Kellyanne Conway laced up her boxing gloves Sunday morning and climbed into the ring with Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet The Press. The winner, as always will be decided by the body politic. No doubt the scoring will fall along party lines.
Leaving the boxing metaphors behind, I suspect that the next four years will find an analogous backdrop in the culture of comic books. It’s certainly not going to be like anything we’re used to in the real world.
In the 1960’s Action Comics introduced Mr. Mxyzptlk (no idea how that’s pronounced) as a nemesis for their hero, Superman. Mr. Mxyzptlk was from the planet Htrae, also know as the Bizzaro World, where everything was the complete opposite of what it is here on Earth. While we strive for beauty and order, the goal on Hrtae is ugly and chaos.
Ms. Conway has a job to do and she’s probably doing it to the best of her ability. In her defense, it’s not going to be easy and it’s a job with no precedent.
From the time Conway signed onto the Trump campaign, she has been interpreting, spinning and rationalizing the often bewildering verbal regurgitation of her boss.
Sunday Conway was called upon to provide context for her boss’s pet terrier and America’s newest White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer.
In a hastily called press conference on Saturday, Spicer addressed the size of Trump’s inauguration crowd with completely inaccurate statements and stormed off the stage without taking a single question.
A very dismal performance from someone who had just taken a solemn oath and now represents not only the voice of the president, but the face of America to the world.
Mimicking his boss’s love of gratuitous punctuation, Spicer said, “That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period.” He said it with a straight face, looking directly into the cameras and standing behind a podium under the official White House seal.
When Groucho Marx said, “Who ya going to believe, me or your own eyes?” (Duck Soup, 1933), he said it to be funny. When Trump, Spicer, Conway, et al say it, they mean it.
Having read books, studied history and not believing that science is a matter of opinion, I am seriously offended when someone tells me not to believe what I can see for myself, what I know to be true.
Two plus two equals four. Water runs downhill. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Those are facts.
When someone like Kellyanne Conway asserts, as she did Sunday morning that they are just presenting “alternative facts,” I find that not only insulting, but deeply disturbing. When someone like Sean Spicer says that they are going to sometimes “disagree with the facts,” it’s appalling.
These people are going to great lengths to force us to disregard facts and to accept an alternative version of the truth. That may be great for reality TV, not so much for real life.
Conway told Chuck Todd that the size of the crowd doesn’t matter and that there are more important things to talk about, which is precisely the point.
With so many major issues on the line, why would a newly sworn-in president send his press secretary to address such a petty issue as his first official duty? Making him (Spicer) go out there and tell easily refutable lies is not the mark of great leader. Or a good leader. Or a leader. Or even an honest person.
A wise woman once warned me that if someone habitually lies about trivial things, you can be sure they’re lying about the big stuff.
These lies don’t get told by chance. It is a scripted and choreographed attempt to obscure our vision and deflect our attention. The constant attack on the media and on truth, itself is described in George Orwell’s 1949 book, “1984” which has suddenly jumped to number 5 on the New York Times Bestsellers List.
When they start using the term “controlled reality,” you will know that we are officially screwed. Until then, keep your eyes open because they are definitely trying to pool the wool over them.
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