Anyone who has paid attention to Donald Trump over the last three decades has been aware that he has the empathy of Joseph Stalin and the narcissism of Madonna. It was no surprise, while still jaw dropping, that yesterday he tweeted that the approximately 3000 dead in Puerto Rico because of last year's hurricane Maria was an inflated number to hurt him personally. Seriously, two independent studies showed the numbers between 2750 and 3300 dead were a result of the devastation that occurred and the feeble response to the disaster. It wasn't that he was deflecting the blame as much as he was saying the people didn't die. This is Alex Jones territory who often claims after a school shooting that children didn't die and families are crisis actors. So to be clear, the President of the United States has said that his political opponents have made up the death of thousands of Americans to hurt him. It is the weird but clearly well within the President's character to say something like this. But it has consequences. Among those could be how people believe facts moving forward as a hurricane makes landfall on the East Coast. There are those who believe the President when he lies like this and that is a problem.
But the problem is bigger than just the Trump supporters believing his lies. His bluster in situations like this, his border policy he blamed on Democrats and of course his ability to give cover to the racists online and who march in the street creates an alternative reality that has allowed some pretty horrible voices to explode in both new and old media.
It didn't take long for ultra-right wing Lou Dobbs to use his media voice to say the President was right. Dobbs, who has a long anti-immigrant view of the universe, challenged the methodology of the studies without expertise or data. We understand Dobbs shares the crazy conspiracy theories the the President does, like birthism and the Deep State nonsense.
Rick Santorum, a former Senator and right wing media darling, who has run for President twice blamed the country of Puerto Rico for their response. (Hint: PR is part of the United States). This was an attempt to back up the ridiculous tweet by the President. I don't know what to say.
The President and his continued vomiting of ridiculous opinions and lies have lead many to speak their own nonsense out loud and in front of people. Recently Dana Loesch, NRA spokesperson and radio personality did a segment on NRATV on Thomas the Tank Engine. If you haven't had children in the last 30 years in the US or 50 years in England you may not know Thomas. The stories are about anthropomorphic trains that have taught lessons to young people. She was outraged by the fact that the long-running television show based on a book series will include a train from Kenya. Some how a gun rights organization, on their YouTube platform, decided that there is something wrong with a British television program for children including a Kenyan character. This isn't the first blatantly racist thing she or many others on the right have said on various media platforms but they are becoming more common. This, I believe is the result of a President who seems to share those views and give cover to those that have them.
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, did not create the hateful opinions shared by so many on the right. He has just made it less socially unacceptable. When challenged these opinions are met with people suggesting we are just being politically correct as if the fact that wanting to take hate out of our public conversation is a bad thing. I mean if you flip out over a children's television show responding to a growing audience to include more explicit diversity maybe you shouldn't talk out loud, for your own sake and the sake of decency. But just wait, FoxNews will have Tucker Carlson do a segment on the liberalism of children's television the President will tweet about trains not being made in shit hole countries. Meanwhile, I am called a snowflake for questioning children separated from parents at the border, millions of dollars being taken from FEMA for ICE and of course questioning the blatant lies the leader of the free world. I guess I have to start sewing the curtain again.