The Ethics Alarms compilation of the Big Lies being used by the resistance and others to undermine the Trump Presidency continues with Big Lie #5.
This Big Lie, and the fact that it is one, will be a theme of the 2020 Presidential campaign. “Everything is terrible” has been a veritable mantra from the “resistance,” Democrats, progressives and the mainstream news media literally from the second Donald Trump had been declared the winner of the 2016 election, when New York Times columnist Paul Krugman announced that the stock market had declined and would never recover. The fact that he was spectacularly wrong didn’t dissuade Krugman or his ideological allies at all. They set out to make President Trump a failure by simply saying that he was, over and over, regardless of facts and reality and often without linking their pronouncements to anything substantive.
The fanciful narrative, in turn, was advanced in casual conversation by fear-triggered citizens, in interviews by celebrities, actors and performers, in website comments and letters to the editor, in television dramas and sitcoms, novels and blogs, as they alleged dark “threats to democracy,” “increasing hate,” “dangerous times” and various “crises.” The fact that none of this hysteria was rooted in truth hasn’t slowed Big Lie #5 down a bit: it is immune from rebuttal because it was never based on substance to begin with, but rather extreme bias, emotion, and vicious political warfare.
Everything is not terrible. Indeed, by all past standards of what constitutes national misery or crisis, very little qualifies as terrible. The economy remains strong, unemployment is minimal, and wages are up. Under President Trump, the Washington Post announced yesterday that “For the first time, most new hires of prime working age (25 to 54) are people of color…Minority hires overtook white hires last year.”
Worst white supremacist President ever!
Police shootings are down, and crime is down. There has been exactly one Islamic terrorist attack in Trump’s three years. As he promised, the President hax reduced the suffocating number of government regulations, and has fought the sinister “open borders” movement on the left, by refusing to allow illegal immigration to be romanticized and enabled.
The latter is in the category of developments that progressives violently—sometimes literally violently–disagree with, but their subjective displeasure doesn’t mean things are objectively terrible. Many developments fall into this category, like the withdrawal from the non-substantive Paris Accords on climate change, the Department of Education’s reversal of destructive Obama Administration policies, the President’s determination to confront China on its long-standing trade practices, refusing to be manipulated by North Koran saber-rattling and killing the Iran nuclear testing deal. A three-year media assault has deliberately framed these and other foreign policy initiatives as unequivocally negative, which is disinformation and anti-Trump propaganda.
Watch this exchange between former Defense Secretary Mattis, who was promoting his book, and MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who began a question with the presumption that the President had weakened the NATO alliance. Mattis directly contradicted that assumption, leaving Mitchell flustered and without a response:
No, everything isn’t terrible or even close to terrible. The claim is based on a bizarre definition: when Democrats are not in power and their agenda isn’t being fulfilled, it’s an existential tragedy for the nation, democracy, and humanity. Or, using a simple metaphor from childhood, the Democrats, like children who cannot get what they want, have been throwing a loud, emotional tantrum claiming that their lives are unbearable, even though they have loving parents, nice clothes, a safe home, three meals a day and a bright future.
Ironically, among the conditions that are terrible now are many that have been created by “the resistance,” not President Trump. Imagine a deranged family member who screams epithets and insults at top volume, all day and all night, listing grievances that culminate in “And it’s so NOISY here! There’s no peace! It’s unbearable!” That’s the resistance, along with the news media.
Ann Althouse has been especially vigilant in documenting this phenomenon. Yesterday, she republished part of a post from August of 2015, where she had written,
“I hate the news right now. Everyone seems to think the thing to talk about is Donald Trump, which strikes me as profoundly stupid. I watched 5-and-a-half Sunday morning talk shows yesterday, and I heard the same thing over and over. Trump has lost some unregainable portion of the women. He can never get them back, but he could never have won anyway, and really what he is is America’s expression of anger. We’re an angry, angry America, and this lout is, apparently, an embodiment of our collective id.”
She commented now, “I can’t take the anger. I can’t take the constant obsessing over Trump. And that was 4 years ago. Little did I know how much anger and obsessing would follow. But, as I did then, I can get away from the media-enforced anxiety.”
Yes, the constant anger, hate and anxiety is terrible. The divisiveness is terrible; the fear-mongering is terrible; the unprecedented expression of contempt and disrespect for the nation’s leader is terrible; people being physically attacked for expressing support for their President is terrible; masked thugs attacking conservatives is terrible; re-segregation is terrible; campus censorship of non-conforming opinions is terrible; the cancellation culture is terrible; social media intimidation and denigration of conservatives is terrible; the blatant use of false narratives and Big Lies to undermine a President is terrible; the Democratic Party’s refusal to accept the results of an election is terrible; the constant efforts to find some way to oust the President from office is terrible, the way the Russian collusion conspiracy theory was used by Democrats and the news media to interfere with the President’s efforts to do his job was terrible; the mainstream media’s complete abdication of journalism ethics is terrible; the absence of any honorable, trustworthy political leaders is terrible—and all of these terrible developments for the country and more are the direct result of the relentless efforts by the same people who are insisting that everything is terrible.
Yes, of course, much about the President is, in fact, terrible. His manners are terrible; his tweeting is terrible; his character is terrible; his habits, self-indulgence, lack of impulse-control, chaotic leadership style, honesty, trustworthiness and ethics are all terrible. The character and style of a President, however, while important, are not as important as conditions in the the nation itself. Presidents, as much as Barack Obama has tried to argue otherwise, get credit for how the country is faring while they are in office….and far from being in a terrible crisis, the United States of America is doing just fine—not perfectly, but fine— under President Trump.