I read this important opinion yesterday. A few years ago I never even had a clue that lies could become facts to so many millions. Is this 1983 or 1984? On another note, I watched The Plot Against the President last night on Amazon. Many right-wingers expressed their outrage that DOJ or FBI would investigate their ideological friends and also a sort of campaign video for Devin Nunes. One of the talking heads in the movie was Kash Patel who was just installed as the new head DODs chief of staff. And to realize that if Trump was not an idiot we would have him for another 4 years (or more) is rather overwhelming.
Good article, good thesis.
Except, that it turns a blind eye to the fresh example here at home, when the Democrats and their corporate media arms blamed the Russians for their loss for the past four years, while never taking any responsibility for their own or the US system’s shortcomings. Hard to believe that this omission is unintentional.
The Powers That Be have been playing the People for millennia, n’est-ce pas?
Good article. Soon we shall see if “in the interest of the Republic and of their own party, Republicans should accept the results.”
Is it all about keeping the trump base and holding onto their power? (i.e. keeping their senate seats). What will be the tipping point if/when they start leaving the ship that will hopefully sink?
The author writes:
“Underestimating Donald Trump is a mistake that people should not go on making. Laughing at him will not make him go away.”
Ruth Ben-Ghiat made that point in an interview while discussing her book Strongmen Mussolini to the Present
While laughter during times of crisis is important I think too much comedy can be problematic especially when it comes to laughing at the existential threat that is trump and his enablers. It (imo) can minimize the threat. trump is much more than an “orange man”. And something that must be at the forefront of all discussion is that he has a personality disorder/mental illness.
In the piece:
"Psychological research suggests that citizens are especially vulnerable to conspiracy theories at the time of elections."
I suspect that citizens are vulnerable to conspiracy theories during pandemics too?
And from the article:
“The more you care about suppressing votes, the less you care about what voters want. And the less you care about voters want, the closer you move to authoritarianism.”
We have been moving toward authoritarianism (since the beginning of the u.s.?) for a long time ----- seems to be picking up steam of late. Read up on the history of gerrymandering that goes back to the 1700’s.
The polls have indicated support for medicare for all and gun restrictions for years but TPTB could care less— as but 2 examples.
Trump’s supporters, 71 million strong, are mostly evangelical Christians, all dangerously supporting Trump’s daily violations of Christian principles. These voters are also largely white, armed and clinging to their privileges while declining economically.
There are no happy ending to this terrible Trump Presidency, which reached the White House by stealing the vote in Wisconsin, with help from Scott Walker.
A large percent of these evangelical nuts expect the Second Coming to happen before the middle of the century. Climate change? Why worry?
Not sure the Soros thing is about a wealthy Jew so much as about a wealthy liberal. Newt himself owes his last political stand to a wealthy Jew. He promised to invade Iran for a casino owner. Sheldon Adelson and other wealthy Jews are part of the funding base and the oracles of the Crack Smoking right.
Yes, America has both a white people problem and a right-wing religious people problem. These are, need I say, pretty much one and the same.
“Is it all about keeping the trump base and holding onto their power?”
That’s only part of it IMO. It’s also holding almost half of the voting public to the idea that Trump was cheated, and our political system is fraudulent and corrupt. This does a couple of things. it keeps these voters riled-up incase they’re needed for violence in the future, and it will be legitimate in these voters eyes, when the far right cheats even worse in the next election to hold on to, gain even more power, or cancel a future election completely. .
What a coincidence to read this superb piece by Timothy Snyder, on the historical “stab in the back” by “leftists and Jews.”
Just this morning one of my Facebook groups, “Iowans Making History,” did a feature on Tom Arnold, the comedian, who is from Ottumwa. Just another Iowan with a small amount of fame. Innocuous, right?
An early commenter stated: “He’s a liberal scum.” Stunned me, and I deleted his comment from my thread.
Geez. So much for Iowa nice. This essay reminded me where Trump’s election lies are taking us.
It is exactly this type of piece - railing against one side’s actions, ignoring the other doing the same, that has caused the legitimacy crisis that is right now crippling media and governments. Can the writer not see that all of the elite are playing the same game? Has he developed amnesia from the last four years of Dems doing exactly what he describes? Or is he just adding his two cents of propaganda for a little piece of payday? Willfully blind or cynically corrupt are the only two possible answers here. And it is disheartening to see so much Dem party propaganda along these lines on CD lately.
We held our noses and voted for Biden and this is what we get for it? A doubling down on the empty, rhetorical BS that built our support for progressive policies in the first place?
It always surprises me a bit that some see virtually no difference between an autocratic party and their media built on disinformation and racism, and a center-left party and their mainstream media attempting to stay in reality. True ugliness vs. decency. Those of us living in the rural sticks understand there are virtually no leftists out here. There are, however, enough centrists to make a difference. Rural America holds more political power than the cities. It ain’t right, but that’s the way our government is set up. You vote centrist and push left or you get Trump or maybe even worse.
Your beat me to it (smile)
“It is always tempting to blame defeat on others. …
He was never defeated, goes the story; he was a victim of a conspiracy. …
[Psychological research] suggests that citizens are especially vulnerable to conspiracy theories at the time of elections.”
I nearly fell off my seat laughing when I read this - change the “he” to “she” and you have the narrative for why Clinton lost in '16. Turnabout is fair play, doncha think?
So now that the “right” person won, apparently our election system is all fixed up, hunky dorey, that is until a R wins again and the Ds can pull “the Russians” off the shelf. Frankly, I thought Trump would blame it on “the Chinese”, he might have had better luck with that …
Thanks for the reply. I see a difference, but I view it as one of style mostly. And I actually had to read your comment a couple of times to see if it was the GOP you were referring to as an ‘autocratic party and their media built on disinformation and racism,’ because it is my opinion that the Democratic party and their media can be described in very much same way. Sure, the Dems are welcoming of all races, creeds and genders on TV and in the party; yes they support with their rhetoric the concepts of equality and justice. But these (not unimportant) concerns are only ever served by weak policies that come to fruition through extremely limited discourse and, in the end, tend to end up hurting black, brown and indigenous people (not to mention poor whites) even more. Nothing that actually challenges power, addresses big problems, or upsets the 1% agenda is ever allowed. The rainbow coalition, once welcomed into and absorbed by the party, is already primed - by design - to be of narrow service to wealth and power at the expense of the rest.
But getting back to this article, we see no acknowledgment of the fact that disinformation is employed by both of the corporate parties and their media. And that’s what burns me. Did we not just live through four years of the great fraud known as Russia-gate, which has completely fallen apart in the last several months under the weight of declassified documents, Congressional testimony and solid investigative journalism? Did we not just watch the Dems proceed through an impeachment while ignoring the very real, impeachable offenses committed by the current president? There has been no day of reckoning on either of these issues, nor the slightest acknowledgment of the hypocrisy inherent in believing these frauds while calling Trump out on the daily for his own lies. Hell, Biden just lied his way to the win, and we have witnessed the DMC cheat its way through two successive primaries. No acknowledgment by this writer of the very dangerous nature of this game, each corporate party and media trying to out-do the other in fooling their base. Only ‘Trump bad’ here. Agreed. But that’s only half of the story.
Centrists allowing themselves to be pushed left is something I’ve never seen in my lifetime. At least not in the White House. FDR? LBJ? I think those are the only times it has happened in recent history, and their moves to the left were forced upon them by a) a massive economic depression and uprisings against the rich by a systematically oppressed poor and b) protests by a courageous and systematically oppressed black community and the violent racism these protests exposed on national TV. In other words, when the people simply couldn’t take it any more.
Perhaps we are at such a moment in history again. I do hope so. I know I can’t take it anymore, as these many words can attest lol. But we already know that Biden won’t budge from his right-leaning perch without the people pushing him. And people like this writer aid and abet the kind of hypocrisy and siloed thinking that may let him get away with doing nothing at all.
I think in the case of FDR - an additional factor was a real threat perceived from 3rd parties, alive and well at the time, socialists - that he had to “save capitalism” from. Since then 3rd parties have not been allowed by the system run by D/Rs - kicked off ballots,kept out of debates (last one allowed in was Perot - and the hammer came down after that) maligned, denigrated as “spoilers”, dismissed as “can’t win” - all nonsense, but apparently very effective nonsense …
I totally fail to understand how several folks see Russiagate as some kind of fake news. At least 5 Trump officials were convicted of interference with Russia and all intelligence agencies and the Republican Intelligence Committee all agreed that Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 election. Did you want the House and Senate to endlessly impeach? I know it sort of makes sense, but to what end of value? I do not buy your statement that Biden lied his way to the win. “Trump bad” yeah, but equating rightwing media with Biden and mainstream media is too much for me to take without laughing. Yeah, it’s corporate media. That’s the way it is. Do you think they should give equal time to the most far left advocates in America? If people want change then they have to work for it. It’s such a huge problem that things can only move slowly. The only likely way for things to change quickly would most likely leave us on the left in a position far worse than now.
the average income of Trump supporters is about $74,000. On the other hand 40% of Americans are living in POVERTY, making $30,000 a year or LESS–often FAR LESS, like the Minimum Wage. I think what Trump supporters are experiencing is NOT economic distress–but, economic ANXIETY—& CULTURAL ANXIETY even MORE so. How they expect polticians to return them to 1950 white male supremacy over Everyone Else & Protestant “Christianity” as the dominant/SOLE religion and LGBT people INVISISBLE & women back to the kitchen & only low-wage service jobs…good luck
If you fail to see Rusia-gate as fake news, then I humbly suggest you read up on that. There is plenty of good reporting outside of corporate media where you can learn the actual extent to which some Russian people attempted to ‘interfere’ in our elections. You will find that is is statistically insignificant, despite what the corporate media has been shouting for four years. ‘All intelligence agencies agreed?’ They did not. But I know why you think they did. Because that is the lie you were told again and again by the mainstream media and Democrats until the lie was no longer needed. And you don’t have to buy my statement that ‘Biden lied his way to the win’ for it to be true to a large extent. Do you know nothing of his history? If you did, you would know how that he lied repeatedly throughout the primary and general election cycles. There is no debate about this.
Whether real or not, your believing the fictions you do actually serves the third-way corporate centrism and neo-liberal philosophy of governance that bear a fair share of the responsibility for bringing us to this precarious Trumpian moment. And it proves the folly in believing one version of corporate media to be better than the other. How could this be true if ‘both sides’ come to fixed beliefs that are false, as I’ve outlined here. The ‘mainstream media’ understand this full well, though. Even if you don’t.