Sunday, January 29, 2017

When the World Thinks You're a Loser - Just Make Up Your Own Alternative Universe!

I have long said that I didn't really underestimate Donald Trump; I merely overestimated American voters. But now, for the first time, I confess that I have indeed underestimated him. I mean, I never expected his behavior to reach such lofty levels of lunacy so early in his administration

And I’m not the only one. When Trump downgraded the role of the Joint Chiefs on the National Security Council, and replaced them with white supremacist Stephen Bannon, former National Security Advisor Susan Rice tweeted, “This is stone cold crazy. After a week of crazy. Who needs military advice or intell to make policy on ISIL, Syria, Afghanistan, DPRK?”

                           Susan Rice  (Thanks NPR)

Until now I’ve had only three criticisms of Trump:

      1.     He’s an outrageous liar.

      2.     He has a pathetically obvious need for approval underlying a pathological narcissism.

3.     He’s an ignoramus about both national and international politics.

Except for being grossly dishonest, psychologically unfit for office, and stupid about politics, I find him A-OK. 

Well no. Now that I think about it, I should also mention that he’s crude, vulgar, bigoted, and shockingly selfish. Also, he's a  sexual predator and an all-around bully.

When I say Trump is an outrageous liar, I mean he is in a class by himself. He’s not an ordinary political liar who says things like, “I did not have sex with that woman,” or “Read my lips. No new taxes,” or “We did not, repeat, did not trade arms for hostages.” Such garden variety lying we have come to expect from our leaders. With Trump, about 50% of his utterances are outrageous and easily disproven lies, like, “Thousands of Muslims cheered in New Jersey on 9/11,” and “I did not support the Iraq War,” and “I did not mock a reporter with a disability,” and “It was 3 to 5 million illegal voters that kept me from winning the popular vote,” and, finally, “My inauguration crowd was bigger than Obama’s.”

These are not just ordinary lies, these are lies that have been proven false. They are also, for the most part, lies whose sole purpose is to make Donald Trump look amazing.

This is his overriding problem. He can’t be trusted. Or, to put it another way, he can be trusted to construct an alternate universe, unconnected to reality, in which he is a magnificent winner and all his opponents are losers.

Here’s a bit more evidence on this point. Today on CNN’s Inside Politics, correspondent John King reported that he had recently texted a senior administration official to point out to him one of Trump’s “alternative facts.”

King: “It’s just wrong, it’s factually wrong. Why [do] you keep saying it?”

Senior Trump official: “We don’t care what you say. We’re louder than you.”

King’s conclusion was that the Trump people don’t seem to think they need to answer for their lies, or reality itself, so long as their base stands by them.

It’s all part of what comedian Bill Maher calls Trump’s War on Facts.

Trump, with his “alternative facts” has established an entirely separate universe, one in which the facts that normal people accept as self-evident, don’t apply. I wonder if his next proposal will be for the U.S. government to extend recognition to this alternative universe. In the meantime, could we possibly refrain from having “Hail to the Chief” played when Trump steps up to the dais? In its place, I recommend the theme from “Looney Tunes.”