Truth trumps all

Yejean Kim

There is a popular meme circulating on Twitter, and the rest of the internet, of a baby in its mother’s arms at a Donald Trump rally. The baby is looking away in irritation, fear and with the possible first pangs of parental resentment at its mother, reaches out to Trump, a presidential hopeful,  while screaming hysterically. The iteration that sticks in my mind the most is the meme captioned, “WHEN YOU REALIZE YOUR PARENTS WANT YOU TO INHERIT A SCORCHED EARTH.”

Unfortunately, I have felt the same emotions as that baby. This happened over the summer, a couple of days before I left for school. I was perusing the morning news on my laptop and snorting at the latest Trump story when my mom asked me what I was laughing at. I told her. She said, “Yes, he’s ridiculous, but the things he says are true.”

I looked at her in horror, sure she was joking, but she was calmly salting her eggs without a hint of sarcasm. It was shocking, but because proving my mother wrong is a hobby of mine, I decided to see if what she was saying was true. The question I was hoping to answer through my research was simply this: Is Donald Trump an arbiter of truth?

My answer? Yup.

This might shock some people who know me personally, but let me finish. The word “arbiter” means “a person who has the sole or absolute power of judging or determining,” and that’s exactly what Trump does with reality. He is the sole decider of the truth, and he is dedicated to preaching it to anyone who will listen. However, after schooling myself in all things Trump, I’ve realized that this isn’t his biggest problem.

Anyone who follows Trump knows that he is a veritable master at talking about people behind their backs. The most infamous example is what he said about fellow Republican candidate Carly Fiorina’s face in a profile published in Rolling Stone: “Look at that face…Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”

The remark earned him the righteous indignation of feminists and mainstream media alike. The comment was addressed in the recent Republican debate when moderator Jake Tapper asked Fiorina to respond to it. She replied, “I think women all over this country very clearly heard what Mr. Trump said.” Her retort was snappy, well-aimed and unfortunately, ended up (sorry) trumping the real issue at hand. Namely, that Trump never owns up to the things he says.

Emma Nash, ‘16, agrees.

“The fact that Donald Trump is a candidate that Americans are seriously considering makes me think it’s all a terrible satire gone wrong,” Nash said.

To be fair, most politicians are skilled at the art of the backtrack. However, most politicians choose to deploy this when backed into a corner over serious issues like war or budget crises, not over he-said she-said antics. If Trump can’t even own up to a small fry like calling someone ugly, how would he fare in the White House? Would he be honest while he drove our country into the ground? Or would he make some kind of jocular remark, deny his own accountability and then make some more empty promises?

I can only think of one president who was as good at denial as Trump is, and he exited in infamy after one of the biggest political scandals in history.

So, yes mother, the things Trump says are true—to himself. But if he can’t even own up to his own truths, what’s the use?