Knopf: Decoding Trump’s anti-press conference (column)
February 22, 2017
I'd like to direct everyone to take a look at NPR's line by line analysis of the President's 77-minute anti-press conference on Feb. 16. It's important because in the history of the United States we have never had such a competent liar serve as president.
Thus it is entirely understandable when the president tries to impose an immigrant ban, our judiciary is not inclined to proffer time-honored deference accorded most chief executives. That privilege simply cannot be extended on a titular basis; it must be earned by an executive who respects truth, and the dignity of all persons. Unfortunately, Mr. Trump chooses again and again to emulate and project attributes which most people find objectionable.
I watched the news conference. It appeared to me the majority of the time was spent reviling the press. Please notice the president does not offer a single instance when the legitimate press reported fake news. Not one. That does not stop him from claiming repeatedly that the news is fake.
You can go to The Washington Post, The New York Times or NPR and find pages of Mr. Trump's lies. Here are just a few…
• He claims he received more Electoral College votes than any other president. Forty-five presidents won more Electoral College votes than Trump.
• He says the U.S. has more business regulations than other countries. The World Bank ranks the U.S.A. 8th of 190 countries in ease of doing business.
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• He lies about the Keystone and Dakota pipelines. Dakota construction continues, but Keystone is mired in delays. And only 35 permanent jobs will be created by the Keystone pipeline, not "thousands and thousands" as Trump claims.
• Other claims of job growth are exaggerations and lies. Most jobs were announced prior to Trump's ascension to the throne.
• He lies about the reversal rate of the Ninth Circuit.
So we have a dilemma. We call George Washington the "Father of our Country." And we have often conferred upon our presidents this sort of fatherly respect. Yet we know George Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction. We even joke he offered us lies of mass delusion. We largely forgive him for leading us unnecessarily into war, and his failure to prevent the worst depression in U.S. history. That's the mess President Obama inherited. Contrast that to the mess Mr. Trump claims he inherited. Let's see, under Obama's leadership:
• The deficit went down more than 22 percent
• The Standard and Poor Index went up more than 200 percent.
• The unemployment rate was reduced by 40 percent.
• The Gross Domestic Product went from -3.5 percent to +1.7 percent.
Hopefully Trump will do as well.
But it will be difficult for any business or trading partner to strike a deal with Mr. Trump if he doesn't clean up his act, and start with simply telling the truth. And if he continues to conduct himself more like a carnival barker than a president, what are we all to do? Just ignore him for the next four years, and pray the politicians pick someone better next round? Good luck with that. I suggest everyone, regardless of political persuasion and party affiliation, get more involved. Instead of saying, "I don't follow politics," start paying attention like your livelihood depends upon it. … Your life depends on politics, more than you realize. If Trump goes about repealing the Affordable Care Act with the same zealous disregard for the details as he has shown in every other issue, we are in trouble.
Mr. Trump does pay attention to his tweets and his ratings. Voice your opinion. You matter. We matter. Act like you can make a difference. Each of us can make a difference.
Susan Knopf is a Summit County resident, and a contributor to the Summit Daily. Susan has won awards from the Associated Press and United Press International for her news reporting. Susan is currently employed as a certified ski instructor at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.
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