We’re getting to the point in the Trump Presidency where if you went around and asked a group of people to name one blatantly incorrect thing Trump has said, everyone would be able to come up with a different answer.
The most recent of which, is, of course, the claim that they are building the Mexico Border Wall in Colorado….a state that doesn’t even touch the Mexican border.
When asked about this, of course, Trump said he was kidding, but the damage had already been done. But then again, what even is the damage?
Both Trump’s campaign and presidency has been based on lies, whether they be overt like this one or require more than a fifth-grade geography test to fact check. But this isn’t a surprise with the years of ‘fake news’ surrounding him. We as a country at least understand the science of scandals and how to report their uncovering. Scandals at their root imply shame and the need to hide something dirty, and thats something we as a culture get.
But what the hell happens when the president says something so disgustingly incorrect without even an ounce of humility about the matter? There’s no formula for this that we can go back and reference, this is something..unique.
It continues happening because there are no consequences for when this sort of thing happens. Unfortunately it’s not illegal (neither is it a requirement) for the president to know the basic geography of the country he’s running. While it should be, there’s nothing to be done about that.
Journalists have little power in these types of situations as well. This isn’t Watergate, there is nothing that needs to be uncovered and revealed. All journalists can do is tell us about incidents like this behind the veil of objectivity and call out the ones turn out to be fake.
The result is misinformation just being commonplace. We expect Trump to be stupid and get important things wrong, we’ve seen it enough times by now that we’re not shocked. But now we as a culture are starting to get too used to it. We’re past the stage of horror, and we’ve moved on to making jokes and memes. Because wasn’t it funny when Trump took a sharpie and altered a hurricane prediction map!
The reality we live in now is that the president of the US has been incorrect so many times about basic facts, and the only thing we can do about it is make it into an SNL skit.