Every day it gets worse
In the grocery store the other day, I ran into a neighborhood Republican I’m on friendly terms with and, we wished each other a Happy New Year. I told her I’d just come from the gym where I had been watching Donald Trump on TV, and it was depressing and horrifying to think of him becoming president soon. “Oh, he’s not that bad,” she said. “You’ll see.”
I protested that he’s turning out to be every bit as bad as I feared—even before he’s sworn in—citing his terrifying, unqualified cabinet picks and his unending narcissistic and immature behaviors that continually humiliate the nation. She countered with, “Well, I didn’t like who Obama picked for his cabinet either,” hinting that our differences might be more about political parties than the deep moral divide I imagine.
Later I read about Trump press secretary Sean Spicer asking on a Sunday talk show that Americans stop mocking the president-elect for his grandiosity and mendacity and start supporting him as our duly-elected president. Spicer aggressively defended Trump’s Twitter tantrums and indicated Trump has no intention of toning down his tweets, stating “When he uses Twitter, he gets results.”
A few days later, there was Trump aide Kellyanne Conway defending Trump after actress Meryl Streep called him out for his disrespectful portrayal of a journalist with a disability. Incredibly, Conway argued that Trump isn’t given the benefit of the doubt when he says or does something offensive and complained that people “always want to go by what’s come out of his mouth rather than look at what’s in his heart.” She seems oblivious to the idea that apparently what comes out of his mouth is exactly what is in his heart.
Trump’s self-congratulatory, boastful tweets contain an outrageous number of outright lies. Politicians generally know their “facts” can be quickly verified or exposed as false but Trump and his followers don’t seem to care that he lies so easily and so often. Trump’s falsehoods are so pervasive the Washington Post reports they are working on a new tool to provide “additional context” for Trump’s tweets in order to fact-check him in real time. Meanwhile, Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief, Gerard Baker, says his newspaper won’t call Trump’s falsehoods “lies” because they don’t want to infer a “moral intent” or “a deliberate intent to mislead.” In other words, if Donald Trump actually believes what he tweets in the moment, even if it’s false, it’s not a lie.
Like 19.5 million other Twitter users, I’ve been following Trump even though I am continually astonished by how revealing and unflattering his tweets are. The bullying and the boasting are so beneath the dignity of a president, I’m embarrassed for our country. The poor grammar and misspellings, sometimes corrected but sometimes left for the entire world to see, combined with an utter lack of impulse control and disregard for the truth leave me aghast.
Trump follows only 42 people on Twitter, and most are family members or commercial accounts associated with his hotels. Clearly he’s not using Twitter to listen. Like the classic narcissist he is, he views Twitter as a way to broadcast his every misguided thought to the world.
My Republican neighbor advised me to just stop watching Trump on television if his pronouncements upset me so much. But that won’t protect our country from his ignorance, his alt-right influences, or his enormous ego, corrupt values, and lack of ethics.
As inauguration day looms, we must engage in a strong public resistance to Trump, joining other Northern Nevadans at the Reno Women’s March. The saying that “Democracy is not a spectator sport” has never been more true.