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U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said on Sept. 27 that she was heartbroken and prayerful as House Democrats moved forward with their impeachment inquiry and that President Donald Trump's actions left her no other choice.

"This is a very sad time for our country. There is no joy in this," she said. "We must be somber, we must be prayerful and we must pursue the facts further."

An ABC News report on its interview with Pelosi captures what Americans distrust about the media and dislike about Washington D.C.: It’s phony.

Pelosi is heartbroken, sad, somber and prayerful about needing to impeach Trump? This is reported as if true by a premier news outlet; it’s not meant as satire. The reporter does not challenge her statement, but reports on her feelings sympathetically.

Pelosi is, of course, the opposite of heartbroken, sad, somber and prayerful about her party’s pursuit of Trump. So why would she say, and why would ABC News report, something so obviously false?

Some people will believe the news report and thereby conclude that her motives are noble. Ordinary people who say they are heartbroken, sad, somber and prayerful don’t usually choose those words to describe an event they seek with maniacal fury.

Pelosi is also coaching those who share her passion: she’s signaling her team to pretend to be somber and thoughtful as they move against Trump. And sure enough: Adam Schiff claimed at Northwestern last Thursday, he was “reluctant” to pursue Trump’s impeachment.

Politico reports (https://www.politico.com/news/2019/09/29/democrats-impeachment-messaging-donald-trump-010934) that Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos convened a private conference call on Sunday to discuss messaging after Pelosi played prayerful for ABC.

In the call, Bustos emphasized that Democrats in “swing” districts like ours should pre-test what they say about impeaching Trump with polling. The Pelosi-Bustos team advised their members to echo her phoniness in the hope of propagating the “right” image.

They focus on sounding like good leaders, not on being good leaders. They pretend to prayerfully exercise political power because their polling tells them to say that, not because their conscience demands it.

Pelosi’s statement, Bustos’ strategy and ABC’s reporting are all about manipulation; each reflects a casual disregard for truth and reality that’s a systematic problem with our entrenched political culture. Pelosi, Bustos and ABC focus on making their falsehoods your truth. This is why we call D.C . “the swamp”.

For those of us who still are willing to call “BS” on powerful elites, the contrast between Pelosi/Bustos and President Donald Trump is instructive.

Trump is authentic. He is funny and blunt and sometimes boorish. He is neither effete nor polished in the art of obfuscation. His feelings are genuine and expressed directly and sometimes inappropriately. Trump does not speak in euphemisms; Trump does not lead by misleading. He doesn’t poll test a message or ape what he’s been told you want to hear.

He is an extraordinary ordinary man. He’s like each of us, only more so. And he has been stalwart against those trying to sell an extreme ideology through mass misdirection. Trump, despite his vices, has come to represent, and now fights for, the political virtues that we expect of American leaders, the virtues that Pelosi, Bustos and ABC News merely pretend to have.

Trump is not perfect, but his willingness to stand and fight for us in the face of the constant onslaught is inspirational.

We believe in reality and news that empowers individuals to judge for themselves; we believe good leaders lead forthrightly, not by misleading; and we stand with Trump, with each other and with anyone else that truly wants to make and keep America great.

Jan Weber of Geneseo is the Republican State Central committeewoman for Illinois' 17th Congressional District.

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