As Donald Trump approaches his 100th day with an approval rating lower than any in American presidential history since 1945, he continued to replay the election results via twitter (yes, the election he lost) while making 16 unintelligible remarks in a lie-filled Associated Press interview.
Toronto Star fact-checker Daniel Dale admitted “I’ve never seen this: the AP has to deem some of Trump’s comments ‘unintelligible’ even though it was a one-on-one Oval Office interview.” By the way, Dale called this interview as “bonkers” as any other Trump interview.
As actor/director and political activist Rob Reiner put it,
It isn’t that Trump is guilty of doublespeak, or at least, not intentionally. Let’s put it this way: He’s a liar, but he makes up for it by not knowing what he’s talking about – and add to that an inability to put whatever he is talking about into language other human beings can comprehend.
In short, what we get from Donald Trump – assuming we can even understand what he is saying – is absolutely without value, and according to Dale, who agrees with Reiner, by the way, it’s not entirely on Trump:
As one example, as ABC News put it, Trump’s interview “showed he was not completely familiar with what he had promised in that ‘contract’ with voters.” In other words, he lied. ABC News could have just said so, but for whatever reason, chose not to.
I don’t know, honestly, what’s so hard to figure out about “how to communicate” that Trump is lying rather than excusing his lie by saying he’s “not completely familiar” with his own words.
With language like this, we’ve reached what science calls a “tipping point”: a sort of absurdity point of no return.
Although a case could be made that Trump is not completely familiar with reality, it would be a willful ignorance he would then lie about it and excuse the lie with his patented “a lot” of people say and promise us proof “very soon” that he would never provide.
Meanwhile, all around the world, people were marching with signs in defense of facts. Yes. People – more people than showed up to welcome Trump into the White House – had to march to defend the very idea of facts and the scientific underpinnings of our universe.
And this is our so-called president. The leader of the most powerful nation on earth. A president whose very language, even if you can weave through the lies, and therefore the ideas behind it is unintelligible.
Maps once showed the areas in which monsters were thought to dwell in as Terra Incognita, or “Unknown land.” That is what now ought to be emblazoned on every map over the White House. We just don’t know, because Trump himself doesn’t know. And ignorance, not the unknown, is the real monster.
Keep waving those signs. Holy symbols were once thought to ward off evil, but in the Trump era it is not holy symbols we must cling to but to but facts. To paraphrase Carl Sagan, in a demon-haunted world, it is science that is a candle in the dark.
Don’t let our unintelligible president blow those candles out.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.
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