*And in other news, we now live in North Korea.
For everyone who told protestors to “wait and see” how Trump acts as President, it’s been 10 days, and the joke is already on you. Trump is showing every sign of following through with his worst campaign promises, including an illegal Muslim and refugee ban (on HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY, no less), a costly and racist wall that Mexico will certainly NOT pay for, and the erosion–nay, explosion–of our First Amendment rights.
And like every totalitarian leader since the beginning of time, he’s already clamping down on science and freedom of speech. In addition to his well-publicized war on the “liberal media,” he’s frozen the federal science grants program, and taken down the White House’s climate page (as well as the LGBTQ rights page and the Spanish version of the site, in favor of a page on “Radical Islam”), as well as all references to climate change. Worst of all, EPA scientists need to run all studies by Trump before publishing, because a reality TV star knows more about science than PhDs.
If after the horrifying images and stories that have been released this weekend from the nationwide detainments, you’re not convinced that we’re living in a dystopia, check out this statement from Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who, incidentally, has received more than $600,000 from the fossil fuel industry and is known for press releases that say things like, “Fake News Includes Climate Change.”
“Better to get your news directly from the president,” Smith said on the House floor last week. “In fact, it might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth.”
Trump is the sole source of the “unvarnished truth”? Really??? Worries about a dictatorship aside, if Trump controlled all news and scientific studies, our headlines would be things like “Fake tanning shown to increase virility and cure cancer” while TV news would be just a series of close-up shots of Trump’s hands.
Newsflash, Lamar: there’s a REASON we have a free press. It’s so Presidents can’t tell us things that are verifiably untrue without going unchecked. Things like “War is Peace” or “Kim Jong Il is a style icon” or “More people came to Trump’s inauguration than Obama’s” (even the conservative Daily Wire agreed this was a falsehood) or “only 109 people were affected by the ban.”
This is why it’s terrifying that Trump will be censoring science, that he calls the press the “opposition party,” and that he derides one of the most reliable newspapers in the country, the New York Times, as “fake news” because their coverage was unflattering. The press isn’t perfect, but a free press is one of the only things standing in the way between us and a 1984 dystopian landscape. Get your shit together, Republicans, and start pretending you care about small government for a change.