When Trump stretches the truth, it hurts the earth

He is driving the oil and plastic economy when countries are leaving them behind to save the environment.

Published: Wed 14 Aug 2019, 9:43 PM

Last updated: Wed 14 Aug 2019, 11:44 PM

Trust US President Donald Trump to claim credit for America's economic revival and saving the earth when he wasn't even in the race for the presidency. The year was 2012 and President Barack Obama was firmly in the saddle when Shell announced its oil and plastics facility in western Pennsylvania. The facility was launched on Tuesday and Trump and his entourage where present for their share of the limelight and the shenanigans kept rolling off the president's tongue. Trump, in fact, was in campaign mode - he always is. But such are the ways of this White House that it treads where no president has gone before before - where showmanship and one-upmanship are two sides of the same coin.

Truth is the victim when you are speaking to your chosen audience, your mass base that elected you to power three years ago. They will lap it up for they have already made up their minds. Then this is election season and Trump has a head-start over his Democratic rivals who are cannibalising each other through debates before a survivor makes it out alive bearing political scars to take on Trump. There are no serious contenders in the Republican Party who will fight him over issues, or more importantly, in defence of the truth. The Grand Old Party now bears Trump's stamp and is reimagining itself under the tutelage of the current president. The party of Ronald Reagan is now in Trump's shadow and has been subsumed by his excesses.

Trump's trysts with falsehood and his sparring with the truth has pushed more important issues of the day to the backburner. He is driving the oil and plastic economy when countries are leaving them behind to save the environment. He claims climate change is a hoax as he courts oil companies. His job figures are off target when he claims 600,000 jobs have been created (only 500,000 have been created since he took over the presidency according to US labour department figures). But what takes the cake is when he defends Shell's investment in plastics and claims American plastic is not polluting the ocean. "It's plastics that's floating over in the ocean and the various oceans from other places," he says glibly which he expects us to believe without a sliver of doubt. That's stretching the truth like elastic. When will it snap, is the question.

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