Keeping with my theme of the week which is apparently coming to the defense of politicians I don’t like, let’s talk about crowd sizes and the National Park Service.
Hey, I always root for the underdog, it’s a character flaw, I can’t even help myself. The Patriots are going down hard, BTW.
Have you ever dealt with someone who lied about you for their own nefarious purposes? Oftentimes, even after the offender has been caught in a bunch of lies, people still keep believing them. It’s very odd. You find yourself forced to go to the mat over every little thing to prove your innocence. Eventually, if they’re a practiced liar, they’ll figure this out and start lying about things that you can’t prove, or taking things out of context that actually did happen kind of, and twisting them around. You honestly can’t even defend against it. Everything you do to try and clear your name, they take and use against you. And people just keep believing them.
I have dealt with this type of person once upon a nightmare, and it’s crazymaking. It puts you into this weird foxhole mindset where you start feeling pressured to show everyone how deceitful the liar truly is. You experience an almost irresistible urge to challenge every lie they tell, to debunk them all with facts and figures and screenshots. This quickly devolves into a situation where you actually look MORE crazy than the person who is telling the lies to begin with. The liar clucks their tongue and steps back with an arched brow and remains detached from your meltdown. Nobody looks at your screenshots even when you demand that they do. Your enemy smirks slightly as you spin your wheels, and in the meantime they carry right on murmuring lies to egg you on.
I don’t know if Donald Trump’s crowd was bigger or smaller than Obama’s. I DO know that the media has lied constantly about the guy right up to a magical disappearing and reappearing MLK bust on that very same day. I know that a lot of Trump supporters live in places that are far away from Washington DC. I know that it was pouring rain and it was cold and there were a lot of aggressive protesters. I know that there were areas that were roped off for security that weren’t roped off during Obama’s inauguration. I personally would have been scared to go to the protest in case something terrible happened. In short, what I know is that no matter what the size of the crowd, the spin that was put onto it by the media was highly, highly uncharitable. It was deceitful reporting under the BEST of interpretations (that the weather and protesters kept people away), and under the worst of interpretations, the media was out and out lying about the size of the crowd, using misleading pictures to imply that turnout was low when it wasn’t.
So let’s say you’re Donald Trump. You look out as you’re giving your speech and see a crowd of people that looks pretty darn big from where you’re standing, and then later you find out that the media, which has lied about you quite frequently, is talking lot of smack about how many people were there. What would you do? Say nothing? Take the high road? Reminder – the media keeps LYING. They had already flagrantly lied once that day. Wouldn’t you want to prove them wrong? Because I would. It would piss me off, no doubt about it. Even if I could have bit my tongue at first, if people kept spreading the lie again and again, and reporters kept pushing me, I’m not sure I could have kept silent about it in the long term. That’s why I am not a politician, I guess.
Let’s never forget that about Donald Trump. The dude is not a politician. Frankly, if I like anything about him, it’s that. He’s not polished and practiced and careful, he’s not running everything past a control group and a press secretary before he speaks. This means he may look stupid or rash sometimes and mentions 400 pound hackers during a political debate, but you know, maybe at least he’s relatively honest about what he’s blurting out in the heat of the moment. I have NO doubt that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and John McCain and any of the lot of them are all just as narcissistic and megalomaniacal as Trump. They’re just better at hiding it.
If the press was lying about the size of the crowd, that’s evil. Even if they were just manipulating the info because rain, protesters, etc may have kept people away and that resulted in a smaller crowd, that’s STILL pretty darn evil. In the meantime, how many lies have they reported and retracted just since the election? I question the purity of their motives. I canNOT believe they are still running this lie/retract game and that they are not being held accountable by anyone over it.
Speaking of accountability, now let’s talk about the National Park Service. This is an organization I happen to know quite a bit about because a very close relative of mine used to work there. As most people know, some employees at the Park Service reposted the “small crowd size” post on Twitter and as a result, all Park Service employees had their Tweeting privileges revoked. Temporarily. Pending further training.
Let me tell you something about the way the bureaucracy of the Park Service works. When one person had an accident on a riding lawn mower, NO ONE was able to use riding lawn mowers until there had been an investigation into why and any necessary retraining had taken place. Everyone lost their lawn mover privileges because of one person’s mistake. Temporarily. Pending further training. Sound familiar?
Employees of the Park Service are not allowed to just act however they want in public when wearing their uniform. They have to be polite to customers, for example. They have to be clean cut. They can’t walk around smoking or chewing tobacco and spitting everywhere. They can’t hand out religious tracts or Amway brochures or say mean things to people or jabber on their cellphones. They can’t make out with their girlfriends or boyfriends on the job or hit on their clientele. They are not even allowed to go to bars or purchase beer in a store while wearing their uniform. The Park Service holds their employees to a certain standard of behavior. Park Service employees are representatives of the Federal Government, led by the President, who was elected by at least some of the people, and as such, they are supposed to behave in a certain way.
Any business does that. I’m sorry, but indiscriminate tweeting is not a human right. The account was a PARK SERVICE account. I don’t follow the Park Service for political commentary, I follow them to know if the boat ramp is open and if it’s ok to have a campfire this week or not. It was completely inappropriate for whoever-it-was to post derogatory pictures of Donald Trump’s inauguration. At what place of work could ANYONE tweet embarrassing stuff to humiliate their boss? Even if it was true, could you post “Hehe Ed the Boss has dandruff and halitosis and his girlfriend cheated on him” on a company-owned Twitter account and not expect to have some blowback from that??
The fact is, most government agencies did not even have Twitter accounts at the beginning of the Obama administration. So it’s a new frontier in terms of courtesy and procedure and what’s right and wrong. Whoever posted the offending tweet was wrong to do it. Period, end of story. Now ya know, gang. Don’t do what Donnie Don’t does. It wasn’t wrong for the bosses to correct that mistake any more than it was wrong for them to want to prevent unnecessary lawn mower accidents. People get fired for things they post on their own PERSONAL Twitter accounts, not only their job ones, just ask Justine Sacco.
Yet again, the media reported on this in a completely misleading and inflammatory fashion. But you know what, try as they might, it doesn’t make me hate Trump. IF anything it makes me feel more kindly disposed towards him. Even after he made an ass out of himself worrying about the crowd size. Because I get where he’s coming from. If he feels he’s being wronged, it only speaks to the dude’s humanity that he reacts to it. Politics haven’t dehumanized him yet. While his reactions are unpredictable and not always as presidential as I would personally like, this may yet turn out to be entirely better than an automaton who robotically gives the “correct” answer in public and then continues politics as usual behind closed doors.
Beyond all that, call me crazy but I think he’s probably telling the truth. I’m not saying he’s right, but I think that HE thinks he’s right. Most likely scenario in my mind is that the media is lying and that the pics shared far and wide were indeed misleading. Not only because they’ve lied so many times recently, not only because they’ve lied about crowd sizes in the past, but because of Trump’s reaction to them. If he was actually trying to lie about the size of the crowd, he’dve let it go after firing the first salvo. Because any practiced liar knows the less you talk about the lie, the sooner it goes away. You let the other guy bluster and pull out their screenshots while you’re cool as a cucumber. You know, like the media was doing.