John Adams said, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates or our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. Someone needs to tell Donald Trump that.
We seem to be entering an era where the facts aren’t important. Facts have become subjective statements and are sometimes, by some people, replaced with “alternative facts.” The term “alternative facts” was used by counselor to Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conway when she referred to White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s comments about last week’s inauguration attracting “the largest audience ever.”
How many of us watched the inauguration live? I happen to have had both the TV and the radio on at the time. Both were independently report the same news. In addition to the reporting on the dignitaries, they also reported on the size of the audience. Live footage clearly showed how large the crowds were – or more accurately, how large the crowds weren’t, especially when compared to Barack Obama’s inauguration. Clearly, fewer people came to watch Donald Trump being “crowned king.” Blame it on the rainy weather, though some stated the sun came out. It didn’t. Blame it on the candidate. The fact is, relatively speaking, on inauguration day 2017, the number of spectators on hand to watch was small.
This president would have you believe that the crowd was record breaking and reaching all the way to the Washington Memorial. Anyone of us who was watching knows that’s not true. It makes one wonder why does the size of the crowd matter so much to this man? And, if he is lying about something so inconsequential, what is the case for the really important stuff?
How far do the “alternative facts” go? We must remember that “alternative facts” are nothing more than “news speak” a term coined in Geroge Orwell’s 1984. News speak is basically propaganda – the government feeding you thoughts and information that it wants you to believe. New speak and alternative facts are simply lies. It’s interesting, funny and even frightening to note that sales of George Orwell’s dystopian novel have soared since Kellyanne Conway used the phrase “alternative facts.” It’s the sixth best selling book on Amazon right now.
A similar argument can be made about voter fraud. Does any one of us really believe that tree to five million illegal votes were cast for Hillary Clinton enabling her to win the popular vote in this country? We have an odd electoral college way of deciding who becomes president. I say odd because this system does not always crown she with the most votes queen. We all know that the same thing happened with Al Gore in the 2000 election. It is a flawed system.
The world can become a dangerous place when we start questioning or disregarding the facts. President Obama said that “part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now and facts and science and argument does not seem to be wining the day all the time is because we’re hard wired not to always think clearly when we’re scared. And the county’s scared.”
But being scared is no reason to believe “alternative facts” because the true fact is, there is no such thing. It’s propaganda and we can’t let ourselves be fed lies.
Based on recent approval ratings, I believe that most of the country agrees. Though Donald Trump would vehemently disagree, according to Gallup Polling, Trump could be in line to have the lwest job approval rating up on taking office in Gallop Polling History. He now stands at 45% approval. The start of a president’s term, or as its called, the ‘honeymoon phase” is usually when such ratings are high. That’s not the case here. Initial job approval ratings for presidents generally tend to be about eight points lower than their transition approval ratings.