Normalizing Lies

Lost in the post-election blues was Oklahoma’s U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe’s comment about president-elect Donald Trump’s victory.

Let’s parse through some of it. Here are the first two sentences:

Congratulations to President-elect Donald J. Trump who the American people voted to serve this great nation as our 45th president. A Republican-led Congress is ready to work with Trump and move our nation forward with a platform that promotes economic opportunity for all, values life at every stage, and is committed to bringing about peace and stability by strengthening our own national security.

First, the American people didn’t vote for Trump to “serve this great nation.” The last count I saw had Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton ahead by 2.3 million votes and her lead was expected to grow to 2.5 million votes. Trump won the electoral college, sure, and those are the rules, but the American people voted for Clinton. Second, generally speaking, Republicans do NOT support economic opportunity “for all.” They support tax cuts for the wealthy and the dismantling of Medicare and Social Security. Third, “life at every stage” is code for a potential Trump U.S. Supreme Court appointee that could ensure abortion becomes illegal in the country or at least in many red states, including Oklahoma.

Fourth, and finally, Trump has already created havoc in the geopolitical world even before officially becoming president. He has already bewildered the government of China, and this will surely continue. How can anyone believe Trump will bring about “peace and stability” on any issue, especially international affairs?

Inhofe’s comment is the perfection of the Republican ruse, which is to state the opposite of the truth and then take most of the “American people” for rubes.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford’s official statement about the election results was almost as Orwellian as Inhofe’s statement. Here are the first two sentences:

"I congratulate President-Elect Trump and Vice President-Elect Pence on a solid victory. The American people have spoken. It is clear that they are tired of top-down mandates from Washington, extreme executive overreach, excessive regulations and weak foreign policy.

I guess you can say winning the electoral college by as much as Trump did is a “solid victory” in some sense, but losing the popular vote by 2.5 million votes says a lot as well. Also, the people “have spoken” clearly they wanted Clinton as president. There’s no mandate for Trump. Lankford and Inhofe, of course, don’t mention Clinton’s “solid victory” of the popular vote at all.

What is happening right now in Oklahoma and this country is that blatant political lies are becoming the new standard as the American mainstream press, especially the major television news outlets, continues to normalize the Trump presidency. Inhofe and Lankford, two right-wing extremists from a poor, flyover state filled with Christian fundamentalists, are definitely a part of the warped script.

It’s not an exaggeration to stress that these are extremely frightening and uncertain times.

shadow