Please stop focusing on Trump’s inauguration, on Melania, and whether his Press Secretary lies

Please stop commenting about Trump’s inauguration, whether the White House Press Secretary was lying, and comparing Melania to Michelle Obama

Iimg_4862 don’t care that fewer people attended Trump’s inauguration than Obama’s in 2009. I don’t care that there were row upon row of empty seats. If Trump wants to think the sun shone, so be it, even though most of us could see the rain. To be honest, if just one person from some backwater attended the inauguration, accompanied only by his pet raccoon, it would not change anything. Donald Trump is POTUS, the President of the United States.

Hillary may have won the popular vote but that, too, changes nothing. The Electoral College system operated by the 50 federated states gave Trump a clear margin of victory. When last was a British Prime Minister elected with a majority of the popular vote? Blair peaked at 43.2%, Cameron at 43.9%. Labour’s post-war high water mark of 48.8% was 1951 when it lost power to the Conservatives who polled 44.8%. Such is the nature of Britain’s ‘electoral college’ – the number of seats secured in the House of Commons dictates who moves into No 10.

The bizarre performance of Sean Spicer, Trump’s Press Secretary, who used his first briefing to rant about ‘press inaccuracies’ regarding the inauguration, is attracting much comment. Press Secretaries have always, lied, spun or discombobulated (to use one of Alastair Campbell’s favourite words). Do you think White House Press Secretaries have always told the truth, about the coup in Chile, or the bombing of Vietnam, or about Bill Clinton and whether he did what we assume he did in spite of official denials?

And as for Melania Trump, give her a break. Her poor taste in men may have made her rich and famous, but she will have had little say in whether she ever wanted to become FLOTUS (First Lady of .. etc.). She would have had little say whether QVC was mentioned on the White House web page in relation to her range of jewellery. She would have had no say over the crude antics of The Donald. I wonder if she ever got an apology.

She is not Michelle Obama, nor should she be and nor should she try to be. One does a disservice to both women to suggest that Michelle sneered as she turned away from the Trumps when Melania gave her a gift after the two couples greeted each other at the White House shortly before the inauguration.

The issue isn’t about two women and whether they get on. The issue is the tens of millions of women from around the world who took to the streets yesterday (21st January) to protest both at what Trump represents and what he might do to undermine women’s interests, to create a less safe world to live in, to deny women control over their bodies. The scale and nature of those demonstrations is unprecedented. The BBC obsesses about the trivia, yet struggled to provide decent coverage of the issues behind the women’s march.

While we all may have been commenting on the irrelevant – the smoke screen put up by his Machine – Trump had already begun dismantling Obama-care, reversing decades of advancement on human rights, appointing people who are no friends of the environment. And his appointments to the Supreme Court will have an impact far beyond his Presidency.

While some will continue to obsess about whether the porta loos were needed or used at the inauguration, who knows what else he might be doing? His 3am rants on twitter are irrelevant, less so what he is doing by Executive Order at 9am. They don’t, as some people suggest, go to his state of mind. He knows exactly what he is doing. He is ruthless. He is singleminded. He is already changing, for the worse, what the United States is, domestically and internationally. That is scary and that is why the women’s marches – the start of a new movement of non-violent, passive resistance – are so important.

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One thought on “Please stop focusing on Trump’s inauguration, on Melania, and whether his Press Secretary lies

  1. You are confusing an understanding of the danger presented by the people being appointed by Trump and the policies being intitated with an interest in the signs of kleptocracy and dictatorship. Yes I do want to know if Spicer is lying, to what extent and on what subject. It gives me clues to other things that have or maybe be about to happen. I do not care about Melanie Trump and Inseriouslyndoubt that many people are. I didn’t’ even know there was “a thing” going around about her. (By the way comedy skits are not news). I can do both, I can understand the significance of the tweets and I can be attentive to policy! Thanks

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