Bias disclaimer: I did not vote for President Trump. I am rooting for him and sincerely hope he will the greatest president ever. But I do not expect that, and my bias likely will show in whatever I write.
Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. I wonder why we count them so fiercely … does it matter in any way that he is number 45? Regardless, many in the country are excited, even many right in my office where I work.
Our development conference room is taken over by about half a dozen co-workers who put the inauguration up on the big screen and filter in and out during the morning to watch it.
My company is not a modern tech environment. We are not the Millennial-driven startup sort of place. Quite the opposite, the employees are mostly long-term, mostly local roots, almost exclusively white, college-educated Southerners. It is the kind of place where it is okay to have Bible verse posters on your wall.
I do not point these things out as negatives, they just are. I should mention that it is not entirely white, and it includes as many women as men, maybe more. Even in the C-suite there are as many women executives as men. Better, it is the kind of company that takes care of its employees. Benefits are good, and turnover is very low.
Trump is our President and most in my office are excited.
My Gamer Girl and I hit the road to join the Raleigh Women’s March. It takes all morning, and is never really a march, there are too many of us. The entire route is filled before it begins. We make our way from point A to point B in waves and pulses. No one marches, it is more like serial standing.
I did not expect to find that the march would also be mainly white. I’d expected a melange; people of color have plenty of reason to stand up today. And some do. But the march is mainly white, mostly female but not overwhelmingly so. Lots of men with proud feminist signage too. Many brought their entire families.
Not everyone is marching for the same reasons. Signage is all over the place, ideologically. But there is more in common than in difference.
Later I find that there were 600-some other Women’s Marches all around the world, with somewhere over a million participants. Maybe more than two million.
Trump is our President and there are many who are scared, and wary, and very alert.
I learn that President Trump’s first full day in office seems to have been largely filled with disputes over how many people attended his inauguration. It seems important to him that “his crowd” be the greatest ever, regardless of whether it really was.
He visited the CIA and gave a speech that put a lot of emphasis on how the media is deliberately lying to make his crowd seem smaller than it really was.
I find it disheartening because it indicates that he either
- Lives in a bubble where he is surrounded by sycophants and truly believes what they tell him
- Is delusional about some matters and doesn’t even need sycophants to tell him lies
- Knows the truth but is willing to lie, deliberately and loudly, about things as unimportant as the size of his crowd
Which is more troubling? Hard to say.
I find it even more disheartening that any of this even came up during his CIA speech. I mean, really, the size of his crowd?
Then I watched a video of his administration’s first-ever press briefing, by his press secretary Sean Spicer.
The embedded video, above, has been annotated. I encourage you to watch the original un-annotated version for yourself, but here’s the synopsis:
An angry man in an ill-fitting suit scolding reporters because their media outlets told the truth about the inauguration crowds rather than lying to help aggrandize the new administration. He ticked off several untruths that (I imagine) are intended to back up the main lie, but spent most of the briefing in an angry rant about what the media “should be reporting”, which was, apparently, the lies about the crowd size. And then he stormed off without taking any questions.
I wish I was making this up, or exaggerating to make a point, but no. There were other topics, but everything was intertwined with the lying media narrative. Please watch for yourself. Or read this transcript (but the video is better because it shows the anger). The point is, you don’t need to take my word for it. It just is, and you can easily see for yourself.
Let’s be clear about this: “the media”, which does not exist as some sort of of single entity, was guilty only of having pictures and words that depict actual events. This was not an opinion piece from the New York Times, this was every news outlet, everywhere. Associated Press. Reuters. BBC. Even Fox News.
It is a lie. Actually, several lies.
About something stupid that has no bearing whatsoever to the national good. And yet we are devoting an entire press briefing to spreading the lie, and even making vague threats against those who expose the lie.
And this is the new normal? This? Where our White House Press Secretary is channeling Saddam Hussein’s Minister of Information?
Now that I think about it, I think the Minister of Information wins by comparison. Al-Sahhaf was at least lying about things that matter. Spicer is lying about crowd sizes, although he seems to be taking it quite seriously.
There were US tanks in Iraq. We all knew it, and laughed at the silly Iraqis with their silly and easily-disproved lies.
Trump’s inauguration crowd was not the largest ever, and may not even be in the top four. We all know it is a silly lie, and one that is easily disproved. Who is laughing now?
Trump is our President, and the new normal is very weird.
🙂 😀 🙂