I have watched and listened to Donald J. Trump closely since long before his inauguration. Time and again, he has proven himself to be a compulsive liar, incapable of telling simple truths or taking responsibility for his actions or inactions whenever they reveal his true nature. He is a con man of immense personal insecurities whose True North always points to Donald Trump.

At his core, he is interested only in himself and in those people and issues that can benefit him personally. His greatest fear: an alert public informed by truth and reality, not falsehoods and disinformation. That is why he squeals “fake news,” “hoax,” “scam” or “nasty” whenever legitimate questions and truthful reporting don’t comport with his lies and misinformation.

Any news organization, analyst or voter that fails to hold the president accountable for the lies he tells and the truths he refuses to speak is antithetical to our democracy. This is not a question of style or opinion, but of honesty and integrity. Those who are attacking legitimate news reporting and fact-based analysis — including the president and his acolytes on Fox News and other right-wing media — need to be called out for their deceit.

After three years of the president’s through-the-looking-glass media charade, those who argue otherwise are either politically impaired or blinded by their own personal interests. Up is not down. Difficult is not easy. Facts are facts. Lies are lies, and opinions are opinions — good and bad.

The deadly COVID-19 pandemic will affect the lives of every human being in the country, if not the planet. I couldn’t be prouder of the heroic people struggling to respond responsibly to this national crisis, despite a commander in chief who has shown himself to be the person he is, rather than the courageous, truthful leader that we need.

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