Note: I wrote this on Monday when my face was still a permanent at the speed and ferocity of the bullcrap coming out of Trump’s wherever. It was destined for a different site but…meh…it’s not happened (possibly too libellous? who knows) so here it is. I considered rewriting, to reflect the week’s work he’s put in since I did this but no, it would change the article too much and I quite like the panicked shellshock feel it has. So, enjoy and don’t judge me on the timing…..
I’m worried about the state of truthfulness today. This morning I left my 4 year old to put her shoes on while I got dressed. When I came back, she’d put them on in a way. …by stuffing them down her skirt.
You don’t need the full and horrific details of the argument that followed but just know this – there’s no way they “just fell there” as she tried to convince me. Evidence of shenanigans was right in front of me, yet she fixed me with steeley eye and iron spirit and told me that I needed to ignore what I thought the truth was. She’d tell me what happened and I needed to believe her.
It felt strangely familiar. It felt strangely like several arguments I’d been having online with Trump fans, who were trying to convince me of their truths – he was going to be a great leader, he isn’t really a misogynist and the state of misogyny isn’t too bad anyway. Women might suffer abuse and violence but only the same amount as men so sit down, shut up, get on with your ironing and for goodness sake don’t march again.
I’m clinging on to my own ideas because it seems to me that in this brave new world, truth might be a scarce commodity. Trump has already threatened the press with punishments if they don’t write what he wants them to write and we even have a name for this new type of doublethink – “Alternative Facts”.
The facts in question are to do with Inauguration Day because, let’s face it, that’s all we’ve got to go on when trying to capture the mood of the Trump presidency so far. All three days of it.
We were told that the inauguration was the biggest and best ever. We were told the sun shone during Trump’s speech. Both of these things are provably untrue but the argument from Trump fans is – why bother trying to disprove it? What does it matter to you what the weather was?
Ah, it matters. It matters, it matters, it matters. It’s the first little tester lie to see what else they can get away with. First, can we convince them it was raining? Next, can we convince them that 2+2=5? Then can we convince them that China is about to attack us and that we should strike first? Or India or Pakistan? Or the EU? Or anyone that the USSR deems an enemy? Did I say “USSR”? I meant “USA”. Sorry, I got confused and misspoke.
And the New Truths have already started taking hold. There’s no arguing with a Trump supporter who just doesn’t believe that violence against women is a problem or that climate change is real. It’s a tactic used all the time by abusers…drip the information slowly but persistently into your victim’s brain to convince them that they’re the one at fault. After a while, the abuser starts believing their own story. Incidents and conversations are rewritten with a new slant. Now, all that’s left is to convince the world of this new reality and that’s it – the victim is no longer the victim.
This is what Trump is doing on a grand scale. Spreading untruths, creating new realities for his new society. It’s no surprise that there have been so many sexual assault allegations against Trump. ..but it’s also no surprise that none of them have been able to make the allegation stick. A potent cocktail of denial, death threats, lies, discrediting slander and gaslighting have made victims terrified to speak out.
Yet, we must still speak out. This war on truth will be waged on social media – there is no need for Trump to put screens in all our homes when the screens are already there. He can reach each of us instantly on iPads and phones and he must think the global brainwashing operation will be a simple one.
But there’s a flipside. With global communication comes fact checking and it’s getting easier and more instant to debunk the “truths” presented to us from America. We must keep doing this – researching and arguing, otherwise all we have fought for will be lost. The “We Believe You” campaign will become “We Believe Him”.
Welcome to the era of Alternative Facts. When you see how tremendous it is, you won’t believe your eyes.