By GENE H. McINTYRE

Millions of American voters were willing to forgive Donald J. Trump for all they knew about him before he was a candidate, yet, they voted for him anyway. Hope can spring eternal but the evidence from the views of Trump and his advisors over his six month tenure leaves those trying to remain objective about him with dismay, as the Oval Office has become a “black hole” of credibility crises that worsens nearly every hour of every day.

Most recently, former Press Secretary Sean Spicer denied he was aware of the retracted Fox News story on slain Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich even though it was well known that he attended a meeting on the subject. President Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, denied that the president was involved in the writing of Donald Trump Junior’s statement on Russia (while we now know that the president dictated every word of it). President Trump claims that he received a call from the leader of the Boy Scouts praising his speech to the Boy Scouts at their jamboree—a matter even the White House soon refuted.

Since President Trump and his inner circle of advisors continue daily to mislead the American public about everything from crowd sizes to campaign meetings to what was said by the Boy Scout leadership, announce totally untrue and proven untrue claims like the one about “Obama wiretapped my phones” and 3 million illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton, and then blast reporters for so-called “fake news” explained by “alternative facts” then why should any American believe anything coming directly from the president or those he requires to carry his unfounded and mendacious messages to the public?

President Trump has accumulated a virtual mountain of pernicious comments he’s delivered to Americans as well as other persons throughout the world.  Hence, this writer is not confident in the state of Trump’s mental health. It was hoped that once he assumed the responsibilities of president he would adopt the related responsibilities; unfortunately, a fully functioning, stable and steady-course mind continues to elude him.

What worries this writer is the fate of my nation with Trump holding its highest public office.  At his job as president, Trump continuously lies by setting the most horrible of examples but also using his authority as president to require obedience through  pledges and acts of loyalty to him rather than the nation.  Thereby, persons under him must suspend their beliefs and values while a sustained democracy with truth at its core and an informed citizenry becomes a national casualty.

The hitch is that what is now going on at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is fundamentally unhealthy and increasingly contrary to a freedom-loving people who, by increasing numbers, don’t trust government any more. Mendacity must be recognized as bad, evil and destructive to a nation’s wherewithal and ability to survive intact with a viable future. What’s going on is that Trump is not just lying to the press but lying through it, creating an authoritarian regime where the people are fed misinformation they know is not true as we move ever in the direction of those countries we held in contempt, laughing at its awful shenanigans and death throes.

(Gene McIntyre lives in Keizer.