“Alternative facts” stretch truth until broken


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky. on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. Photo by Michael Reaves | Staff.

Savon Gray

Kellyanne Conway, President Donald Trump’s official counselor, rattled the brains of nearly every logically thinking person as she referred to a blatant lie as an “alternative fact.”

In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Conway was questioned about why the White House press secretary made claims that the crowd at President Trump’s inauguration was, “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.”

“You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving—Sean Spicer, our press secretary—gave alternative facts,” Conway said.

No, Ms. Conway, this is a lie. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a lie is “an assertion of something known or believed by the speaker or writer to be untrue with intent to deceive.”

Watching some of the highest members of our government deliberately lie to our faces, while covering it up by deeming these lies “alternative facts” feels like a strong slap to the face.

According to research conducted by The Learning Curve, the United States ranks fourteenth out of 44 countries in “cognitive skills and educational attainment.” America may not have the highest percentage of educated citizens, but how stupid do our leaders believe us to be?

Comparing the crowds from both President Trump’s and President Barack Obama’s inauguration, it is obvious that Spicer’s claim was false. The crowd at Trump’s inauguration was noticeably smaller than the crowd at Obama’s and there is no alternative way to view this. Squinting your eyes or turning your head will not magically make President Trump’s crowd larger.

When prominent members of the media like FOX host Bill O’Reilly make claims that slaves who worked to build the White House, “were well fed and had decent lodgings,” in response to former First Lady Michelle Obama stating that slaves indeed built the presidential estate, we can see how alternative facts will be used.

Slaves being treated as animals, being subject to terrible conditions and having their humanity stripped? Alternative fact: slaves loved what they were doing. The slaughter of millions of Native Americans? Alternative fact. Dropping a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima? Alternative fact.

This seems obvious, but we cannot let these lies be twisted, flipped and construed as “alternative facts.” Although a portion of the American public is knowledgeable and responsible enough to refute these “alternative facts,” there is another portion consisting of those that support President Trump, which will fight to make “alternative facts” a standing part of the American dialect.

Being able to refer to blatant lies as “alternative facts” will help serve the agenda to erase and hide parts of American history, as well as let public officials lie directly to our faces. We deserve better.