By Linn Washington, Jr.
London -- In a rational world where the rules of arithmetic apply it just doesn't add up to declare that 40,000 is mathematically more significant than 500,000.
But in the fact-free world of Donald Trump 40,000 counts more than 500,000"at least that is Republican Trump's new math as it applies to people in the United Kingdom.
Over 500,000 Brits have signed a petition to ban Trump from entering the U.K. because of his hateful declarations, particularly his call to ban Muslims from entering the United States. That ban-Trump petition had 577,023 signatures as of Jan. 20 --- a figure that keeps increasing.
Yet, typical of Trump, he saw more significance in the 40,000-plus British signatures on a petition opposing any blocking of his entry.
Trump insisted he has "many more fans than naysayers" across the U.K. when he responded to a British reporter at a campaign stop in Iowa hours after the U.K.'s Parliament concluded it's Monday January 18th debate on those ban/no-ban petitions.
And in The Donald's fact-free world it never computed in his mind that the Parliamentary debate began with an announcement that 30,000 of the 42,898 signatures on the don't-ban-Trump petition had been removed because there was serious suspicion that those 30,000 signatures were not valid. That announcement in Parliament about removal of the questioned signatures stated those deleted signatures appeared to have originated from a single source.
Of course The Donald probably sees the ban-him petition as being trumped by British poll results stating 24 percent of Brits support his ban Muslim entry idea.
Trump saw big pluses in the Parliament debate about him despite the unflattering descriptions of him which were a core feature of that debate. These included members of parliament calling Trump as a buffoon, corrosive, an idiot, poisonous and a xenophobe, all appellations that flowed from both supporters and opponents of the ban petition.
Trump told the British reporter in Iowa that he saw it as a "great honor" to have ben the focus of a Parliament debate. Trump told that reporter that he was "very happy" with what happened in Parliament -- presumably what didn't happen: significant support for the ban.
Parliament took no official action on the ban or not-ban petitions because the authority in the U.K. to ban entry rests not with Parliament but with the the U.K. Home Secretary -- the equivalent of the US Secretary of the Interior. The "ban Trump" petition has garnered more signatures than any public petition sent to Parliament, it was announced during the debate.
Even the U.K's ruling conservative government voiced opposition to Trump's ban-Muslims posture. The U.K. government's official statement, read into the record during that Parliament debate, stated in part: "The Prime Minister has made clear that he completely disagrees with Donald Trump's remarks. The Home Secretary has said that Donald Trump's remarks in relation to Muslims are divisive, unhelpful and wrong."
While U.K Prime Minister David Cameron proclaimed opposition to Trump's remarks he quickly displayed a Trump-like penchant for sticking his foot deeply into his mouths.
Cameron drew quick criticism for his announcement that migrant spouses of Muslim men must pass English language proficiency tests or face deportation.