Day 3, 1459 days to go
All politicians try to create an alternate but convincing reality when they run for office, about themselves, about their plans, about their opponents, and about the world they claim they will improve. Candidate Donald Gilderoy Lockhart Trump did this far more extensively than most, but he was just at the end of the spectrum, not unique. Now he’s president, and while spin is important to every presidency and certain to be even more so in this case, presidents have to be capable of recognizing unpleasant realities so they can try to address those realities.
But maybe not. Judging by his bizarre reaction to having a much smaller crowd for his inauguration than Obama had (the press is lying, they doctored the photos, etc), one much smaller than the Women’s March in Washington DC yesterday, we are in for four years of blatant denial of reality.
There are a lot of things that are debatable. How could Mad Max: Fury Road be nominated for Best Picture and Star Wars: The Force Awakens not be, I ask? Was Michael Jordan really a better basketball player than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Wilt Chamberlain? Is J. K Rowling a great writer? What is the Great American Novel? All things people can argue about endlessly because there is no clear standard for things like better, best, and great in most cases.
But reality does exist. The Earth circles the sun, not the other way around. We did drop two atomic bombs on Japan (they didn’t end the war on their own, and how many lives they actually saved depends entirely on what other routes we could have taken at the time – these are debatable issues. The bombs being used is not.). The Holocaust did happen, twelve American men did walk on the moon. The scientific evidence for global warming is overwhelming. Obama’s inauguration drew a much bigger crowd than Trump’s.
But not for the Donald. When Russia invades another bordering nation, will Trump just say it isn’t happening, just as he had the Republican platform changed to ignore Russia’s recent actions? (And would that get Republican leadership in Congress to stand up to him?) When millions of people lose health care, will he say it isn’t happening? Or fall back on a more standard Republican response that it is “their choice” to not pay for health care? How deep will the lies go, are they for show? Or does the nation’s first Con-Man-in-Chief believe whatever he feels (and therefore says, or tweets) is true, and everything else just lies, media lies, damn lies? If he really believes he drew a bigger crowd than Obama, what else will he really believe when it matters to the nation’s safety or the public’s well-being?