By J. Stewart Cook
The New York Times recently stated that President Trump was “trying to create an atmosphere in which reality is irrelevant.”
I am not a follower of the New York Times, however, from time-to-time I will read their articles, depending on the subject matter. This is one occasion that I did!
What is truly relevant today? What is truth? Even the Bible (The New Testament) did not answer the question, even though Jesus Christ was asked by then leader Pontius Pilate. “Then Pilate said to him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.’ Then Pilate asked, “What is truth?” Christ did not answer.
I think it is a little too late to slap the President with the label…”trying to create an atmosphere in which reality is irrelevant.” When it comes to all forms of media (more so the news media, entertainment media) reality has long become irrelevant. As much as the entertainment world has tried to create so-called “Reality TV Shows,” they are all irrelevant. Most try to project an image that reflects day-to-day lives of individuals. One of the more popular reality shows is “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Why would this, much followed show, not reflect reality? Simple example. I have yet to see any character, in any reality TV show, proceed to have a bowel movement, discover they have hemorrhoids, seek medical attention, proceed with a medical procedure and continue on according to the “reality script.” Of course, all this IS possible but IRRELEVANT!
As children we would often refer to “untruths” as “fibs.” We would usually “fib” for the sake of our own protection or well being (or so we thought). Should we be surprised that such actions would follow us through the rest of our lives. The difference…from “fibs” to “lies.” As adults we lied for the very same reason as when we were children. Note that the subject matters are much more complex in an adult world. Nonetheless, we are prone to “covering up” when need be.
So, here we have the New York Times stating that President Trump was “trying to create an atmosphere in which reality is irrelevant.” Even during the Presidential debates Hillary Clinton said to Donald Trump…“Donald, I know you live in your own reality.” Is this not true though? Do we not all live in our own reality? How do we perceive the world? ‘“Social constructivism” argues that there are simply no objective facts. Instead, every “fact” we believe is a reflection of our socially constructed values, and how we choose to perceive the world. This is not a new theory, and develops many of its ideas from Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche, who examined shifting human values from a historical perspective in the 19th century. But the current political debate offers a vivid demonstration of these ideas.’
It is obvious that each individual perceives the world in the manner they wish to do so. However there are definitely commonalities amongst human beings. This is what creates the “collective.” It would seem, however, that Donald Trump has his own perception of the world, as an individual, yet, his ultimate goal is for the better of the “collective.” Would this then define Donald Trump as a “one man show” with his final curtain call having satisfied the collective?
What is the impact of living in a world “in which reality is irrelevant.” I would presume that Donald Trump would be the one to ask. That being said, would his response be of benefit to us or would it simply cause more consternation. Donald Trump is well versed in changing his views and mind on a constant basis. What was factually stated at a given time may change without notice. Interesting enough, constant change may have minimal impact, on the other hand, it may cause significant harm within a short period of time.
Donald Trump is also demonstrating another phenomenon which has become prevalent over the past decades. He is the “ultimate” authority. In a “secular” or “godless” world, one answers to oneself. There is, of course, the “law of the land,” and the consequences of not respecting such laws, nevertheless, they are limited. Am I no longer my “brother’s keeper?” Should I wish to possess the possessions my brother holds and, even commit murder to obtain such, I will answer to the authorities which govern me on earth and not to the “One” above. The “One” above does not exist! As well, Donald Trump’s fate rests with the electorate. This is a world in itself…the political world.
It is obvious that this is a subject matter which can be examined in great depth. It is one that the philosophers enjoy for it has “truly” no end. For the New York Times it is viewed as a frustration. We are here to report the news, the daily facts, the subject matters which will impact on our daily lives and to provide opinion. If the media is not able to do so, in a coherent way, it might as well “close shop!” It cannot “second guess” the President. That is NOT their role. As we all know, second guessing can lead to “falsehoods,” precisely what they are trying to avoid!
I will leave you with this short tale which may shed some light on the President’s conduct, behaviour and thinking.
Hans Christian Anderson wrote the short tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” It is about two weavers who promise an “emperor” a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent.
One day, upon completion, the weavers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him. When the emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, no one dares to say that they don’t see any suit of clothes on him for fear that they will be seen as “unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent”. The townsfolk play along with the pretense. Then, a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the emperor is wearing nothing at all, and the cry is taken up by others. The emperor suspects the assertion is true but continues the procession.
Even when the President “suspects the assertion is true,” or it is pointed out to him that THIS IS, IN FACT, THE TRUTH, he continues governing according to his own beliefs. At that point, “reality” may, indeed, be “irrelevant.”
Let the President govern the country as he sees fit. His manner of governance may be unconventional, however, this should be of no surprise to us since we witnessed, in the recent election, the manner in which he conducts himself and manages the collective.
IN TRUMP WE TRUST…a reminder that “there is TRUMP everywhere, whether we are conscious or not.”