AMERICAN CARNAGE-It has been said that the first casualty of war is truth. Certainly that’s the case in the fight between Donald Trump and reality. So far, reality appears to be losing.
In the realm of fiction, readers and viewers engage in a willing suspension of disbelief. They know human beings don’t have super powers, animals can’t talk, and magic is an illusion, but the ability to set aside this knowledge allows them to enjoy the story.
When most of us finish the book or leave the theater, we re-enter the world where truth and nonfiction are synonymous.
But, there are some who apply a suspension of disbelief to the real world. These folks range across a broad spectrum from the spiritual to the merely eccentric to the seriously deluded. Conspiracy theorists inhabit a particular niche of paranoia many of us find amusing. When the president of the United States engages in this behavior, it’s not funny anymore.
Trump and the Republican establishment apparently believe in, and practice, social and economic Darwinism. Regardless of where they start, individuals are expected to compete for everything. It is not government’s job to level the playing field.
The government’s job is to reward the winners and ignore the losers. That’s how a nation competes in the global arena—by putting its best team on the field. United States foreign policy is no longer concerned with peace and stability. America First means everyone else second.
Trump’s world is divided into winners and losers. If you are poor, sick, disabled, or not born in this country, you are a loser. And if you are Donald J. Trump, you cannot be a loser.
That’s what drives Trump to insist that more people attended his inauguration than any other in history and that he only lost the popular vote because millions of “illegals” broke the law and cast ballots for Hilary Clinton.
And the people who work for Trump repeat those lies. They pretend he’s a victim of the big, bad media. They complain that opponents are attempting to “delegitimize” Trump’s presidency. And, of course, those lies aren’t lies, they’re “alternative facts.”
Perhaps the most dangerous of alternative facts in Trump’s mind is that the law does not apply to the President. In fact, numerous rules regarding conflicts of interest and self-enrichment do bind our chief executive. But if he can get away with breaking those laws, why can’t he just ignore them all?
According to Trump, the world is a dark and scary place. The “carnage” wreaked on America by Obama can only be fixed by Trump. Americans have been losers and now he can make us winners. We just have to suspend our disbelief, buy the lies, and follow the leader.
(Doug Epperhart is a publisher, a long-time neighborhood council activist and former Board of Neighborhood Commissioners commissioner. He is a contributor to CityWatch and can be reached at: [email protected]) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.