New feature: Trump’s “Lie of the Day”
Thursdays’s big lie, at Trump’s insane press conference, was, “The leaks are real, the news is fake.”
I can practically overhear those water cooler conversations in Red States. “’Course, it’s a shame that guy, what’s-his-name, Flynn, was so dishonest, and so disloyal to the President,” says Mrs. Bingham, who organized “Farm Wives For Trump” in Olawatchie County. “He shouldna done what he done, whatever that was, I guess. But those dishonest medias, they lie all the time, so the news about the leaks is fake, fake, fake.”
Her co-worker, Mr. Needham, who contributed $50 to the Trump campaign in ten small donations, shakes his head. “Well, if that’s what President Trump says, I guess it’s true. ‘Cause he don’t lie.”
Never mind how the leaks can be real, but the reporting about the leaks is fake. Never mind that the content of the leaks is so damaging to Trump and his people. Trump voters don’t bother themselves with such fine intellectual distinctions. “If he says it’s true, then I guess it is.”
But there was so much more news yesterday than merely Trump’s lie of the day. Flynngate! It took the Wall Street Journal a couple days to wrap their heads around this biggest scandal yet to hit their man. You could almost imagine the meetings of senior management. “How’re we gonna report on this?” “Mr. Murdoch says to soft-pedal it.” So they give the beta response to good old Henninger, as conscienceless a columnist as I’ve ever read. Here’s his defense of his President. (1) Everybody does stuff like Flynn did, so fageddaboudit. (2) Besides, things may be chaotic, but it’s all part of draining the swamp. (3) And anyhow, comparisons with Nixon and Watergate are incorrect, because “Nixon didn’t resign because of anything proven…but only after he…lost the support of his own party in Congress.”
Read that again. Yes, you got it right: “Nixon didn’t resign because of anything proven.” Well, if Ford had let him be tried, it would have been proven–but there was a deal…Anyhow, tto this outfit—the Trumpsters, Wall Street Journal hacks like Henninger—since there’s no such thing as a “real fact,” then it follows that nothing can be “proven.” Was it “proven” that Nixon ordered the break-in and then lied about it for two years? Well, yes, despite the avoidance of a trial. The smoking gun tapes prove it; History has reached that conclusion. If you believe in little things like truth, facts and evidence, then it’s been conclusively proven that Nixon broke many laws.
But the Trump crowd operates on the assumption that “History” doesn’t matter. “Conclusions” are soft, “truth” relative, reality something plastic to be shaped by the best performer. “Evidence” can be manufactured. One man’s “fact” is another’s “fake news.” Obfuscate enough–and the bigger the lie, the better–and the voter will become hopelessly confused, as Mrs. Bingham and Mr. Needham are, around that Red State water cooler.
Along other lines, my fellow Americans, these boycotts of Trump-friendly corporations are taking their toll. We all know about Uber and how Kalanick quit from that little business roundtable because his Millennials were #DeletingUber by the hundreds of thousands. But Uber’s hardly alone. Under Armour’s CEO just announced he’ll fight Trump’s Muslim ban, but he said so only after a slew of athletes, including Steph Curry, criticized him for earlier backing the President.
That’s a form of boycott. There are also widespread consumer boycotts in progress against Trump’s own businesses (including Ivanka’s barely-alive clothing brand). We all know how Nordstrom’s dropped her line after social media took her on. Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Amazon are on the target list because they sell Trump stuff; See’s Candy and Trident gum are, too, because they advertise on “Celebrity Apprentice.” LendingTree and New Balance sneakers find themselves boycotted, too, because their CEOs raised money for the Trump campaign.
This is good stuff, citizens. We may have lost the last election, but we can vote with our wallets. The woman behind many of these boycotts, Shannon Coulter, really deserves kudos for doing this. Check out her website, Grab Your Wallet (the name is a pun on Trump’s “grab their pussies”). It lists all the companies Shannon could find that support Trump and his nepotistic family. I don’t expect you to avoid all of them. I’ll still shop at Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond, and I’ll still watch Ultimate Fighting even though their president is a rightwinger who strongly endorsed Trump. But I’ll try to limit my involvement with them. This boycott movement is all part of #TheResistance, so I hope you’ll look at Shannon’s list and figure out which companies you can boycott.
Have a great weekend!