Understand, I’m not taking any side concerning President Donald Trump at all. I’m just confused, somewhat, by some of the things coming out of the White House.
He’s been upset for some time about fake news — ranting about it and suggesting some major media players such as the New York Times and CNN engage in using it — and yet he battles factual reports of how many people showed up at his inauguration and members of his staff start spouting off about "alternative facts."
Let’s be clear. Alternative facts are lies. A fact, according to Webster Dictionary is, "the quality of being actual; something that has actual existence; an actual occurrence; a piece of information presented as having objective reality." The phrase "In fact," means "in truth."
So, alternative facts are lies. Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer even suggested the difference in the true inauguration numbers and Trump’s belief that it was much larger than reported is simply, "the president believes" his numbers are right and media reports are lies.
This is where the alternative facts statement was made by Kellyanne Conway, a consultant for Trump and a former leader of his election team.
Since all this happened we’ve had the question of the travel ban.
Homeland Security and the Justice Department each made it clear their agencies were not consulted on the executive order nor were they given any guidance on enforcing it.
Large protests throughout the nation as people who already had residency in our nation or green card holders coming to our nation legally were held up at airports. Now, Spicer, who in previous press conferences has called the executive order a "a Muslim ban," is saying it’s not a ban, despite both he and Trump using that language on Monday.
Trump’s responses have been unique. During Saturday’s demonstrations, the president told reporters the executive order was "working out very nicely," before adding, "we’re going to have a very, very strict ban."
His tweet on Monday, as criticism poured in, said, "If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the ‘bad’ would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad ‘dudes’ out there"
Spicer said the president used the word ban because media used the term. This didn’t sit well with reporters, who pointed out those were the president’s words, not theirs.
Spicer said he understood the president used the term ban and was then asked if he was confused or was the president confused?
According to a media report on Tuesday night, since his inauguration, Trump has been named in 41 lawsuits on everything from the travel limitations in the executive order to removing federal funds from sanctuary cities and other things.
Trump has been a successful businessman and a reality show star. I can’t believe he has this much trouble communicating. It might be his insistence to get his campaign promises filled, but it’s not doing him or others any good.
The Mexican president was scheduled to visit Trump. The president told him to come with ideas for the border wall and how Mexico was going to pay for it, or don’t bother coming.
The Mexican president responded by not showing up and telling his people in an address, "Mexico first."
Trump was shocked. He was like a spoiled kid who was told he had to do his homework before playing video games.
Does our president believe if he says something, it should happen? Does he believe the vote giving him the presidency is our nation’s citizens telling him, "do what you want to do to make everything happen the way you said it would?" That’s entitlement, not diplomacy.
Understand, this column isn’t disputing who is president or whether he should be given time to implement his policies. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
But I suggest he and his team get on the same page when it comes to communicating with the press and the public. As it stands, the White House doesn’t realize they are making a mistake until the public tells them they are.
Roger Bluhm is the managing editor of the Dodge City Daily Globe. Follow him on Twitter @roger_dcglobe or email him at email@example.com.