Superman, Kryptonite and facts says Jeannette Strong (opinion)
September 17, 2018
"Facts are to Trump supporters as Kryptonite is to Superman."
Everyone knows the story of Superman. He came from Krypton, he has superpowers, and green Kryptonite can hurt and even kill him. "Kryptonite" has become a symbolic term for something that seriously harms or weakens someone.
Die-hard supporters of President Donald Trump should know that feeling. Facts are accumulating showing how Trump has continuously lied to and manipulated the American people. His followers are now forced to either ignore those facts and live in a permanent state of denial, or acknowledge them and allow their belief in Trump to die.
Several of Trump's biggest lies revolve around the economy. Trump has touted the major economic "turnaround," which he attributes solely to himself. On Aug. 18, the Reno Gazette-Journal said that Nevada was in its 90th consecutive month of positive job creation, now 91 months. As of Sept. 20, President Trump will have been in office for 20 months.
Nevada was hit very hard by the Great Recession, but two years under President Barack Obama moved Nevada into positive job growth. Our economy is expanding. If Trump gets credit for the 20 months of job growth in Nevada since he's been in office, who gets credit for the 71 months before that? Anyone?
The stock market is another area where Trump claims credit. The current market hit bottom on March 9, 2009, less than two months after Obama took office. It started climbing then and hasn't stopped. That's nine and a half years of growth. Again, Trump has been in office 20 months. What about the previous seven and a half years?
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Trump also insists he has no connections to Russia. A new book, "House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia," documents the long history behind Trump's alleged money laundering for the Russian mob.
"An alleged Kazakh money-laundering network channelled millions through apartment sales at the Trump SoHo … in Florida, 63 Russians, some with political connections, spent $100m buying property at seven Trump-branded luxury towers, Reuters established. The money was not exclusively from the former Soviet Union: at the Trump Panama, some of it allegedly belonged to Latin American drug traffickers." (Financial Times, 7/12/18)
We know Russia interfered in our election. Since we haven't seen Trump's tax returns, we don't know exactly what he owes Russia, but we know he seems afraid to confront President Putin in any way. Why?
Trump claims "no collusion" with Russia, so let's call it conspiracy instead — "a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful." On June 3, 2016, a man named Rob Goldstone emailed Donald Trump Jr. saying, "The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with [Emin Agalarov's] father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton] and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father." A hostile foreign country offered something tangible to the Trump campaign — dirt on Hillary Clinton.
"Campaigns may not solicit or accept contributions from foreign nationals." (Federal Elections Commission). Information has value, and willingness to accept foreign contributions of money or information is a crime, even if nothing material results. On June 3, Trump Jr. responded, "If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer."
Several emails followed, confirming the time and attendees for the meeting. This was a carefully planned event, held on June 9. When the meeting was revealed a month later, the cover-up began. Trump even dictated a statement to disguise the true purpose of the meeting. For Trump followers to believe this was not a conspiracy to commit a crime, they have to shut their eyes to all of the facts surrounding this meeting.
I created the opening quote based on my experiences with Trump supporters who choose to ignore reality because it hurts too much. Trump lied about the economic turnaround. He lied about his ties to Russia. His lies are surfacing faster than he can suppress them. Books are being written about this phenomenon. At some point, his followers will have to acknowledge the truth.
As one attorney put it, "[The] world around Donald Trump and his criminal enterprise [is] crumbling." His followers have to choose whether to ignore reality, or let the "Kryptonite" of facts kill their false beliefs and adulation for Trump. For the health of the nation, I hope they let them die.
Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.