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Bizarre Comments Aren’t A Surprise Anymore

President Trump made a bizarre offhand comment at a Republican fundraiser last week that was largely overlooked in favor of the standard dysfunction at the White House. While deriding sustainable energy alternatives, in his usual freewheeling style he said about windmills, “They say the noise causes cancer, you tell me that one.” Though it was just an ad-lib dropped for a few laughs from a friendly audience, it symbolized something strange about this president.

Noise from windmills does not cause cancer. Whether he was kidding or not, the President of the United States is the most powerful person on earth with the loudest microphone. It is dangerous for someone in that position to casually suggest something that is so blatantly untrue, citing “they say” as his source. He’s famous for these comical tirades that make for great television.

As a reality TV goofball, Trump could say outlandish things like this and it was funny, part of his bloviating charm. But he’s president now and his words have real implications carrying with them the authority of the office.

If any other elected official said this it would be breaking news. Windmills are scattered across the country by the thousands. If a person of authority claims they cause cancer that is an enormous concern to families who live near them.

Ho hum. Just another outrageous remark. Where are the Congresspeople with windmills in their districts reassuring constituents that this is not true? If it is true we should probably do something about that.

He’s making it up as he goes along.

While discussing trade with Germany in The White House he said, “my father is German, was German. Born in a very wonderful place in Germany.” His father, Fred Trump was born in New York City. What did he gain by this?

Politicians deceive, spin, backtrack, doublespeak, flip-flop all the time. We expect this. We don’t let them get away with pure fiction. He opens the door for public officials to lie with impunity since it works so well.

It feels like he is playing a big joke on all of us just to see what we’ll fall for. Or, we excuse his nearly 10,000 lies (by the Washington Post tally) as bravado and salesman-like exaggeration. Critics try to keep up, but the disinformation comes at such a pace that it’s futile.

He blurs the lines of what’s real and what isn’t real, leaving us with too much to sort through. It’s getting harder to tell the difference between reality TV and the news–a combination of pro-wrestling and the biggest, strongest country in the history of the world.

One thing is for sure. Upstate New York has several massive wind farms. They do not cause cancer!

Derek Smith is a Frewsburg native.

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