We can disagree on politics. We can disagree on building a wall or tearing down Obamacare. We can even disagree as to whether CNN is a fake news outlet. (Well, actually, no we can’t. It’s not.)
But we absolutely cannot disagree on which of the first families — the one leaving the White House or the one coming into it — has more class, decency and the kind of family values that so many evangelicals and others purport to espouse. The Obamas have handled unprecedented and unjustified disrespect with a grace that I’m not sure any other presidential family — Democrat, Republican or Whig — could have mustered. Donald Trump can’t even handle an SNL joke.
What’s most striking about the photo collage that I created above is the double-standard at play. Can you imagine the vitriolic hatred that would be spewed had the Obamas been pictured in the exact same way that the Trumps are as they were coming in to the White House? Flip-flop the roles in the photos, and the Trumps would be seen as restoring decency to the White House from a disgusting, trashy family. The problem is that even without flip-flopping the photos, many Trumpists still see decency being restored.
But that’s the kind of double-standards the Obamas have faced all along. It comes from the same people who thanked President Bush for “keeping us safe” but would have called for Obama’s head had 9/11 happened on his watch. I didn’t blame Bush then or now for 9/11, but you know that Obama would have been dragged out of D.C. by pitchfork-toting right-wing nutjobs and actual fake news consumers had it occurred under him. These are the same folks who would have hurled the worst kind of insults at Michelle Obama — perhaps the coolest first lady ever — if she had posed for the kinds of photo shoots Melania Trump has done.
I guess those kinds of folks look at this picture and see a “privileged” Obama family juxtaposed with simple, decent folks who relate to common Americans, a family led by a man who scratched and clawed and wisely bankruptcied and smartly tax-dodged his way to the top starting with a mere $1 million loan from daddy and a third wife who fell in love with Donald Trump for his charm and good orange looks.
Fact is: If you can put politics aside and still prefer the family on the left over the family on the right, fake news is not your biggest problem — that, my lost friend, would be delusion.