Keeping Up With the Kardashians is nothing compared to the drama of our president’s first months in office. With the election of Donald Trump, for better or worse, nearly every preconceived notion about a president’s start in office has gone out the window. While I’ve noticed enough Trumpisms to fill a book in recent months, a particular thorn in my side has been the Trump Administration’s perpetuation of false information.
Trump and his aides have a boundless wealth of information at their fingertips but seem intent on disregarding it in order to create their own narrative. Some of these misinformed quotes have been amusing. I maintain, however, that Trump’s insistence on inventing his own “alternative facts” is incalculably damaging to our nation. Need me to jog your memory on some famous blunders?
In the world according to Trump, apparently all women on “The Apprentice” “consciously or unconsciously” flirted with the POTUS and Mexico sends all of its “bad people” into the United States. According to Trump, Muslims in New Jersey rejoiced when the Twin Towers fell in the 9/11 terror attacks and global warming is an intricate scheme concocted by the Chinese government. And according to Trump’s former press secretary Sean Spicer, Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons in the murder of millions of people during World War II. Oh also, ~covfefe~ is a word.
The list goes on and on. And a simple Google search could have prevented most of these blunders.
The trouble with Trump’s ignorance and downright lack of fact-checking is manifold. It’s embarrassing enough to have a president who so freely speaks on topics that he knows nothing about, but it’s made even worse by the fact that he makes no effort to learn the truth. His platform being so public, Trump’s inaccuracies are perpetuated on a nationwide scale. Our president has managed to tap into an angry vein in our country, and he fuels division with his sexist, homophobic, racist, and otherwise offensive and untrue remarks.
You may be asking, if the leader of the free world doesn’t have to fact-check, why do I? In this time of “Fake News” we, as Cornellians in particular, must strive to uphold a standard of truth and put our educations to good use and fight fake news. Ignorance fuels hate, and Trump accomplished this largely by spewing falsehoods. If only for sense of self-worth, it’s important to understand what you’re talking about and be confident in it, keeping the spark of knowledge alive in Trump’s America. We, in particular, must remain committed to truth, even if that means dwelling on the more mundane task of fact-checking. Anyone can ignite feeling by bending the truth, but it takes a true leader to inspire others to follow based on cold hard facts.