26 Jan 2017 11:35 PM EST
- by Jorge Vargas, Editor
My daughter loves playing tea. She sits there with her stuffed animals and starts serving them play food and just has a grand old time. I act in the capacity of a waiter, giving her more play food and letting her decide who gets what. Sometimes, when I notice that she's given too many toy food items to herself, I remind her to share with her stuffed animals, since they all get a plate.
I would imagine that's pretty normal. Most parents teach their children to be fair. Fairness is very important.
Presidents are like parents. And, since the United States has never had a female president, in this country, presidents are above all like fathers. They're there to be firm when the country is out of control (think of President Barack Obama's stern words to all of us during his farewell address when he almost chastised the country for not listening to opinions and news sources other than those they agree with). They're there to console us when we're hurt and scared and upset (think of President George W. Bush in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and how he reminded us that Islam is peace and that the United States was still whole). Sometimes, they make mistakes (like when President Bill Clinton had an affair).
And, as we're now finding out, sometimes they teach us that fairness is not a virtue. Sometimes there are bad fathers (and presidents) who fail to teach us to treat others like we would want to be treated.
Presidents, like fathers, are an example. The people, much like children do with their parents, look up to them because there's no one else to look up who holds that much authority over their daily lives. And when a president is being unfair and telling lies, that damages a nation's psyche, just like it would a child when a father is unfair or is telling lies.
Children, and voters, pick up on hypocrisy. They see it and they challenge it, and sometimes they either emulate it or they rebel against it. We can see that in this country already.
It's very likely that the people committing hate crimes and spray painting people's cars with messages of hate are going around telling everyone that this is the greatest country on Earth. That's the emulation of hypocrisy. And it's very likely that the people who see the hypocrisy behind 'America First' and they go out into the streets and march and protest. That's rebelling.
All of which brings us to the father in question: President Donald Trump, the Twitter President.
Here is a man who is besotted with himself and who spent several days using his own ego and his own obsession with crowd sizes in order to distract the media from executive orders and presidential decrees that are based in lies. Not falsehoods. Not alternative facts. Lies.
Let's take a look at some of the lies that President Trump has uttered in the past week, and let's do so by looking at his tweets since, after all, he's the Twitter President.
On January 20 at 12:51 PM, President Trump tweeted that power would be transferred not from one president to another but from Washington, D.C. to 'the people.' On its surface, this sounds great. In reality, it's base populism and, given the fact that President Trump's first action in office was to make mortgage payments more expensive for low income and middle class families. This was an alternative fact. This was a lie.
On January 22 at 7:35 AM, President Trump tweeted out that he 'paid great respect' to the Wall at Langley, referring to the wall of CIA officers who were killed on duty. On the surface, this is open to interpretation since the word 'great' is in the eye of the beholder, but most people would agree that thirty seconds of pandering followed by bashing the media and by bragging about the size of the crowd at his inauguration does not qualify as 'respect.' This tweet was an alternative fact. This was a lie.
On January 24 at 9:25 PM, President Trump tweeted out statistics about the murder rate in Chicago and then threatened to send 'send in the Feds.' On paper, his assertion that he can send in the 'Feds' is not a lie, but the real point that Donald Trump is trying to make is that Chicago, as a city, has failed to solve the problem and seems to be dragging its feet on fixing the problem of gun violence even though it's the 'Feds' who refuse to do anything to curb the spread of guns due to the Republican Party's marriage with the gun lobby. The lie really revolves around the 'If Chicago doesn't fix' segment of the tweet, where he's clearly implying that Chicago is responsible and where he's ignoring the fact that Federal agents (the 'Feds') are already in Chicago and have been there for some time partnering with the Chicago police department to stop the gang violence in that city. Therefore, this tweet was an alternative fact. This was a lie.
On January 25 at 7:10 AM, President Trump tweeted out that he would launch an investigation into voter fraud. This is likely an honest statement since he will likely waste taxpayer money on an investigation of voter fraud but what he's investigating is a tale that belongs in the fiction section, since polling stations across the nation have stated that there was no voter fraud in the election and that Trump lost the popular vote. Therefore, this tweet was an alternative fact. This was a lie.
Today, at 8:52 AM, President Trump tweeted out that NAFTA has been a one-sided deal with several jobs and companies lost because of it. He then went on to link NAFTA to the border wall he insists on building. NAFTA gave American consumers lower cost goods which helped the bottom line of families around the country, since the price of everything from cars and computers to avocados and beer dropped due to NAFTA. Yes, jobs were lost because of NAFTA but jobs were also gained because of NAFTA, though those jobs were more likely than not in the 'white collar' segment of the economy and therefore were not direct replacements for the loss of manufacturing jobs. However, that's not really NAFTA's fault (those jobs were going to leave no matter what) so much as the fault of the federal government for not investing in re-education of the workforce so they could gain different skills for a new economy. This was an alternative fact. This was a lie.
There have been other lies told outside of Twitter, of course, and that includes the whole business about crowd sizes and the lie about 2-3 million fraudulent votes. There have been lies about refugees (and Muslims) alleging that they're inherently dangerous. And, of course, there's the lie about how Mexico will pay for the wall (to be clear: Mexico will not be paying for any wall and it really has no obligation to, legal or moral).
That's a lot of lies in one week.
Donald Trump is the president of the United States and, to return to the analogy, he is a 'parent' to the American people. Unfortunately, he is a liar and his policies are built on a complete disregard for morality and fairness.
How do you think the children will turn out?
To the Democrats, this should be a wake-up call to resist.
To the family-oriented Republicans, this should be a reminder that Donald Trump does not adhere to Republican values and that his agenda is not the Republican agenda.
And, to everyone else, this is just one more call to resist, to continue teaching our children that (despite the example given by the president) fairness and honesty are good and honorable traits, and to remember, lest it ever be forgotten, that this is not normal. The Twitter President is not normal.