Truth vs. power

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Yep, we’re mocking Trump on the cover again. It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last time. And this time we’ve got our ol’ pal George Dub in the mix as well. The occasion this week is news editor Dennis Myers’ feature story debunking the myth that the Electoral College is some quintessential democratic tradition passed down from Mt. Sinai by George Washington. The Electoral College is a sham, and twice in the last two decades it has betrayed the wishes of the American electorate.

And as a newspaper that advocates for science, human rights, free speech, truth and democracy, we have a responsibility to hold these politicians accountable. Trump is a liar. Take, as just one example, his statement after the election that he would have won the popular vote “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” This is simply not true. Hillary Clinton won 2.8 million more votes than Trump. His denial of basic facts that don’t support his fragile, self-centered conception of the universe means that he deserves to be mocked.

And sure, mockery is a tool of humorists, but it’s also a tool of serious dissenters.

Trump’s recent denials of the hard truths from national intelligence agencies that a foreign power interfered in the U.S. election is disturbing—almost as disturbing as his decision to nominate for Secretary of State an oil industry executive with a cozy relationship to that same foreign power. It’s a clear signal that Trump’s foremost interest is in pillaging the planet’s fossil fuel resources for economic gain—environmental, security, human rights and diplomatic concerns be damned.

This sad, surreal and terrifying agenda that continues to threaten our country and our planet deserves to be continuously questioned, and the perpetrators deserve to be continuously mocked. Not to do so—to stand idly by—would be to be complacent and therefore complicit. We have a moral obligation to mock that bloated, bloviating pumpkin.