No alternative to excuses

Pradyot Sharma

Staff Writer

It has been almost two weeks since the inauguration of Donald Trump as the president of the United States, and so far, the highlight of his presidency has been built around the statements made by his senior adviser Kellyanne Conway and press secretary Sean Spicer.

The day after the inauguration, President Trump went to the CIA headquarters in Langley and declared that the inauguration crowd was the largest ever. He even went on to complain about how he felt that the media was inaccurately reporting numbers.

The evidence he offered was that he saw a lot of people when he addressed the crowd.

Spicer then came out to talk to the press and made a very unusual statement.

“No one had numbers because the National Park Service, which controls the National Mall, does not put any out,” he said. “That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period. Both in person and around the globe.”

Spicer’s comments were surprising considering that there was photographic evidence showing that there were more people at Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, compared to Trump’s.

Not only did this leave the public confused, but it also required Conway, who was Trump’s campaign manager, to come out the next morning and coin the term “alternative facts” when asked why the administration was presenting false information.

While you would hope this was the end of it, Spicer followed his act the next day saying, “We have a right to disagree with facts.”

Official records from the D.C. Metro public transit show that even the numbers that Spicer used as evidence for supporting his claim were inaccurate.

Trump has also made claims about large-scale voter fraud in the election even though his own lawyers in November presented to a court that the election results were completely accurate and no voter fraud had occurred.

This issue is more than just about how many people attended the inauguration ceremony or about voter fraud. This was evident from the statement made by Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, in his interview with the New York Times.

He labeled the media “the opposition party” and said that “it should keep its mouth shut for a while.”

“That’s why you (the media) have no power,” he said.

Trump so far has signed more than a dozen executive orders, some of which include:  repealing the Affordable Care Act; pulling the United States out of the Trans Pacific Partnership; and what he described as “extreme vetting” for immigrants from certain Muslim countries.

He has also initiated the process for building the wall by signing an order for “an impassable physical barrier” to be built across the southern border.

Whether these actions are beneficial to the nation or not is up to history to decide, and depending on which side of the spectrum you belong to, you may or may not welcome them.

There are some things that everyone agrees on, and those are “facts.” They are established truths that aren’t subject to interpretation.

Unfortunately, the new administration seems to think otherwise regarding this matter.

President Trump, you are the president of the United States and the leader of the free world. This isn’t the first time the legitimacy of a president has been questioned. People protesting you does not make you any less in-charge.

In fact, this adds to your responsibility, having to prove to these people you can be a good leader for them.

The number of people attending your inauguration ceremony isn’t what determines your leadership, but your actions as president do.

The media are tasked with reporting the truth to the public, and a few outlets at times have failed to do so accurately. That does not qualify the legitimacy of the entire institution to be questioned or for them to be described as the enemy.

The nation has put its faith in you. Your administration lying to them directly isn’t an appropriate reward.

In a time of turmoil, it is your job to bring the nation together and focus on the issues that matter, the actions that benefit the American people.

Answer the critics with your work, sir, and don’t let the people down.

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