While I'm heartened to see just about everyone I know -- and their mother -- out marching today ...
I know Madonna and Cher, right?
... I remain hopelessly glum as I grapple with the fact that the man who now holds the biggest lever of power continues to spread outright lies. It was one thing for him to "stretch the truth" (being kind) on the campaign trail. But including falsehoods like this one (about the murder rate in D.C.) on the official White House website -- and manipulating what the public can see about the administration -- takes things to a whole new level.
The photos were photos of the actual crowd. When did it become the media's job to try to make the president look good?
Don't like the facts? Shut them down. Ask any fascist.
Yet despite how patently wrong this is, I'm confident the country will continue to be gaslighted for the next four years and there's nothing we can do about it. Which brings me to the darkest reality: How can we even begin to find solutions when our president is fabricating what our problems are?
Now that the election has "legitimized" him in some people's eyes, he can continue to tell gullible suburban Americans "urban crime" -- and any other thing he wants to make up -- is the problem to distract them from what really does affect them. And lest you think the average voter will "wise up" if things don't go the way Trump promised, The Washington Post interviewed dozens of his supporters to find out what their hopes were for the next four years -- and it reads like satire, as nearly every single thing on their wish list is a Democratic talking point that Republicans are actively opposed to:
-- don't cut Medicare (abolishing it is Paul Ryan's goal in life)
-- protect Social Security (privatizing it is what gets Paul Ryan hard)
-- make the work force friendlier to women (less pussy grabbing?)
-- increase affordable child care (women should stay home to raise kids)
-- provide affordable health care (Obama already laid down the foundation and the GOP has shit all over it for seven years)
-- don't privatize the Post Office (something Republicans have been attempting to do by way of bullshit pension requirements for ages!).
What this reminded me was that the majority of Trump's supporters -- and the fabled "undecided" voters -- do not understand even the most basic mechanics of politics or political parties. Instead, they operate under the "both sides are just as bad" theory, so are banking on this "outsider"(!) to fix things, not realizing for a minute the GOP has no interest in doing any of these things.(To be clear, I still think racism was the lowest common denominator that drew people to Trump, because you don't have to be a political wonk to know what he was selling.) If this sounds like a recipe for Trump's voters to be disappointed and give him the boot, think again. He's already got the perfect answer for these people: he will simply blame "Washington" -- of which he is now a part at the highest level -- for his broken promises, and rail against "bureaucracy" (always a hit with morons), just as he does against the media, who are guilty of nothing more than reporting exactly what he says and does.
The small solace I find is that "we" are in the majority -- however slight -- yet even that's not as good as it sounds anymore. Thanks to the brilliant gerrymandering by GOP operatives, we can get more congressional votes but still actually lose seats. My only hope is that President Obama and Eric Holder are able to undo some of the damage of this dirty redistricting, and that the fraction of voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania who caused this travesty to happen realize "keeping their hands clean" by not showing up on Election Day or voting for a Jill Stein was a mistake, and return to their roots next time we elect a president. The Democrats carried the actual "swing" states -- Virginia, Nevada, Colorado and New Hampshire -- but were up against what turned out to be insurmountable obstacles with the perfectly wrong set of voters.
It's being reported that when Trump visited the CIA today he decided to rail against the media (huh?) instead of trying to smooth over calling them Nazis. (He blamed the "dishonest media" for the feud with the intelligence community too, of course.) Former CIA Director John Brennan was outraged by the narcissistic display, which should come as no surprise to anyone.