A great analysis by Tyler Cowen on Bloomberg. I could quote multiple paragraphs, but it essentially comes down to these reasons:
- Most people (read: citizens) won't fact check.
- It's a loyalty test to create a power structure. If your subordinates won't repeat your lies/beliefs, they can't be trusted. When they do, though, it reinforces their dependence on their leader.
Both make sense, given Trump's expertise in exploiting the media for promotion and attention, as well as his fragile self-esteem and need for full loyalty.
Combine all of that with a media that has covered and broadcasted Trump and his campaign 'live' for much of the last year. When news is always "breaking" and reported first to get clicks, it leaves less room for fact checking and critique. The damage happens once the initial news is out there.
Unfortunately for America, this set up is a dangerous mix that will threaten everything we hold dear and the future of our democracy. And, in a worst case, lead to fascism.
(hat tip to Kottke)