The Donald Chronicles, #3 – Jan. 22, 2017


 

Probably every being on the face of the earth that has access to a TV and gives a shit has now seen the remarkable and overwhelming response to The Donald’s ascent to the throne, in the form of Womens’ Marches in opposition to DT that took place around the world. Marches in this country brought out an estimated 3.5 to 4.5 million people!

Here’s the link to the google docs compilation of the turn-out, city by city.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/1/d/1xa0iLqYKz8x9Yc_rfhtmSOJQ2EGgeUVjvV4A8LsIaxY/htmlview?sle=true#gid=0

This rejection of a ruler, while (amazingly) peaceful, is (in my humble opinion) comparable to the French Revolution.

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, DT, in his presentation to the CIA, lied about the numbers that attended his Inauguration vs the numbers that attended Obama’s 2009 Inauguration, claiming his were greater. Here is the comparative photo. Judge for yourself.

Obama, left. Trump, right.

Obama, left. Trump, right.

Here he is at the CIA.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/01/21/trump_accuses_media_of_lying_about_inauguration_crowd_size_during_speech.html?wpsrc=sh_all_dt_fb_top

This declaration was followed, later in the day, by a hastily called press briefing in which the visibly upset Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, made the same blatantly false claim, saying Trump’s Inauguration turn-out was the largest in history. He also threatened the press (“you will be held accountable”) for their “anti-Trump reporting”, and then left without taking any questions. And, this morning, during interviews on both CBS and NBC, Kellyanne Conway refused to acknowledge that  Spicer was lying. One of her responses is sure to go down in history. She claimed that Sean Spicer was citing “alternative facts”. Her performance was so ludicrous that it caused Chuck Todd (NBC) to laugh out loud at one point. Here is the “alternative facts” part of that interview (sorry about the 15 seconds ad that precedes it:

http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/video/-alternative-facts-kellyanne-conway-defends-press-secretary-860186691666

We can look at this in two ways. It is, on the one hand, pathetic behavior. Here they are, denying a fact that anyone with eyes in their head can verify for themselves. Additionally, as John Dickerson (CBS) noted: Why are they giving this so much attention, when they should be focused on making good their promises to the American people? If nothing else, it seems to confirm what many have said about Trump – that he is a thin-skinned ego-maniac who craves adulation. Here’s a Trump tweet from this AM, via Robert Reich: “Wow, television ratings just out: 31 million people watched the Inauguration, 11 million more than the very good ratings from 4 years ago!”. Reich continues: “Actually, Nielsen reported that 30.6 million viewers watched inaugural coverage between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday. The appropriate comparison is to Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, when 38 million viewers tuned in, according to Nielsen. (Second inaugurations never summon the viewership of first inaugurations.) So Trump loses. Sad.”

What is the other way of looking at it? Trump and his alt-right handlers may be taking a page out of Joseph Goebbels playbook. Goebbels was the highly effective Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany, and said the following: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” (Jewish Virtual Library). And Trump had already begun lying, before this incident, when he claimed that his was a “landslide” victory (when it clearly wasn’t). Here’s Robert Reich’s take on it: “Trump is Richard Nixon squared. Nixon warred with the press, told lies, and was paranoid. Trump and his troops are exhibiting the same tendencies, only more so. Their aim is to delegitimize the press in the public’s mind, convincing the public of a media conspiracy against Trump.”

I didn’t listen to Trump’s Inauguration speech, but have since seen excerpts. Some are calling it the “carnage” speech, based on his characterization of today’s America as being rife with crime, drugs and everything else bad you can think of. He said he would end that “carnage”. Others are calling it the “America First” speech, in which he seemed to indicate a move towards isolationism. All agree that the speech was dour, at best.

What will tomorrow bring? We’ll probably see additional action being taken in the administration’s effort to repeal the ACA, while we’re unlikely to see any action taken with respect to replacing it – his promise of health insurance for everyone. Don’t be holding your breath on that one!

Here is the link to yesterday’s post:

https://believesteve.org/2017/01/22/the-donald-chronicles-2-jan-21-2017/

 

 

About believesteve

I am a photographer and have published a book of photography and accompanying text on running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The first (print) edition is out of print, but a second edition is available as an iBook (eBook) through the iTunes bookstore. All Grand Canyon, river and nature lovers will enjoy my book: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-grand/id672492447?ls=1
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