(Editor’s note: You can listen to this column, read by the author, here.)
If you’ve been reading this column for a while, you know I’ve had a hard time figuring out how someone as smart and dynamic as Jared Polis could lie so effortlessly.
Watching the last three gubernatorial debates finally gave me clarity.
Jared Polis is Donald Trump. Even more, if Donald Trump and Bill Clinton were to have a love child, it would be Jared.
For explanation in the art and psychology of lying, let’s go to the master in the field, George Costanza, from the long-running series “Seinfeld.” In one episode Jerry is going to submit to a polygraph test to prove to his love-interest du jour that he doesn’t watch some trashy TV show, which of course, he really does.
To beat the lie-detector Costanza imparts his wisdom, “Jerry, just remember it’s not a lie if you believe it.”
Clinton told the world, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Clinton would have passed a polygraph because, like Costanza, he believed what he was saying. In his “that depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is” mental fluidity, oral sex from an intern wasn’t sexual relations — thus, he wasn’t technically lying.
Donald Trump said 1.5 million people came to his inauguration. His press secretary backed it up, “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.” The real number was fewer than 250,000. But do you doubt Trump believed this and his many other delusions?
At one debate leading up to this election cycle Jared Polis stated, “I’m for more freedom and lower taxes.” And as demonstrably false as that statement is, I’m sure he’d pass the polygraph.
In the same way oral sex isn’t sexual relations (somehow), Polis can point to a few of what he’d call “freedom” reforms and lowering taxes by ending state sales tax on tampons, etc. But that’s Trump looking out seeing the largest crowd in inauguration history.
On the whole, freedom in Colorado has never been more diminished than in the last four years and the state’s tax (fee) rake has never been larger — all by Polis’s doing.
I get that most in the media are tacitly on his reelection staff, but if Polis’s name were Trump every TV newscast would start with a fact check.
He says he fights for a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions yet wouldn’t defend female governmental employees’ rights not to take the COVID vaccine.
We hear him at debates hide behind his delusion — “fentanyl always has been illegal and always will be illegal while I’m governor.” True enough, again, assuming oral sex isn’t sexual relations.
Polis turned possession of fewer than 4 grams of fentanyl into a misdemeanor, meaning drug dealers feared nothing more than a ticket if caught. Four grams is enough to kill thousands of people.
During Trump’s election Polis joined rallies demanding Trump release his tax returns, saying Trump “might have something to hide.” As a congressman he even introduced a resolution requiring it. If you recall Trump at the time kept teasing he would release them, but never did.
When challenged to release his 2021 tax returns, Polis Trumpily teased, “I’ve released several years of tax returns, there’s been others (that) have been reported on. I’ll be happy to discuss with my opponent what additional releases are necessary.” By contrast, in response to the same challenge, Ganahl said, “We don’t have to discuss it. I’d be happy to.” And she recently did just that.
Polis hasn’t released a tax return in about decade. The ones that “have been reported on” were thanks to an IRS leak, and showed Polis paid no taxes for three years. So yes, Jared, we want to see your taxes for the same reason you wanted to see Trump’s. You “might have something to hide.”
The gem of the Channel 4 debate proved, at least in one instance, Trump is more transparent than Polis. It was the simplest yes-or-no question. Did Kim Kardashian talk to you about lowering the sentence of the trucker who killed four people on Interstate-70? Jared refused to answer. When Kardashian lobbied President Trump to pardon prisoners, he let the cameras roll.
Trump’s inauguration was small.
Clinton had sex with that woman.
And of course Kardashian talked to you, Jared — just man up and admit it.
History is kind to brave, honest men and cruel to George Costanzas who believe their own lies.
Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.
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