Showing posts with label The Big Lie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Big Lie. Show all posts

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Our French Revolution

Last night I was at a baseball association meeting. My son plays high level baseball and I serve as the fundraising coordinator. The mother of one of my son's teammates from last year came up to me and wondered if she could help out with fundraising. We talked briefly about how she could support the organization and then I remembered a conversation we had last spring about the election.

She told me back in June that she had this feeling that Trump was going to win. She seemed gleeful about it. After talking with her for a bit, I realized that she was one of the folks not very connected to politics who went on pure emotion. She's wealthy, white and pissed off about the direction of our country. This is actually a more accurate demographic than the stereotype that's out there about the Trump voter (dumb, toothless, racist etc). At the time, I thought she was nuts but she ended up being right.

The question I'm pondering today is why was she right? How can such a large group of people be so irrational as to vote for Donald Trump? By any indication, he's a despicable person and a horrible image for our country. Yet he is going to keep behaving the way he does until he loses because up until this point, it's worked. People who support Trump are convinced that everything he does is great and the criticism against him is all lies.

When I brought up the Access Hollywood tape, she said that she didn't believe it was him and that it was all taken out of context. She called it a witch hunt! Even his own voice saying his own words didn't fucking matter. I realized in the that moment that we weren't fighting the last battle of the Civil War, as I previously thought.

We are experiencing our own French Revolution complete with massively high levels of irrational thought and behavior.

Consider Trump's assertions over voter fraud and his recent call for an investigation. Even proceeding down this path is crazy. He won. Hillary Clinton lost. The popular vote does not matter. Why seek to undermine your own election? Further, it was Donald Trump himself and his own lawyers who called Jill Stein's recount efforts crazy and worthless and sought to stop them. So, when she says it's rigged it's not true but when he does it is true? Republicans and Democrats alike have called his claims entirely baseless. All 50 secretaries of each state have stated unequivocally that there was no voter fraud in this election and for millions of illegals to vote around the country would be completely impossible. Trump has also misrepresented the studies he says that show there is voter fraud but that doesn't really matter. He believes it's true. His followers believe it's true. So, it's true.

This same kind of thinking was in full gear during the French Revolution. People were so angry at their leaders that they would believe anything. The only saving grace we have now is that Trump takes office with the lowest approval rating of any president. My thought is that patience is required right now. It does indeed seem that Trump is invincible. He can do whatever he wants. But let's remember that's what Al Capone thought as well. They tried many conventional ways to bring him down and in the end it was something small like tax evasion. This is what I think is going to happen with Trump. Interestingly, Vegas has Trump's odds of being impeached in the first six months at 4 to 1. I think that might be a little too good but who knows?

In the meantime, I'm still really bummed that so many people out there are that irrational. How can we bring them down to more grounded reason? The fate of our nation rests on our ability to be critical thinkers and accept reality for what it is. We can ill afford to behave so erratically when it comes to these serious issues. Leaders like Trump and his followers are why civilizations decline and fall apart. Oddly, I think some of Trump's followers want this. They want to tear down the whole playhouse merely because they don't like stuff.

Can we stop them? How?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

How To FactCheck Health Care

Eric Stern over at gives a shining example of how to expose the bullshit being peddled about the Affordable Care Act. This was my favorite one.

When I spoke to Robbie, he said he and Tina have been paying a little over $800 a month for their plan, about $10,000 a year. And the ACA-compliant policy will cost 50-75 percent more? They said this information was related to them by their insurance agent. Had they shopped on the exchange yet, I asked? No, Tina said, nor would they. They oppose Obamacare and want nothing to do with it. Fair enough, but they should know that I found a plan for them for, at most, $3,700 a year, a 63 percent less than their current bill. It might cover things that they don’t need, but so does every insurance policy.

A great example of willful ignorance and the very real monetary cost it brings with it. More importantly, however, this illustrates the trap that people can fall into when they believe the Big Lie. Stern echoes this as well.

Strangely, the recent shutdown was based almost entirely on a small percentage of Congress’s belief that Obamacare, as Ted Cruz puts it, “is destroying America.” Cruz has rarely given us an example of what he’s talking about. That’s because the best he can do is what Hannity did—exploit people’s ignorance and falsely point to imaginary boogeymen.

Once people realize how the law works, the ignorance will fall away and there won't be any more boogeyman they can pull out of their hat.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Big Lie Crumbling?

The subject of the comparison regarding the right and Nazis has come up again in comments. How serendipitous then is this opinion piece from Walter Rodgers.

Let’s recall the herculean tasks Obama has already accomplished:
  • He stabilized the worst economy since the Great Depression. Though unemployment remains stubborn, the stock market is basically back to where it was before the global economic meltdown. His stimulus bill kept America humming and saved hundreds of thousands of jobs, while his rescue of General Motors saved an industrial icon.
  • His administration kept thousands of over-extended Americans from losing their homes by laboring mightily to forestall foreclosures.
  • In spite of ferocious opposition, he passed long-overdue reforms of our health-care system that had eluded the reach of many past presidents.
  • He signed into law a bold package of regulations to boost consumer protection and restrain Wall Street’s greed.
  • He negotiated a historic nuclear-arms reduction treaty with Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev.
Forgetting these and other accomplishments, the public has regrettably bought into the corrosive and dishonest campaign to degrade Obama. Goebbels-style nihilism that rejects anything Obama does as odious remains a powerful narrative.

Add in killing bin Laden, repealing DADT, increased gun rights, increased security at the border, increased immigration arrests as well as a whole host of other things and any rational person would say he was a good president.

Sadly, we are not dealing with rational people.