The Show and Lie Presidency
As hard as it was to reconcile that a presidential candidate could behave the way he did during the campaign – lie – bully, say the vulgar things he did and still be elected to our highest office it is even harder to absorb the fact that instead of rising to the role he was elected to he has devolved and denigrated the respect of his office by not only continuing his behavior but buoyed by his election he has run roughshod over our Constitution. He peeled off Executive Orders demonstrating to his supporters that he is keeping his campaign promises regardless of the constitutional viability or validity of the order. Please do not let the facts get in the way of a good show. President Trump is a showman, a Reality Star. His lies are meant to distract and deflect from the fact that he is uninformed and indifferent to the diplomatic and historical reality we live in.
President Trump denies the press access and appears to have asked the FBI to dispute that his campaign had contact and discussions with Russia before the election. But why should we be surprised that he is not changing – he doesn’t have to. He has a trove of supporters who embrace his lies and his indifference to facts. And because of brand loyalty, a cult of personality, he can do anything, and they will do back-flips finding rationalizations for his behavior. I have read the absurd idea that we should not take our president literally – that is an insult to the decency and dignity of our elected representation. Please do not forget that these officials represent us. And if you’re a Trump supporter and find his behavior acceptable your level of denial is beyond rational hypocrisy.
The outrageous irony, not to mention the historical danger, of his denial of press access, is that they are the very press/media that propped him up, showcased him, as he launched his campaign on the birther lie and continued by giving him more coverage than the two Democratic candidates combined. He now calls what they do “fake news.” What were they doing then? They are corporate media at its best, shining a light on the train wreck.
But President Trump does not let the truth get in the way of a good soundbite that promotes fear and motivates a disenfranchised constituency desperate for change and who had been abandoned by a broken congress/government too busy playing polarization politics to take care of its constituents. It is incumbent on us to not allow our new President’s lies and lack of dignity to become the new normal.