When I was a kid one of the popular legends was that crossing your fingers would excuse you from a lie or invalidate a promise being made. “Yeah. I washed my hands”, “the dog did it”, “my homework’s done” …! Even though I knew that if I crossed my fingers in time I received immunity for my minor league lies, it freaked me out that I was some sort of destined-to-hell liar. Like most people, I was born with that honesty gene that prevented me from over-using the magical hand sign to absolve myself of a lie. Things may be changing!
Now the crossed finger thing has been replaced with, per President 45, “tweets within quotation marks”. Apparently if you tweet total made up crap you can deny anything within the quotes or label it as a valid “alternative fact”.
Fingers crossed lies or made up crap within quotations—what’s the difference? This comes down to the “no harm, no foul” doctrine”. My fingers crossed thing was countering inconsequential white lies but President 45’s quotation marked, baseless rants have the potential to create a national or world crisis. I hope the President soon realizes his most important asset is trust. There will be times of national disasters and conflict where the President must unite the country and lead, but if he destroys his credibility his rallying cries will be treated like Pinocchio’s. Quotes or no quotes, when our President addresses major issues he should be totally transparent and honest without any disclaimers.
President 45 has already shaken the trust thing with his tweets, often sourced from slanted news stories and shock jocks, that become the foundation for his policies. We may be entering an era of Trump-speak–“What’s true is false and what’s false is true”–all in quotes.
Our only recourse to Trump’s Twitter world is by reporting the fact-checked truth. Thankfully there has been a ground swell of responsible reporting by journalist and some very funny commentators. Check out entertainers who have challenged the tweets and the Trump world like: Bill Maher, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, and the SNL cast. I acknowledge that most are anti-Trump, but they seem to get their facts right, although irreverent in their presentation, and will keep us laughing until the next election. If you don’t laugh, you’d cry–no quotes!