As President Donald Trump has rushed to proclaim as “fake” everything he doesn’t like (see: investigations into his campaign’s ties to Russia, his approval ratings, the media), a surprising new brand of authenticity has emerged ― one that counters the contrived fakeness of Trump with, well, “real.”
Here are a few of the surprising people and groups trying to keep Trump in check:
The famous dictionary’s Twitter account has regularly acted to correct the president’s record (to say nothing of his spelling).
In a Super Bowl full of surprises, for many, the biggest surprise of all was how many advertisers used their costly airtime to take on Trump and his policies.
Scarce were the stereotypical ads of yore featuring scantily clad women and poorly disguised lies about beer. In their place ran numerous, surprisingly emotional spots, ones that highlighted the power of diversity, empowered women, and ― in several instances ― clearly endorsed immigrants and their contribution to the American fabric in the face of Trump’s proposed ban against immigrants from majority-Muslim countries.
The Twitter account Emergency Puppy started as an innocent attempt to fill Twitter users’ timelines with painfully adorable photos. But the account got deeper as Trump took office, pairing those cute pup photos with philosophical quotes about politics, justice and resistance.
More than 640,000 people currently follow the account, which was created in November 2011.
National park workers handle everything from bears and alligators to armed suspects trying to hide from the law.
When Trump announced his Muslim travel ban, Death Valley National Park’s official Twitter account also handled some history lessons, helpfully reminding Americans of the shameful Japanese internment camps it once hosted.
Badlands, Redwood and countless other national park accounts have shared facts about climate change throughout Trump’s time in the White House. The administration even asked the National Park Service to temporarily stop using Twitter after its official account retweeted someone’s post comparing the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration to that of the crowd at the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Did Trump really think he could silence them by muzzling their Twitter accounts? Instead, he only added more fuel, turning it from a cozy marshmallow-roasting campfire into a raging inferno of dissent.
In the past, when conservative policies needed a moral backing, they often found refuge in papal proclamations. Pope Francis has bucked that tradition, instead urging world leaders ― Trump included ― to help the less fortunate by doing things like combating climate change, which he called a “sin,” and to embrace “the “poor, refugees and marginalized.”
“We live in cities that throw up skyscrapers and shopping centers and strike big real estate deals,” Pope Francis said in a video earlier this year that seemed clearly aimed at Trump. “The result of this situation is that great sections of the population are excluded and marginalized: without a job, without options, without a way out. Don’t abandon them.”
There’s no shortage of people who think athletes should avoid politics and just stick to sports. But we live in a time when NFL quarterback John Elway think it’s appropriate to use Broncos letterhead to endorse a Supreme Court candidate, wo we might have crossed the “sports and politics don’t mix” line a long time ago.
Enter Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, a devout Christian, who has grown more outspoken in calling out Trump. In an interview earlier this year, Curry called Trump an “asset,” but only “if you remove the ‘et.’”
“I don’t get in people’s faces and out in the streets with a bullhorn [spreading my message] that way,” Curry said. “But every opportunity I have to show love, to show respect, to show just that positivity, I feel like that’s my job and that’s what I stand for.”
Pete Souza’s Instagram account
Souza was the official White House photographer for former President Barack Obama. Now, he’s putting his photos to work on Instagram, where he’s made a name for himself by visually contrasting Trump’s conduct with that of his predecessor.
After Trump blamed Democrats for the failure of the GOP’s initial attempt to overturn Obamacare, Souza published a 2010 photo of Obama meeting with Republicans, including Mike Pence:
When Trump declined to throw the opening pitch at opening day of the Washington Nationals game (a tradition that dates back to 1910), Souza was quick to post a photo of Obama getting in a couple warmup throws. And after Trump’s notoriously awkward first meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Souza dropped this gem:
The famous jeweler has always touted the ethical sourcing and responsible mining of its diamonds, but the company took its climate-friendly stance a step further when it issued a direct plea to Trump to keep the U.S. in the Paris Climate Agreement. The company called climate change a “disaster” and a “threat to our planet and to our children.”
“The Big Bang Theory”
The CBS hit comedy has taken hits at the president at the end of some episodes via the vanity card ― a graphic featuring production company logos that typically pops up after a show’s end credits. In addition to a jab at Trump’s former reality show “The Apprentice,” producer Chuck Lorre also used the card to slam Trump’s campaign slogan.
“‘Make America great again’ is a bumper sticker for victimhood,” Lorre wrote on a vanity card in November 2016.
Whoever runs the “House Of Cards” Twitter account
When it first started airing in 2013, the hit Netflix series was no more than a dark political drama, focused on a scheming man with a twisted worldview, obsessed with the pursuit of power. Fast forward a couple years, and it’s turned into an uncomfortable reflection of reality.
That isn’t lost on whoever runs the “House of Cards” Twitter account, which has taken to sharing pithy, dark lines from President Frank Underwood as they become relevant in the real world.
After Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, for instance, “House of Cards” subtweeted Trump with a gif of Underwood smiling.
“When you’re fresh meat, kill and throw them something fresher,” the tweet said.
Even Trump’s Inauguration Day wasn’t spared from the show’s snark.