Upon Barack Obama’s election, gun sales went through the roof. Upon Donald Trump’s ascension, sales of Orwell’s “1984” have taken off a rocket.
Time to refresh some memories about “doublespeak” with the advent of Trumpspeak.
Store those books in a safe place, America. You never know when, by executive order, literary license will be revoked — not to mention any truth not authored by the Trump Organization.
“Millions of fearful Americans have already begun stockpiling facts,” reports The Onion, “before the federal government comes to take them away.”
Sure, that’s farce. However, what the head of Reuters said the other day is no joke.
Trump, writes Reuters editor-in-chief Steve Adler, is proving to be as antagonistic to the press as any number of autocratic Third World rulers whose governments the international news agency covers. Regardless, Reuters is ready to do its job, he pledges.
Oh, yeah? Well, this is what the president thinks of you, Mr. Adler. Journalists – yeah, you – are “the most dishonest human beings on earth.” Take that.
White-is-alt-right henchman Steve Bannon calls the news media “the opposing party,” then hustles home to check the mail for his Joseph Goebbels Decoder Ring.
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library in Austin has a clear-eyed display about the “credibility gap” Johnson created as he attempted to sell America on his Vietnam policy.
The way Trump is starting out, a clear-eyed explanation of his abuse of truth will require a wing the size of Madison Square Garden.
Yes, LBJ had a credibility gap. By the time this presidency is done, Trump’s Gulf of Incredulity will stretch across the Atlantic, caress Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, drift across the Indian and Pacific oceans, snake its way through the Panama Canal, and encircle the globe.
Where to begin? He began (we in the media didn’t start this) with his tweet asserting millions of illegal votes had been cast (just enough to cancel out Hillary Clinton’s popular advantage). It was based on evidence as sound as moonbeams in the gloaming.
So many lies since. The most recent is that he’s following precedent in banning refugees from seven Muslim countries because, he says, Obama “banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.”
That is not even close to true. What happened was that enhanced screening of Iraqi refugees caused a six-month logjam. Ask any fact-check entity. Ask any real news organization. Of course, they’re all out to get The Donald. They’re all dishonest
Though the Iraqi refugee claim is a lie, Trump continues to make it, and his supporters parrot it.
No, this is not exaggeration, which is how Trump supporters try to rationalize Trumpspeak. This is craven dishonesty, and it is going to bite Mr. Trump in the tail.
“Trump’s disregard for the truth threatens his ability to govern,” says a straightforward account by Washington Post national political correspondent Karen Tumulty, in which she quotes mostly Republicans who are beholding Trump’s claims in full cringe.
Even hard-right standard-bearer Mike Huckabee, she writes, “is mystified by Trump’s claims of illegal voters – and his motivations for bringing it up.”
“Lying Trump can’t be trusted,” editorializes the Denver Post. Trust us, today’s Post is no flaming lib organ. The same editorial board waxed sympathetic about pathetic education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos, and thinks Supreme Court Neil Gorsuch is divine.
However, on Trump, opines the Post, “Americans won’t be led by a man who works through manipulation and falsehood.”
The lyin’ news media may believe as much, but Donald Trump is definitely going to try.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: email@example.com.