Since Donald Trump ascended to the office of the president nearly one year ago, the Oval Office has been shrouded in controversy. Every imaginable facet of a president’s notebook – the economy, LGBTQ and women’s rights, the threat of terrorism, tensions in North Korea, health care and immigration – has been handled unprofessionally and maliciously by the current administration.
If Trump’s goal was to throw a dart on the issues of deceitfulness, discrimination, the U.S. media and sexism, then over the past year, he’s hit the bulls eye on each mark.
Trump’s never-ending barrage of lies are so frequent that multiple media outlets have published articles whose sole focus is to keep track of all the lies he’s told while in the Oval Office, citing evidence from other sources which dispute his claims.
One of these such articles was from the New York Times. From Jan. 1 to July 30, Trump told approximately 116 lies in public. In fact, every day during the first 40 days of his presidency, he told a lie or falsehood.
The same “failing New York Times” article says it best: “There is simply no precedent for an American president to spend so much time telling untruths. Every president has shaded the truth or told occasional whoppers. No other president — of either party — has behaved as Trump is behaving. He is trying to create an atmosphere in which reality is irrelevant.”
Trump constructs reality into what he wants it to be, and his lies have piled up on each other so high, it is difficult keep track of them anymore.
It also seems as if no minority group has been safe from Donald Trump’s tirades.
Over the last year, what’s been most prominent is his targeting of Muslims. Less than one month in office, Trump enacted an executive order known as the “Muslim Travel Ban.” It prohibited the entry of Syrian refugees, and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States for a period of 90 days.
According to a BCC article, Trump at the time said, “To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting,” the president said in a statement released on Facebook. “This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order.”
This is in stark contrast to what he said during the 2016 election, when Trump, according to a report by CNN Politics, said, “Islam hates us…There’s something there that – there’s a tremendous hatred there. There’s a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There’s an unbelievable hatred of us.”
It seems as if over the course of one year between 2016 and the present, Trump had done a 180-degree turn on his feelings about Muslims. Or perhaps, what he said in 2016 were his true feelings all along.
Even to this day, his loyalty to this executive order remains steadfast. On Nov. 29, Trump retweeted an anti-Muslim video from a far-right British source allegedly depicting Muslims assaulting people and then smashing a statue of the Virgin Mary.
What’s truly mind-boggling is that while he calls countless media outlets “fake news,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders remained loyal to his decision to tweet the controversial videos, which have not been authenticated, even saying that it was to start a dialogue about immigration and border security.
She adds that “whether it is a real video, the threat [of Islamic terrorism] is real,” according to the same CNN Politics article.
The Nation Institute Investigative Fund and the Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that between 2008 and 2016, nearly twice as many terrorist incidents in the U.S. were perpetrated by right-wing extremists, in comparison to Islamic terrorism, according to a report by The Huffington Post.
If Trump bothered to look at statistical data, he’d realize that foreign Muslim terrorists aren’t the greatest threat to the United States, but a right-winged extremist who resides within American borders is.
“The failing New York Times,” “fake news,” and “alternative facts.” These slogans are always on the tip of Trump’s tongue, waiting to be spewed out at the slightest provocation.
Trump frequently targets the American media and tries to turn them into an enemy of the American people. He refuses to take questions from some news agencies during press conferences, verbally berates news reporters, and calls various news outlets such as the New York Times and CNN “fake news,” and refers to lies and fabrications as “alternative facts.”
By discrediting the media and only praising right-wing outlets, Trump convinces the American public that what the media says and reports is a lie, and only he and pro-Trump outlets are to be trusted.
According to CNN Politics, Trump remarked to a room full of children attending the White House for Halloween festivities, ‘“I cannot believe the media produced such beautiful children.” Trump joked with the handful of kids, who were dressed up in costumes ranging from Princess Leia to Batman. “How the media did this, I don’t know.”’
This was incredibly low and despicable. Despise the media if his fragile ego desires, but do not drag innocent children into his convoluted war.
The American free press is supposed to be the unbiased watchdogs of the nation; it is to hold those in the public spotlight accountable, and deliver the truth so we can make informed decisions.
But Trump wants to take that away. When the free press is silenced, a democracy dies.
Trump claims to love and respect women. His abundant tweets and public remarks include criticizing women’s looks and their bodies and their ability to perform a job. They are dripping with sexist and misogynist undertones.
His comments prove that he views women not as human beings who are his equals, but as sex objects, who are nothing more than a vagina, pair of breasts, and whose only job is to be a doting housewife who’s always available for sex. Need proof?
“Women, you have to treat them like shit.”
“I tell my friends to ‘be rougher’ with their wives.”
“Rosie O’Donnell is disgusting – both inside and out. If you take a look at her, she’s a slob. How does she even get on television?”
“It must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees.”
“You could see there was blood coming out of her [Megyn Kelly’s] eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
“If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?”
“For a man to be successful he needs support at home, not someone who is always griping and bitching.”
And then there was the infamous Access Hollywood tape scandal. In 2005, Trump was caught on tape with TV personality Billy Bush saying when you’re a wealthy and powerful man, you can get away with grabbing women “by the pussy.”
Trump deflected the allegation by accusing former president Bill Clinton of doing worse. Then he dismissed the accusations as “locker room talk,” but even professional athletes were perplexed and disgusted by the comparison.
Locker room talk is a man talking about a date he went on the previous night with a woman he met on Tinder. Locker room talk is another man describing how the sex was that morning with his wife. Locker room talk is another guy describing how attractive he thought one of the cheerleaders was.
Trump’s comment was not locker room talk. It was bragging about sexual assault.
It’s nearly one year later into his presidential term, and Trump’s presidency shines about as bright as a chunk of coal that desperately wishes it could be a diamond. Trump has proven himself to be a liar, a hypocrite, a narcissist and a relentless bully – the opposite of what the president of the United States should be. He criticizes former president Barack Obama every opportunity he gets, and viciously berates anyone who questions him or his authority.
The United States’ political and social atmosphere is incredibly volatile, and if Trump is a master at anything, it’s of fanning the flames. As president, he should be extinguishing these flames, but one year later, Trump continues to play with fire, and does not care who gets burned.