The Alternative to Facts

The reality of President Trump is driving the Left crazy—from the smears of “fake news” to this week’s hullaballoo over “alternative facts.” The media this week is attacking the crowds at Donald Trump’s inauguration and to continue their war of delegitimization against the new president. In this, they have been complicit in not just spreading actual fake news, as Trump rightly called out CNN for doing, but in building an entire alternative world out of their supposed facts.

We’re a few days out from the inauguration and we’re still seeing the same lame arguments about Trump not being a “legitimate” president. It started anew with Democratic congressman John Lewis announcing his boycott of the inauguration. Now the narrative of Trump’s legitimacy is still being debated everywhere from CNN to Buzzfeed. The way our media speaks, one supposes, we’re in the midst of some tyrannical usurpation unprecedented in the history of the republic, instead of an election that simply didn’t turn out the way a lot of people wanted it to go.

Truth is, we are just engaging in the time-honored traditions of America. Trump was dutifully elected by the Electoral College. He has spoken for the concerns of millions of Americans beyond the coastal bubbles of media elites. He restated those concerns in his inaugural address.

If anyone having a crisis of legitimacy today, it is the media-entertainment complex.

From Hollywood to the editorial rooms of the east coast, the media is no longer speaking to the people, but is speaking at them. Meryl Streep’s shallow bit of performance pity at the recent Golden Globe awards typified this. While railing against Trump and his supporters, she took a swipe at people who watch “football and mixed martial arts”—in other words, millions of average Americans.

Victor Davis Hanson talks about the divide in America as a growing country/urban split. It is one in which the very language we speak is leading America in two different directions:

Language is also different in the countryside. Rural speech serves, by its very brevity and directness, as an enhancement to action. Verbosity and rhetoric, associated with urbanites, were always rural targets in classical literature, precisely because they were seen as ways to disguise reality so as to advance impractical or subversive political agendas.

“Disguising reality” is key. Today’s moribund media outlets don’t just represent the biased coastal bubbles, but an entire alternative to the reality most Americans are living.

Across the demographic spectrum, rural Americans have been hammered by the loss of jobs, dignities, and families for the last several decades. Many, including our most recent former president, sought to pathologize these Americans as “bitter clingers” or attempt to understand them as merely “ignorant” of the causes of their hardships.

Neither of these views will do.

Today Trump set out in his first week in office. He immediately pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and had robust meetings about keeping jobs in America. He’s acting for the people, as he intoned Friday in his inaugural address.

In their lame attempts to delegitimize the president, the media isn’t just offering a counterfactual narrative about the world to Trump, but it serves up this nonsense to the very people of our country upon whom they rely for their vast good fortune.

For the rest of America, we don’t live in the alternative reality of the media mavens and entertainment elite, but rather in the world of cold, hard, facts that have only been addressed by President Trump.

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About Alexander Habighorst

Alexander Habighorst is a southerner living in exile in the beltway. His work has appeared in the Daily Caller, Townhall.com, The Baltimore Sun and elsewhere. You can follow him on twitter @AlexHabighorst