Those were the first two words that sprung into my head the morning after I found out Trump had become the President-elect. Ok, I admit, they weren’t quite as clean as they are here, but still, I was really disappointed. I thought that America had collapsed, and soon the apocalypse would begin. However, I soon found out that he had actually lost the popular vote, and that’s when I started getting upset. How is this fair? How is this the will of the people? I waited, and wished, and hoped, for a miracle to occur, for the electoral college to make the right choice.
Turns out, we’re all fricked.
It has been exactly four weeks from Trump’s inauguration at the time of this writing. Four weeks of confusion and chaos that has felt like four years. Since day 1, his administration has been making so many crazy and outlandish decisions, I can’t even begin to express them. You know how crazy this has been? I have a news app on my phone. It delivers me headline notifications four times throughout the day: 6:00 am, so I can read the news while eating breakfast; 1:00 pm, so I can check it during lunch; 4:00 pm, so I can avoid doing my homework; and 10:00 pm, so I can check it before I go to bed. Every single day for the past 4 weeks, at least 3 out of those 4 headlines has been about Trump and what crazy new thing his administration has done.
The worst part is, I’m normalized to it all. I don’t even care anymore. It horrifies me, but it’s the truth. I made a graph to illustrate my point:
I’m no statistician, but I am in AP Stat, and based on my calculations, I’d say there’s an inverse relationship between the days since the inauguration and my reaction intensity to Trump’s behavior. As the number of days since the inauguration increases, my reaction intensity decreases.
Certainly, I don’t mean to place all the blame on Trump himself. He’s part of the problem, but it’s really his whole administration that’s to blame. Steve Bannon is a large contributor to the insanity as well, with his whole conspiracy theory about how the world is due for another world war. Seriously, read through the article linked at the bottom of this article. It’s scary.
Here’s the deal: I could write on a variety of subjects about this new administration. I could write about their travel ban, their refusal to call it a travel ban, their “alternative facts”, their lack of consistency, their ties with Russia, their favoritism, their insanity, their lack of foresight, etc. I could throw a million facts and figures in this article, with thousands of graphs and data tables to support my arguments. I could write a novel where I take everything that’s transpired in the last 28 days and put it in an apocalyptic world, and I bet you wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference.
But I’m not going to do that.
Every news source out there has written a dozen articles using every fact imaginable. Reporters with over ten years more experience than me have written brilliant pieces on the subject. And you know what? It doesn’t matter. The White House has changed the rules of the media. Now, the facts don’t matter. You say that the planet has been getting warmer over the last century due to greenhouse gases and you have an hundred studies to prove it? Yeah, not good enough, you’re a liar. You say that the crowd at the inauguration was small? Ummm, it was totally over a billion people, your photos are wrong. You’re quoting something that we said last month, or last week, or yesterday? Actually, we didn’t say that, so, you’re wrong.
Why even bother quoting numbers if they just say you’re wrong?
Besides, writing these opinion pieces doesn’t change anything. I’m not going to make any conservatives think, “Oh, he made a good point, I’m going to do some research and rethink my political views”. And, I’ll admit, no conservative article will convince me that this new administration is better than the one that came before. Everyone has already formed their opinions, and we’ve bolted them to our brains. I won’t change your mind, and you won’t change mine. The facts don’t matter.
We need to change this. We need to reverse this trend of shutting out other people’s opinions and all try to be open-minded. When did it start being impolite to be political? We as a people need to get back to having discussions where reason and facts are placed at the forefront, not opinions and beliefs. Only then can we move forward as a nation and begin to remedy the mistakes of the past.
- Steve Bannon on the apocalypse: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/steve-bannon-apocalypse_us_5898f02ee4b040613138a951
- John Oliver on Trump vs. Truth (warning: profanity and humor): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xecEV4dSAXE
- NPR on Political Views and Facts: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128490874