nice bloke.


    Maybe. just maybe, both the crinkled old bastard and the orange dickhead time their exit from this planet together, hand in hand singing halleluja. Thatcher and Hitler will be waiting to welcome them.

  21. New England Cocky

    @Jack Cade: Well you know, Liarbral trolls only have such a short attention span and Nazional$ trolls have trouble reading …..

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