She’s at it again…
She’s at it again…
POXNewz, 8/21/2017 2:31pm
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) was in rare form during a House Financial Services Committee hearing today when she accused President Donald Trump for causing the solar eclipse.
Waters insisted that Trump is to blame, claiming “that horrible man has arranged for the sun to be blotted out from the sky!” When asked why Trump would do such a thing she replied, “I don’t know. But he’s a horrible, evil man and I’m sure he’s behind the whole thing!”
An opportunity to speak to a large crowd is too good to pass up. But just writing a good speech and memorizing it or reading it properly is not enough. You need to command attention, engage the crowd and demand action.
Reading or memorizing a speech usually results in a mechanical delivery… one word after the other with little meaning behind it. You sound bored, so your audience will be bored, too.
Think about how you speak when you talk off the cuff with a group of friends. You’re natural and enthusiastic and you can roll with the punches. You know your subject matter and you sound confident and trustworthy.
To avoid a dry performance, use a few notes. Once you’ve crafted your speech, break it into main parts. What is your central argument? It might look like this…
Why am I here, what is the problem?
What have others done to solve it?
Why isn’t that enough?
Why I can do a better job of solving it.
What I want you to do next.
Then you can trim that down to heading notes, such as…
For some of you, these six entries on a card can help you give your speech in the proper order and keep things organized. But if you have specific points you want to raise that you might not have committed to memory, you can expand each topic to make sure you cover everything.
Where I was born and raised.
Where I went to school, my military service, and my career.
This can be distilled down to “born, raised, school, military, career”
Our country is in crisis.
The debt is too high, employment is too low, regulations stifle jobs, our leaders break their promises.
This can be distilled to “crisis, debt, employment, regulations, promises.”
Continue on with your other sections.
If there are particular statistics or quotes you will be using, include them there, along with any special phrases you don’t already have committed to memory.
Talking from notes will allow you to be conversational, you can look around at the crowd as you speak, and people will be impressed with your command of the issues.
But good delivery is not your only challenge. You need to deal with the other party to your speech, your audience.
Have you ever thought about the phrase “pay attention?” It’s actually an unwritten contract between a speaker and his audience.
He agrees to offer them something of value – in this case, an interesting and well-delivered speech on an important topic – in exchange for the crowd “paying” with their attention. This means listening to what’s said, and not chatting with the people next to them, or checking their cell phones.
So make sure what you’re going to say is of value to the audience. Does it relate to their lives? Is it useful information that will help them?
You might tell them the benefit of listening to you. “I’m going to tell you how you can get even with career politicians who let you down.”
This is why you need to know your audience before you write your speech. You need to tailor your message to each group, even if your overall message/theme is used everywhere.
So you know your audience, you’ve crafted a good speech and you’ll be talking using notes. Once you get to the stage, don’t just start talking.
Take control of the crowd.
Wait for them to quiet down before you talk. Just stare at those who are still talking. Those who want to hear what you have to say will give them a nudge and tell them to quiet down so you can start. If background talking starts up again, stop what you’re saying and wait until it quiets down again. You’ll only have to do this once – as long as you continue to deliver value within your speech.
If you’re not sure of where your audience stands, feel free to start with some “show of hands” questions. “How many of you are mad as hell about how Washington spends your money?” Note: Always ask a question that will result in lots of hands raised. Not something like “How many of you are happy with Washington spending?” The common raising of hands unifies the audience and gives social validation to what you’re going to speak about.
Find areas where 80% of the crowd can agree. “How many of you believe in strong families?” “How many of you want to pass on a better America to your children?”
Now you have their attention, you’ve shown you’re interested in what your audience has to say, you’ve set a standard for listening discipline, and you’ve unified your audience.
There are two more things to do – make a personal emotional connection and make them remember you.
The good news is that there’s an easy way to do both – tell a story.
Humans are hard-wired to connect emotionally and remember things from stories. Facts are useful, and they can help solidify an important point in your speech, but facts don’t affect emotions and they are hard to remember.
So come up with a series of (hopefully true) stories that carry your message. If your big message is about wasteful spending, then come up with a story about how you felt when your family didn’t have enough money to pay their bills, and what you did to fix it. Or talk about what emotional things happened the day you decided to run for office. You could talk about the problems facing someone you met, or who worked for you.
Then explain why this story is important to you and what you plan to do about it.
You also want them to remember your name. If they don’t, they won’t know who to vote for or which website to visit. So mention your name at the beginning, middle and end. Make sure you say it slowly and clearly. You might need to add a trick to help them remember it better. Be creative and entertaining, but not silly. “My name is Charles Dunn, and I’m DONE with paying taxes that are too high!”
At the end of your speech, always make a call to action. They like you, they’ve made an emotional connection, you are coming across as credible, or even as an expert, so now they want to follow up with some action to help you. You have many options, but try to limit the number. You might ask them to volunteer to help your campaign by going over to the table at the front door, or make a donation, or visit your website, or vote for you in the upcoming election.
The rhythm of a speech.
Every speech has a rhythm or a flow. You might start out softly with very valuable information to quiet the audience. Or you might start out loud to energize everyone.
Applause is a very important part of a speech. It is the audience’s way to show they are getting value for the attention they’ve paid to you. It gives social affirmation – “the audience is clapping, so they must all agree.”
But you have to manage applause to get the best effect. You say an important line, and then you have to pause to wait for the applause. First of all, make sure your line is something that your audience is guaranteed to agree with and strikes a chord with them. Only use “affirmative applause lines.” Avoid lines like “The system is broken!” The crowd is confused – does their clapping mean they think the system is broken, or are they clapping FOR the system? Make it easy – “The system is broken… and we need to fix it!” Don’t talk over applause, people won’t be able to hear what you’re saying.
There’s also an unwritten contract between a speaker and his audience about applause. You give a subtle signal when you’re ready for them to clap. You might have a certain tone of voice when you finish the applause sentence, and then you might want to lift your head and look out at the audience.
One trick, never let applause die out before you start again, always start your next line while the applause is still around 60%.
Don’t use too many applause lines, sprinkle them throughout your speech at the most important points. You don’t want people to get tired, or respond in a luke warm manner.
Practice and refine!
Finally, practice your various questions, lines and arguments and refine them as you go. You can do this one on one at the event prior to your speech while you’re networking with the audience, or you can use each speech as practice for the next. Test your “what we have in common” questions and your applause lines. Also practice your arguments and analogies the same way. Find the ones that work the best. For example, if you have a medical background, you might say, “I see deficit spending just like a bleeding patient who comes to the Emergency Room. You don’t just ignore the bleeding, or put a bandaid on it, that won’t work. Instead you identify the source of the bleeding and stop it, even if it hurts or leaves a scar. Otherwise the patient will die.”
Work out good analogies that can be used to make your points in a creative, memorable way. Counter liberal views using common sense to point out the hypocrisy. “They say they want gun control, but they want their security guards to have guns, not your wife and kids.”
We will be posting clips of good speeches on this page. Hopefully one of them will be yours!
When it comes to survival, people are geniuses. And an important survival tool is the ability to quickly size up new people you meet. Are they a threat? A possible ally? A possible mate?
At work, is the new hire going to be friendly and someone you’d like to work with, or a threat who’s going to make constant trouble?
Did you know a man can decide if a woman is attractive to him in less than a second?
You’d think that assessing people who are TRYING to be friendly would be difficult. Are they sincere or just trying to sell you something to benefit themselves?
A car salesman is a perfect example. Does he come across as a carnival barker shouting all the benefits of this brand new car, and then pressure you into a confusing deal you can’t afford? Or does he take the time to relate to you as a person, find out what your needs are, and help you make the best decision?
Politicians are often compared to car salesmen. They pretend to care about you when they need your vote, but after they’re in office, unless you’re making a big donation, they send you a well-written form letter, or refer you to a junior member of their staff.
In a world where people are bombarded with new faces, all clamoring for attention, a quick assessment is essential. We don’t have an hour to get to know everyone we cross paths with. So we use every tool we have.
We don’t just listen to their words, we listen to the sound of their voice, their accent, the words they choose.
We don’t just look at their face, but their hair, their overall health, their clothing – does it match who they say they are? Is this someone who is just acting a part, or are they genuinely interested in helping me?
In a political campaign, the candidate’s focus is on himself. He is the most important person in the room. While others are speaking, he’s thinking about the speech he’s about to give. He wants to get every word right.
But to a woman in the audience, this guy is nothing special. He’s just one of fifteen candidates she’s going to listen to this evening. She has no idea who he is.
So when he gets up to speak, she probably isn’t even paying attention. She may be checking her phone for a message, or chatting with the person next to them about the last candidate, or about the cute guy in the third row.
As a candidate giving a speech, or creating a video or commercial, you need to realize that 95% of your audience has no idea who you are or what you stand for. They don’t care about you, they care about what YOU can do for THEM. They want to know that you understand their problems and have a plan for fixing them.
That first assessment can take just a few seconds. It’s essential that you make it as easy as possible for them to figure out who you are, so they can move on to listening to what you are saying. What office are you seeking? Do you look like someone who would look right holding that position?
If someone were running for sheriff, wouldn’t you be more comfortable if they were wearing a police or military type uniform? Would you be likely to support a gentle grandmother type for sheriff?
If you’re running for the House, you need to look the part. You don’t see news footage of a Representative on the floor of the House giving a speech on foreign affairs wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
The other tendency for a candidate is to overload his audience with too much information. He feels that if he just explains things in more and more detail then they’ll understand him better. But they’ve already made up 90% of their minds and the more you talk, the more they realize you don’t understand them at all.
They think, “What’s in it for me? Why should I support you over the other three guys who are asking for my vote? Why will you do better than they will? Do you understand what I want? Are you sincere or are you just another politician who’s in it for his own benefit? Can you actually do what you say, or are you just giving a speech?”
The same goes with websites. You need to make an excellent first impression instantly. People size up a candidate’s website subconsciously. Is it clear what’s going on? What is the candidate’s appearance? Is he someone I can relate to? Does he understand my problems and can he help me, or is he just another politician? Is he respectful of my time, or does he expect me to spend two hours reading through pages of documents trying to figure out what he really means?
Understanding the value of an excellent first impression, and knowing that voters need THEIR interests addressed, will help you get off to the best start possible.
From humble upbringings in New Jersey to a critically acclaimed rapper and political activist, AJ Faleski has had an interesting life. Throughout his childhood, he always had a love for poetry and the spoken word.
“I’ve loved rhyming poetry as a kid,” Faleski said. However, he started making music in high school, and says he has always had a message in his music.
“I started paying attention to things like privatized prison & the prison industry as early as high school,” says Faleski, who is now 27. “And I’ve always had a very socially aware message in music since 2008.”
Now, Faleski is known by a different name- An0maly. He started paying real attention to politics in this election cycle, and uses his talents as a rapper to bring political discussion into the limelight. Faleski was a Bernie Sanders supporter, and did not support Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump during the election cycle.
His rise to the limelight started with a political song- the Bernie Sanders Trap Anthem. With over 20 million plays, it’s his biggest song to date. And he’s not stopping there. Recently, he’s written songs about the protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the stigma behind talking about politics. “If sports & reality shows are acceptable conversation, politics & social issues shouldn’t be taboo,” Faleski says.
Faleski also says that even though he wants people to change the world, the best advice is to change yourself first. “Be the change you want to see & be honest with yourself before you start pointing the finger,” Faleski says. “After that, [speaking out about injustices] is important.” He also said that he wants people to understand that he puts out happiness, wisdom, knowledge, and love into his music.
Over the past two years, many thousands of broadcast hours and probably millions of words have been devoted to Donald Trump’s relationship with the truth. Equally, the President has made accusations of dishonesty and bias against the media and his political opponents a central part of his persona and presidency.
What lies are told about the President? Is he lying when he makes these allegations? In a feverish atmosphere of claim and counterclaim, when everyone seems to reflexively accuse everyone else of “fake news”, it can be difficult to know what’s what.
There are many articles that exist detailing lies and misleading claims made by the Trump administration. This article is intended as a neutral, reliable analysis of the lies, false allegations and misleading claims made about and against Donald Trump since his inauguration in January 2017. We’ve attempted to strip away the hyperbole, name-calling and generalizations, and examine the patterns and trends at work: what characterizes these lies and exaggerations, the effect they have, what might explain them.
We pay particular attention to selected examples — claims that have gained prominence among the mainstream opposition to Trump, revealing much about the methods, priorities, and tone of that opposition, and illustrating how this movement both cultivates and plays off a number of caricatures of the 45th President and at times falls prey to a handful of identifiable and repeated errors of thought.
This is nothing new. Supporters and opponents of every high-profile politician in American history have done exactly the same, but in the current cultural atmosphere, where “the truth” is universally, even manically, exalted as an abstract concept but then widely degraded in practice, it’s essential to confront, correct, and analyze patterns of falsehoods like these.
This is not an exhaustive list. For that, and a litany of fact checks of claims made by the President, you can browse the Snope archive on him.
The focus here is on attacks against Trump. So for the purpose of this article, we’re not interested in false claims that are intended to reflect favorably on him. Nor does this analysis address claims made against his family members, of which there have been many. It’s also limited to the period following the inauguration on 20 January. This analysis was primarily based on an in-depth search of our own archives.
The Many Donald Trumps
Broadly speaking, most of the falsehoods levelled against Trump fall into one or more of four categories, each of them drawing from and feeding into four public personas inhabited by the President.
Some of these claims are downright fake, entirely fabricated by unreliable or dubious web sites and presented as satire, or otherwise blatantly false. But the rest — some of which have gained significant traction and credibility from otherwise serious people and organizations — provide a fascinating insight into the tactics and preoccupations of the broad anti-Trump movement known as “the Resistance,” whether they were created by critics of the President or merely shared by them.
Generally speaking, we discovered that they are characterized and driven by four types of errors of thought:
Infused throughout almost all these claims, behind their successful dissemination, is confirmation bias: the fuel that drives the spread of all propaganda and false or misleading claims among otherwise sensible and skeptical people. Confirmation bias is the tendency to look for, find, remember and share information that confirms the beliefs we already have, and the tendency to dismiss, ignore and forget information that contradicts those beliefs. It is one of the keys to why clever people, on all sides of every disagreement, sometimes believe stupid things that aren’t true.
We’re going to take a look at the four major types of falsehood we found, which correspond with Donald Trump’s four public personas, and point out along the way how various errors in thought have played a role in their origins and their spread.
Donald Trump: International Embarrassment
What’s remarkable is the extent to which false claims about the President revolve around body language, nonverbal gestures and symbolism, all phenomena that are notoriously open to interpretation. These lies and misrepresentations are also often based on snapshots — visual evidence presented without proper context.
Take, for example, the claim that Trump was the only world leader at a G7 summit in May not to take notes, based on a photograph posted to Twitter by French President Emannuel Macron. Here Trump was portrayed as unprepared and out of his depth on the world stage, with a “ten-second attention span”. However, the claim was entirely untrue, with other images and video of the meeting showing that Trump did indeed have notes and a pen. Not only that, but the very image used to make the false claim clearly shows two other world leaders sitting with no note-taking paraphernalia. In this case, even the cherry-picked evidence chosen to make the point undermines it.
Or, from the same G7 summit, the claim that Trump was caught on video raising his middle finger to Italian PM Paolo Gentiloni. Here we have Trump, contemptuous of other world leaders, once again risking international incident with his short temper and foul manners.
Except that he didn’t. The original source of the claim is revealing — the Twitter account of GiveHimTheFinger.com, an anti-Trump website that encourages his opponents to send the White House postcards designed as a middle finger. A longer video of the discussion shows that Trump and Gentiloni spoke cordially before the incident, which undermines the implicit logic behind the claim — that Trump was expressing anger or distain for Gentiloni. Indeed, no one has ever explained why Trump supposedly flipped him the bird, and so Occam’s Razor comes into play here.
While it is possible, of course, that Trump had such a mercurial change of heart about Gentiloni that he went from sharing warm words with him to publicly insulting him in a matter of minutes, is it not far more likely that the US President just had an itchy head?
And then there’s Newsweek’s claim that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi “evaded” Trump’s “notorious… bone-crunching power handshake”, about which there has been a seemingly endless supply of every imaginable kind of analysis.
“In his visit to the White House Monday,” wrote Tom Porter in June, “Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi neatly sidestepped the challenge, swooping in for two bear hugs with the president during a joint press conference in the Rose Garden.” What’s missing from this account, in a theme repeated throughout this collection, is historical context, either by deliberate omission or due to the author’s lack of awareness.
Modi, as has long been noted, is famous for hugging world leaders, a gesture he bestowed upon Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, as well as the last two presidents of France, among others. Rather than being an example of yet another world leader “fighting back” (as the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland has described what are essentially firm handshakes), this was an example of India’s prime minister continuing to greet another world leader in the way he always has.
Lack of historical context and cherry-picked evidence also played a role in another particularly egregious episode, in which Occupy Democrats placed a photograph of Pope Francis frowning beside Trump, next to one of the Pontiff grinning beside Barack Obama.
“See the difference?” the caption asked. Of course: Pope happy, Pope sad. But proper context (and basic common sense) would make it clear that no meaning whatsoever can be gleaned from these two snapshots.
People in the company of someone they like don’t keep a smile constantly plastered on their faces while devoutly maintaining a scowl when forced to hang out with someone who is not their favorite. And our facial expressions often have nothing to do with the people in our immediate vicinity (think: trapped gas, or checking your phone at the dinner table). A photograph of Francis frowning next to Obama was not hard to come by. Nor was one of him grinning next to Trump.
See the difference?
Trump the Tyrant
The second major strand of falsehood we have observed is one that portrays Trump as a would-be dictator, straying beyond his constitutional powers and imposing his will on whatever and whomever he chooses.
It has to be said that these claims have primarily come in the form of blatantly fabricated posts and stories from disreputable sources. Like a satirical News Werthy article that reported that Trump was looking into an executive order to abolish impeachment, or an artist’s “Future Internment Camp” signs in various vacant lots, which were mistaken for genuine by some readers and observers.
Then there was the satirical article that reported Trump had signed an executive order declaring himself the popular vote winner in 2016’s presidential election, or the claim that he had imposed martial law in Chicago, using a video of a police tank which has been in use since 2010. However, there have been more serious claims made about Trump’s supposedly authoritarian tendencies; a story published by the website Learn Progress offers a good illustration of this:
“Trump Says Americans Have “No Right” to Protest Him. TYRANNY” reads the headline. In reality, three protesters thrown out of a Trump rally in March 2016 later sued him, alleging incitement to violence. As part of that case, lawyers for the President filed a motion arguing, in part, that protesters did not have a right to disrupt a campaign rally to the extent that they effectively denied the event organizers their own freedom of expression.
This is far more specific and limited than the absolutist way the motion was misrepresented in the article’s headline. Once again, a clue as to the falsehood of the claim is to be found in the very evidence used as its basis. The motion itself is prefaced by the disclaimer: “Of course, protestors have their own First Amendment right to express dissenting views…” So not only did the evidence not support the claim that Trump thinks that Americans have “no right” to protest him, it actually supported the opposite.
A final example of how rushed and alarmist conclusions, a lack of context, and a pre-existing caricature of Trump as an incipient dictator have played a role in false claims made against him came early on in his presidency. In the days following Trump’s inauguration, claims emerged that his administration had literally rewritten the Bill of Rights, changing all mention of “people” to “citizens”.
The story horrified readers. “Not a joke,” read one widely-shared tweet, “not a drill.” But also, not true. The administration had changed WhiteHouse.gov’s summary of the Constitution, but not the Constitution itself. What’s more, the change from “people” to “citizens” in this summary had already been made during the tenure of President Barack Obama.
Donald Trump: Bully Baby
Closely linked to the “dictator” trope are several false claims based on Trump’s persona as a thin-skinned, narcissistic baby, lashing out at perceived insults and bullying much less powerful people. So when, in May, Stephen Colbert made a controversial joke about Trump performing fellatio on Vladimir Putin, it was almost inevitable that a fake story would follow, claiming that the President had forced CBS to fire Colbert, in a single phone call. Similarly, Alec Baldwin’s popular portrayal of Trump on Saturday Night Live prompted this fake story, which reported that the President had signed an executive order cancelling the show.
In the same vein, Crayola’s decision to drop the “dandelion” crayon was falsely attributed to pressure from an image-obsessed Trump administration, worried that children were using that particular color to create unflattering pictures of the President.
Sometimes these claims seem plausible enough to gain even more credibility and traction. In April, Trump met the public at the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll. A teenaged boy asked him to sign his “Make America Great Again” hat, and the President obliged, but appeared to toss the hat in the air.
A kid asks Trump to sign his hat at the White House Easter Egg Roll. The president signs … and then tosses the hat into the crowd.
But even without the second camera angle, Occam’s Razor comes into play once again. Does it make sense that Donald Trump, asked by an enthusiastic young man to sign a hat bearing his iconic slogan, would sign the hat and then, smiling, deliberately throw it away from the boy? Or is it more likely that Trump was being playful with someone who acted admiringly towards him, and tossed the hat in the air with the intention of giving it back to the boy?
Trump’s “thin-skinned” persona has also been the source of falsehoods, like the one shared by writer Dana Schwartz in January, who claimed the President had doctored a photograph to make his hands look bigger. She attempted to prove this by comparing two pictures of the same embrace between Donald Trump and Barack Obama. The claim was based entirely on the fact that Trump’s left hand appeared bigger in one image than the other, but otherwise provided no evidence that the picture had been doctored.
This also ignored the fact that the two images were taken from slightly different angles and distances, enough to organically make one hand appear bigger than the other.
Trump the Buffoon
Another major strand of falsehood about the President is the one that feeds into his persona as a bumbling fool, prone to accidents and devoid of any cultural sophistication.
Here, one claim stands out. In March, Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny came to the White House for a traditional St Patrick’s Day visit with the sitting President. During a speech, Trump recited a verse (the relevant section starts at 9:21):
As we stand together with our Irish friends, I’m reminded of that proverb — and this is a good one, this is one I like, I’ve heard it for many, many years and I love it:
“Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue, but never forget to remember those that have stuck by you.”
The response was huge. Almost instantly, Trump was mocked for citing as an Irish proverb a poem written by a Nigerian man. The Daily Kos web site wrote:
[Trump] took his moment to read the following, which he described as an old “Irish proverb”…Within minutes, the true origins of the “Irish proverb” were known and surprise! Not Irish. In fact, the words were from Nigerian poet Albashir Adam Alhassan.
The Root added:
Alhassan was born to Nigerian parents in the Kano State of Nigeria, which, coincidentally, is not Ireland. But according to Trump, it doesn’t matter if a proverb isn’t Irish; he can make it Irish.
Alhassan himself told Buzzfeed:
It’s actually strange. I’m wondering what must have made him relate it to Ireland even if he loves the lines.
Stephen Colbert devoted this three-minute segment to eviscerating what he presented as Trump’s cultural deafness and downright ignorance:
“That’s very nice, that’s very sweet,” Colbert said of Trump’s recitation:
Very sweet thought. Only problem — Trump’s “favorite Irish proverb” is not a proverb, it’s a poem, and it’s not from Ireland, it’s written by a Nigerian poet… Irish, Nigerian — it’s an honest mistake.
Only problem, as Colbert might say, Trump never once claimed the proverb was Irish.
The video of Trump’s remarks has been played countless times, embedded into mocking reports, and retweeted by thousands of people, aghast at his tone-deafness. The clip would have been edited by staff at Late Night for use, and Colbert himself would have heard the President’s words immediately before launching into the segment (which is frankly difficult to watch) in the knowledge that it is based on an entirely fabricated characterization. Not once, apparently, did anyone hear what Trump actually said — “a proverb”, not “an Irish proverb”.
Why would Trump relate the words to the Irish? The answer to the question posed by Albashir Alhassan is once again so simple that it appears to have eluded almost everyone.
“As we stand together with our Irish friends,” is how Trump prefaced his recitation. Now remember what those words were. “Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue, but never forget to remember those that have stuck by you.” Standing next to the leader of a country with a long-standing friendly relationship with the United States, accompanied by “Irish friends”, Trump recited a verse about the loyalty of true friends. It makes complete sense for him to have read these words, and not once did he ever describe them as “Irish”.
Set aside the fact that, far from being written in 2013, those words date back at least 80 years; set aside, even, the fact that they appear online in several places, described as an “Irish proverb“. Trump never said they were Irish anyway.
The entire episode is a remarkable example of something bordering on collective hallucination, most likely brought on by confirmation bias. Here hundreds of thousands of people — including professional journalists working for influential news organizations, and a chat show host with more than three million nightly viewers — literally heard Trump say something he never said, in most cases probably because it confirmed a pre-existing image of the President as a poorly read, culturally ignorant buffoon.
Other fake stories have simply been designed to make him look ridiculous, like the widely-shared photographs doctored to show Trump with fake diarrhea stains on his golf pants, wearing a diaper or balloon breasts, or posing with a stripper.
Trump the Cruel Bigot
The White House removed its climate change web page. And the healthcare, civil rights and LGBT sections. Just thought you should know.
Some are entirely fabricated or intended as satire, like the claim that Trump was planning to deport American Indians to India, and another that he had made English the official language of the U.S., or stories claiming that the President had banned the full-face Muslim veil or Sharia law.
Others, however, have gained more mainstream traction. The predominant theme, here, has been alarmism, particularly at the beginning of Trump’s tenure. On Inauguration Day, the actor and activist George Takei warned his Twitter followers that the new White House had removed references to climate change, healthcare, civil rights and LGBT rights from its web site. While that was true, content of all kinds was temporarily removed from WhiteHouse.gov and archived during a routine transition between the Obama and Trump administrations.
Similarly, there were claims that Trump’s administration had removed LGBT categories from the 2020 Census. In reality, such categories have never been included in the U.S. Census, reports that the Census Bureau had dropped plans to introduce them stemmed from a clerical error, and there is no evidence the Trump was involved in the Census Bureau’s decision-making anyway.
Trump has also been accused of various cruel cuts and attacks on funding and services, particularly around the time he proposed the 2018 Budget to Congress. In March, the Occupy Democrats web site claimed in a headline “Trump Just Announced Plan to End ‘Meals on Wheels’”. In this case, Trump proposed eliminating the Community Development Block Grant, which provides funding to several programs, including Meals on Wheels. However, only 3 percent of Meals on Wheels’ funding comes from federal sources like the Community Development Block Grant.
So not only did Trump not announce a plan to end Meals on Wheels, as such, but it would be an enormous exaggeration even to say that the effect of his proposals would be to end the program. We do not wish to downplay the fact that Meals on Wheels is a tremendously important program for many, and that any cuts at all might affect them; however, it is important to keep a sense of perspective in an environment increasingly fueled by outrage.
The president’s persona as callous and cruel also fed into, and was supported by fabricated stories such as the Satira Tribune’s claim that he had cut funding for the veteran suicide hotline, because he didn’t want the U.S. military to appear “weak”, or a fake Donald Trump tweet declaring that drug-testing would be a prerequisite for benefits recipients.
It has to be acknowledged that since January, many of Trump’s opponents, and even lukewarm supporters, have found considerable fault with his policies and behavior, based on accurate facts. There have been many occasions when Trump himself, undistorted and unfiltered, contributed mightily to the four personas we have outlined.
Indeed, in many instances the false claims against him carry a grain of truth. The president’s plan to scrap the Community Development Block Grant was real, and could very reasonably be expected to have significant consequences across a number of services and programs, including Meals on Wheels. All this is true, but it makes it no less false and no more acceptable to claim, on this basis, that he had singled out Meals on Wheels for elimination. He had not.
In some ways, these sorts of massive exaggerations and gross distortions are even more corrosive and destructive than fake news about diarrhea on the golf course, because they bear some distant relationship with the truth.
President Trump reaffirmed the unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States. He came with a message of peace. He emphasized the need to defeat terror and hate. He spoke of the hope that something great could be achieved.
However, the most memorable moment from this trip, to me, was that moment at the entrance to the house of President Rivlin.
Nechama Rivlin, President Rivlin’s wife, welcomed the First Lady Melania Trump at the door. As they were about to walk inside, Nechama whispered to Melania that she will do her best to catch up with the walking pace, but she might be a bit slower because of her medical condition which requires her to use an oxygen tank. Melania took her hand, looked at her and said: “We’ll walk at any pace you choose.” And so they walked, slowly, gracefully and proudly, hand in hand.
That, is the moment I choose to cherish. That silent gesture has neither any political significance nor any colorful tone to it, but it is everything…
It is the hope we yearn for when we speak of peace;
It is the kindness we wish to protect when we speak of defeating terror;
It is the dignity we want to teach when we speak of stopping hate;
It is the friendship we pray for when we speak of our unbreakable bond;
In other words, this gesture encompasses everything that is good, kind and human.
Thank you Noam Cappon for writing and bringing this to our attention.
Are today’s political views so fragmented that we all have blinders on?
How can two people of good character reach such different conclusions from the same set of facts?
This video may explain the answer.