alternative facts

After Trump’s first presidential hissy fit, his minions predictably came out in full force, deflecting the discussion away from his thin skin and toward one of their favorite whipping boys: the mainstream media. Kellyanne Conway’s use of the Orwellian term “alternative facts” has, naturally, become the first punchline of this particular circus.

But this response is not particularly troubling, beyond its grave implications for the freedom of the press and the seeming lack of candor that this administration seems desperate to maintain. (But this is Donald Trump we’re talking about: nobody expected him to tell the truth. If you love him, you forgive his lies because you think they serve your best interest. If you hate him, you are already well-acquainted with his distant relationship with the truth.)  The more troubling talking points that seem to be making their way through the ether are the ones being parroted by Trump’s supporters: we’re victims; they’re not even giving him a chance.

On the second score, you’re right: we’re not giving him a chance. A chance to do what? Register an entire religion for political purposes? Take us back to back-alley abortions? Start a trade war with China? Thanks, but no thanks. Many of us on the left sort of giggled about what a buffoon George W. Bush was, and then he managed to drag us into a forever-war which killed thousands upon thousands of Americans and countless others around the world. We’re not about to make the same mistake twice by underestimating Spray Tan McGee.

On the first score, ironically, you’re right. You are victims – of your own small minds. You think that you’re special because you were born here, because you’ve worked hard, because you’ve been through some things. And then you have the audacity to speak disparagingly about entitlements! You are a walking, talking entitlement!  You overlook all the ways in which society has propped you up on artificial stilts to achieve whatever you’ve managed to do, all the while writing off other people’s trouble as personal failings or weakness or bad luck. We refuse to join you in the prison of your own making. We’re going to stand with the rest of humanity in acknowledging that we’re all the same, no matter where we’re from, and that we all deserve some minimum protections.

I’m not buying what you’re selling. And neither are the majority of Americans who didn’t vote for this illegitimate president. You can repeat your alternative facts all you want, but you’re still wrong.

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