By Lauren Kelly, Editor-in-Chief
It’s official. The Trump we saw running for the nomination, and the Trump we saw campaigning for president, and the Trump we saw as president-elect—those are all the exact same Trump we’ll be seeing as president. That is, unless he somehow shows growth as he continues in the position, but seeing his handling of the political game so far, that seems unlikely.
Since becoming President Trump on Friday, he has continued to wage his war on the media. He has lied about the weather at his inauguration, stating that the rain stopped for his speech and resumed immediately following it, which was God’s way of helping him out. This was called out by media organizations, including the Washington Post, for being a complete lie; it did rain during the beginning of his speech, and it didn’t resume after it.
Another, more egregious lie came in the form of his estimated inauguration turnout. While he claimed there were at least one million people there, pictures were released by the media showing the actual size of the crowd to be significantly smaller than Obama’s, and also much smaller than Trump’s own estimates.
This lying has been a persistent theme of his time in politics, and when the media reacts or releases facts to prove him wrong, he lashes out, going as far as to say that journalists “are some of the most dishonest people on earth” in a speech given to the CIA on Saturday.
Unfortunately, it goes deeper than Trump. His press secretary, Sean Spicer, said that the administration would “hold the media accountable” for spreading falsehoods such as these.
This is an incredibly dangerous rhetorical precedent to set. By creating a them vs. us relationship with journalists, the Trump administration is effectively creating an environment in which they can lie to their supporters and to Americans, and then cast doubt on any reporting to the contrary. If the media is out to get Donald Trump, what would stop them from falsely calling him a liar?
Additionally, Spicer stated that Trump will still be maintaining his Twitter account throughout his presidency, even though the account has been infamous for creating controversy. This means that he’ll have another way to reach out to his supporters to spread falsehoods and foster resentment between the two sides.
This isn’t to say everything he’s said is false—he’s made good on some campaign promises already, including beginning his work on dismantling the Affordable Care Act, which is guaranteed to damage the working class Americans that he is supposed to be championing; and officially pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a move that was praised by Bernie Sanders and opposed by many Republicans.
As is discussed in our feature, women and male allies marched in the millions around the world in protest of women’s rights abuses and the election of a man who would continue the abuses. As if to prove them right, on January 23 Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, which disallows NGOs around the world to receive US funding if they use or recommend abortion as a method of family planning. This will stop many women around the world from receiving health care that they need, especially in cases of medically-necessary abortions, and will increase the rates of desperate women seeking out illegal abortion venues, which can be incredibly dangerous.
All in all, Trump is still incredibly divisive, and he will continue to lie about his mistakes. On January 23, Spicer apologized for propagating lies about the size of the inauguration, stating that since the press can apologize for mistakes, he should be able to as well when he is given false information. It’s our job as the media to keep Trump and his administration honest, and to keep their backs up against the wall when they’re trying to weasel out of lies. Hopefully, with honest reporting, we can fight back against the wave of false news and help keep everyone—including his ardent supporters—informed on what’s really happening.