Types of truth

Truth isn’t truth.

– Rudy Guiliani quoted in the BBC article Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani: Truth isn’t truth

This seems obvious, but perhaps it isn’t in today’s media world. 

There are different types of truths. 

In a conventional sense, and in the context of the Guiliani quote above, truth is truth. Some things happened, some things didn’t. Some things are against the law and the constitution, other things are not. (And some things are technically legal but goes against the spirit of the law and constitution.) Did Trump and his administration collude with Russia or not? Has Trump tried to obstruct the investigation into his and his administration’s actions? Did Trump and his organization(s) previously whitewash money for Russians? 

Then we have the different perspectives in society. If we know what happened, some may see it as a betrayal of the US, an erosion of democracy, and so on. Putin may see it as benefiting them and not a problem, and even something to reward. In spite of the findings, Trump’s supporters may see it as a lie and attempt to discredit Trump. Other Trump supporters may see it as worth it as long as they get what they want out of his presidency. And yet, what happened, happened, and it’s either lawful or not according to US law. 

And finally, we have all the different perspectives we can use at a personal level but are not relevant for how society and institutions deal with this case. For instance, we can see Trump as an example of someone with severe developmental trauma. Someone to have empathy with (while strongly disagreeing with and voicing our concern about his words and actions). Someone who is a product of a corrupt subculture (among a segment of the wealthy) in the US. Someone elected because large segments of the US population is living with trauma and are easily manipulated, reactive, and sometimes acting against their own best interests. (This trauma is created and maintained by poverty, inequality and so on, and is also passed on through the generations.) 

We can also wonder if not something good will come out of it. It may mobilize those who want to strengthen and deepen the democracy and create a society that works better for all. We can see the Trump era as a blip on the arc of history. We have seen many leaders as him. It’s nothing to worry too much about, as long as we continue to do what we see as right and for the best of society. 

We can view Trump and what he stirs up as a mirror for ourselves so we get to see what’s left in us of wounds, hangups, and reactivity. 

And we can see it as part of the play of the divine. 

As so often, the bigger picture and more “spiritual” perspectives can happily co-exist with the more (wise, mature, kind) conventional ones. One doesn’t replace the other. 



  • types of truth
    • types of truth in this particular context, as example
    • in convential sense, truth is truth
      • can agree on events, what’s commonly called facts
      • e.g. if Trump cooperated with Russians, whitewashed money etc. (corruption)
    • still, different perspectives, interpretations
      • some may see it as betrayal of the US, erosion of democracy etc. (and a crime)
      • Russians may see it as benefiting them and not a problem (something to reward)
      • but in this case, have to view it according to conventional US norms, expectations, and law
      • (Trump’s strategy is to confuse the issue, but conventional facts are still facts)
    • and even more perspectives
      • Trump
        • product of a corrupt subculture
        • product of developmental trauma
        • product of a country where many are traumatized, less educated, live in fear due to poor social safety nets, willing to sell out the US (and erode democracy etc.) to get some of their pet policies through or just temporarily feel better (and get to poke at liberals)
    • in the bigger picture
      • common in human history, have lived through similar things many times
      • temporary, will end and be replaced by something else
      • may invigorate those standing for different values
        • e.g. democracy, inclusion, value of human life, less power to corporations etc.
    • and more fundamentally
      • play of life, universe, the divine




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