Trump, alt facts and confusing times

We are living in confusing times. I wasn’t originally planning to write about Trump. Does the internet need more comment on his presidency? My blog is generally quite a happy place.  It feels like it might be tainted by the orange hate peddler. However I find myself 28 days into his presidency feeling so confused by daily events coming out of the States.

Anyone else feel like we are experiencing Trump versus reality? I love a fact! In a world of chaos it is comforting to know that some things are indisputably, solidly true. But what is this mind bending, alt fact bulls**t?! To me an alternative fact is just a lie! Sometimes Trump’s lies are trivial. He boasted that he has appeared on the cover of Time magazine more than any other US president. He has had 11 covers Richard Nixon has 55. When this is the basis of government policy it is truly terrifying!

The Travel Ban made me unbelievably angry. Trumps opinions as fact approach was written in every letter of his failed executive order. There was no credible evidence to substantiate the alleged risk posed by citizens from the banned countries. Even people who were green card holders (who have already been thoroughly vetted) were turned away at airports like criminals. Assumed to be a terrorist until the administration decides otherwise.

There are obviously people who support Trump who must feel that he is talking their language and delivering on his campaign promises. I really wonder what the news feed of a Trump supporter looks like? It feels like we live in an echo chamber where social media repeat our views back to us. Donald Trump famously loves TV and you can hear the influence of right wing cable TV news in his rhetoric. If this is your main information source it must give you a slanted view of the world. For the purposes of research I ventured onto the notorious right wing website Brietbart to see what there top stories are today. There is vitriol for the people who leaked information about the questionable activity of Michael Flynn forcing his resignation. There are is also some pretty eye opening merchandise on offer (think window stickers slagging off Hilary Clinton and hailing the right to bear arms). I also took a look at Infowars another source favoured by Trump. A sample headline from today “Islam and Paedophiles now control Europe” This is truly terrifying stuff! Although I now know where to buy a flag with Donald Trumps face on it.

Then there are shining examples of hope. People flooding to the airports in protests. The images of the demonstrations live streamed around the world. The women’s marches held around the world to counter the Donald’s blatant sexism. Media scrutiny of the administrations outrageous claims. All hail the fact checkers! I punched the air when the travel ban was halted. It is heartening that there is proper legal scrutiny of this circus act. No ego is bigger than the law!

I have shouted at the TV so often recently! However I feel more than ever that words without meaningful actions are pretty pointless. It is starting to feel a bit hysterical. So I’m lying off flooding your Facebook feeds with endless anti Trump posts. My first tiny stand was to sign the petition against Trumps state visit to the UK. There is something so sickening and undignified about rolling out the red carpet for Trump. It feels like we are pimping out the Queen in desperate attempt to get a future trade deal with the US. I’m sure that the visit will go ahead anyway. When it does I will happily take a day off work to join the many thousands of people who are likely to let Trump know what we think of him and his values. Even my Mum and Dad signed the petition and they barely use the internet!

Rolando and I both went to the protest in Cambridge against the travel ban. Admittedly I was working late so I only got there just as people were rolling up their banners and starting to leave. There was something quite funny seeing a person trying to get their large anti Trump placard through the door of Yo Sushi! Still it was heartening to see people acting in solidarity with people in other parts of the world who are being treated unfairly.

Barring an impeachment, resignation or worse, Trump will be president until at least 20th January 2021. Here’s to the next US election day currently scheduled for 3rd November 2020!

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