Should we listen to Trump’s words or to his heart?
On Saturday I had the privilege of participating in the Women’s March, which took place in over 600 cities across the U.S. and in major cities across the world. Standing in Downtown L.A., at the corner of First and Broadway, facing City Hall with a crush of people surrounding me and filling every available space in the streets and sidewalks as far as I could see in every direction, I was proud to come to join in the reaction against the words of our new president.
I have never seen so many women and men gathered, united against hate, bigotry and for women’s rights, hundreds of thousands in L.A. alone. In DC it was estimated there were over 400,000 people marching!
That same day, at his very first meeting with CIA leaders and staff, Trump told them that he had the biggest inaugural crowd in history, saying that the crowd spread all the way to the Washington Monument and consisted of maybe a million and a half people. But photographs in the media showed large gaps in the crowd, while subsequent analyses, ridership data from the Washington Metro system, pictures (and our vivid memories) of President Obama’s 2009 inauguration all tell us that Trump’s claims are not true.
At his very first press conference, presidential spokesman Sean Spicer followed up with another lie about the size of Trump’s inaugural turnout, and followed that with attacks on the media, accusing them of shameful dishonesty.
When confronted with these untruths (or “alternate facts,” as Kellyanne Conway said on Meet the Press), Trump and his sycophants just double down on them, unfairly attacking the news media at every turn.
Millions of Americans and people around the world are not fooled, as evidenced by their turning out on Saturday for the Women’s Marches: young and old, women and men of all races, colors, religions and beliefs, all united to protest against Trump and his incitement of hatred and intolerance, mistreatment of women, minorities, Muslims, the disabled, and attacks on the media.
Kellyanne Conway asked plaintively, “Why does everyone listen to his words instead of listening to his heart?” In other words, we cannot take anything that our new President says as true. And from his hateful statements so far, we are afraid of what is in Trump’s heart.
How will we live through the next four years with a President who is so willing to distort the truth for his own ends, malign anyone who questions him, and malign others when it suits him?