One of the most sobering aspects of the Trump ascendancy and the barrage of Newspeak coming from the White House is the way Trump supporters all seem to adopt everything he says as some sort of divine revelation, in the face even of incontrovertible evidence otherwise. I spent hours one night night in a chat room patiently hammering away at an assertion by a Trump supporter (to protect the guilty I’ll call this person “Ella”) that “a million and a half people” attended the Trump inauguration, and that the photograph circulating of the Mall showing it half-empty at the time of the swearing-in, was “fake”. It took a time-lapse video of the whole day, and a torrent of withering scorn from others taking part in the discussion, to make her finally admit that maybe the great leader got this one wrong “but don’t they all lie?” And “isn’t this trivial really?” and “at the end of the day, he is the president”.
I’m sure that sensible and appalled onlookers because those two qualities must surely go together in these times, will agree that that last assertion is the saddest, truest one. He is the President, and yes, they do all lie, but this is the first and only President in my memory who can look at an image of a squirrel and declare the presence of an elephant. Trump doesn’t just lie; he creates alternative “realities”. What you see and hear isn’t real. That’s alarming, and it’s far from trivial to point out these Orwellian traits in the self-declared great leader. Trump leads a nation with the capability of eradicating all life on earth. He has the power to unilaterally launch military attacks, without even the sanction of Congress. By the time Congress realises, it’s General Ripper with orange makeup at the controls; it might be too late.
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So, Ella, I have to say, it’s far from trivial to question the character of the man who sits in that chair; it’s good to test him, to hold his feet to the fire as soon as possible, to either confirm our fears and force Congress to act to remove him, or to allow him to show presidential stature and character and prove his critics wrong. So far, he is failing that test.
What do you think of Cliff’s feelings about Trump?
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