Counselor to the US President Kellyanne Conway has to be credited for perhaps creating the first new phrase of 2017; Alternative Facts. It’s certainly the most constructive thing to be done by anyone in Donald Trump’s administration since his inauguration on Friday. In a world where the Oxford English Dictionary added roughly 500 new words to the English vocabulary in December 2016, we have to be able to keep up with the newest trends in language, so we will not be lost and confused by what high ranking US officials say to us in their official capacity.
What exactly are Alternative Facts? Well, if we understood Ms. Conway correctly, they are supposed to be the ‘other more acceptable truths which only exist in Trump’s head’. Another interpretation could be ‘what Donald Trump wants you to believe because your senses are in collusion with mainstream media’.
You could tell Ms. Conway had second thoughts about uttering the words ‘Alternative Facts’ and would have been sternly reprimanded by President Trump for her rash statement. After all, it is the President of the country who is supposed to reveal to the American nation how he intends to ‘Make America Great Again’. He probably intends to make an Alternative America where there is no need for fact checking, images from seven years ago no longer exist, no one counts the crowd size at his inauguration, but it can still be quantified period, and the weather changes to sunny only when he speaks.
The term Alternative Facts provides insight into how the Trump Administration really deals with reality; it wishes there were alternatives, and lots of them. If we were to imagine the White House right at this moment, reality is blocked from getting inside by the white walls of the building. Inside, White House staffers and administration officials are talking and thinking in terms of Alternative Facts, Alternative Issues, Alternative Strategies and Alternative Decisions.
We can expect the war between reality and ‘the Alternative Facts’ to rage on for the rest of this administration’s life. Alternative Facts will continue to be used by President Trump to stifle the truth, explain away mistakes and missteps and lay the foundations for poor policies. And, it’s simply brilliant. Alternative Facts can be shown to be false, but they are most likely supported by Alternative Proof. Even if the proof is shown to be misleading, they are supported by Alternative Thinking People, who work and live in the now Alternative White House.