Facts and their alternatives

If you say it loud enough and often enough, people will believe it.

Alternative Facts

Alternative Facts

Carolyn Grant

Wow, my New Year’s resolution to eat healthy and exercise is really paying off! I’ve lost 25 pounds and … I’m sorry, that’s an ‘alternative fact’.

What’s that you say? Well, it’s a real thing according to Donald Trump’s aide, Kellyanne Conway. It’s like when you can clearly see the evidence with your eyes yet your brain says, no this can’t be right. For instance, I can clearly see with my eyes that I have not lost an ounce, and I know the only exercise I have taken part in was lifting champagne glasses on New Year’s Eve, yet…. I want it to be so that I lost 25 pounds, so therefore I did.

Conway was simply doubling down on new press secretary Sean Spicer’s assertion that Trump’s inauguration was the best attended ever. Period.

It’s really a lovely way to live — just alter the facts until they bear resemblance to the reality you have created in your mind.

And if you keep repeating it often enough, people will believe you. It was a philosophy that underpinned Donald Trump’s campaign. If you say it loud enough and often enough, people will believe it.

As the Trump administration begins its reign, they are taking that concept one step further. Now, they ask to you believe them when they say that last Friday’s inauguration was the best attended ever, despite actual pictures that dispute that alternative fact.

This new administration does not lack chutzpah. Nor does it lack a leader with skin so thin that it will burst like an overly-ripe peach at the slightest hint of insult. The newest claim this week is that those 2.8 million votes that Hilary Clinton beat him by in the popular vote? Voter fraud. Period. There’s going to be a yuge investigation launched.

The New York Times points out that this claim is not true and in fact actually used the word ‘lie’ in their headline.

Of course, Trump will counter with rumblings about the “dishonest media”.

It’s going to be one bumpy ride for the next four years.

But what do I know? As my ever growing legion of non-admirers will tell you – nuttin. I don’t know nuttin.

Here’s the thing. Perhaps we, as Canadians, have no right to comment on what our American neighbours do. Maybe we should just get over it and let him do what he wants without comment. Certainly we didn’t vote for the man, nor his opponent. It’s their democracy to build up or bust down as they wish. If they want to march on Washington and in other major U.S. cities, that is their right as well.

But we as Canadians do have a right to be concerned, and to keep up with what is going on to the south. One sentence from Trump’s lips can disturb the force right across our country. And not always in a negative way. Trump said this week that he would approve the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines and the Canadian dollar rose an entire cent on the news.

Notwithstanding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s remark that the oilsands would eventually have to be phased out — that was not well received in Alberta at all — he is quite likely pleased with the pipeline approval. Canada’s oil has to get to markets and refineries, and if not by pipeline, it will go by rail or truck. Until the world no longer requires fossil fuel, that is a reality.

The TSX rose on the pipeline news too.

However, it could just as easily slide in the other direction as Trump toys with renegotiating — or even trashing altogether — the NAFTA agreement.

The point is, when Trump speaks, we’d all better listen. And that is an actual fact.

Carolyn Grant is Editor at the Kimberley Bulletin