Day 7: The Audacity of Denial

America voted for Donald Trump, not choosing the name out of thin air but based on his eighteen month campaign in which he presented ideas that vanquished nineteen other contenders. He was far from the only “outsider” that stood on the stage. If you are wondering why I am saying this, it is because many people have reacted to Trump’s election with “we don’t know what he will do”. We aren’t discussing what happens in a black hole. The man may have not laid out clear policies, but he did propose many ideas for executive orders and laws.

We cannot deny the words, he ran on. Whether it is dancing with the notion of a forced registry for muslims or withdrawing from NATO. He has time to announce new plans. While we wait we can see his daughter using the presidential light to advertise her jewelry line. As Giuliani said we won’t want to put his kids out of work by putting his assets into a trust like every past president in the modern era. We would not want a separation between wealth and authority. Not that they couldn’t start new ventures quite easily, I wonder if Ivanka or Trump owns the jewelry company. I doubt he will put his other unknown economic interests both domestic and foreign outside Trump corp. We never saw the tax returns, another modern precedent from the richest nominee in history that includes George Washington. Along with the hacked emails, I feel I am looking at a Nixon. Post watergate pre hearing, speaking of past presidents with IRS and legal issues. This is the man is currently mulling arresting his defeated political opponent. This is not American democracy. This is a banana republic. Brietbart is Trumptv. He never needed to start his own network.

On the Supreme Court, he will seek a nominee that will overturn Roe v Wade, but keep Obergefell v. Hodges. Not sure what the logic is behind that. The Roberts court oddly enough is the last institution that could redeem itself. The final guardian of the constitution. Each justice must live up to the higher ideals bestowed upon the court by our Founders. Equal justice for all. Ensuring freedom continues by preventing government overreach. I trust the court will fulfill its duties and pray that no harm befalls any of the current justices during Trump’s presidency.

-E.C. Fiori

Day 7: The Million Pound Shithammer, Weaponized Ineloquence, A Crude Eulogy for Nuance

There is a small section of Plato’s Republic that has stuck with me through the smog of passing years. In it, Plato describes civil unrest in Athens, and makes the observation that language has changed. He uses the example of the word “brave”: normally a compliment, but now is an insult, the word laden with irony and dripping with sarcasm. “Don’t be brave”.

The way Donald Trump speaks has been written about and documented for eighteen months now. What has not been explored is what potential impact this has on his presidency and administration. Mainly, the coming administration’s extension of his campaign’s weaponization of ineloquence.

The mark of a true bullshit artist is not lying. A liar has some connection with the truth: making you, the listener, believe what is untrue. No, the bullshit artist excels at shamelessly mixing fact and fiction to suit their needs. They are at their most powerful when completely unbounded by facts. In short, the liar’s focus is specific, while the bullshit artist’s focus is panoramic.

But what happens when this practice becomes the only method of communication with the press, or the American people? What happens when one of the prime directives of the administration is to actively obfuscate any criticism of the administration?

We should distrust any administration that will only allow their chosen publications to cover them, any that try to deny what we know is true as a matter of record, and any that refuses to operate in rational discourse. As author E.C. Fiori once wrote, facts should not be a fashion statement. Politicians are notorious for their manipulation of the truth in naked self interest- but we must prepare for the daunting Trump years: the crushing weight of an avalanche of bullshit.

-Jack Delaney