Pundits like Charles Blow of the New York Times keep repeating the lie that “the presidency has been hijacked,” and Trump represents “the most extraordinary and profound electoral mistake America has made.” [Emphasis mine]
It’s a lie because Trump’s election was not a fluke of the Electoral College, aided and abetted by the comfortable clichés of “Russian cyber attack, voter suppression, racial anxiety and rampant sexism.”
Like Trump’s lies themselves, these half-truths have to be called out. Their motivation is clear: to uphold the fantasy of “the America that I know and love.”
It’s dangerously simplistic to say, “Donald Trump is president because a multiethnic, forward-thinking coalition twice elected a black man president and in so doing sent pulsing waves of fear down the spine of the traditional power structure in America.”
As long as Blow’s narrative continues to be the best “the Resistance” can do, Trump will continue to run amok. Progressives refuse to look below the surface, and address that rot at the core of the culture and body politic that gave rise to this odious man and his nepotistic cabal.
New York Times writers and editors believe they are helping to expose and bring down an egregious abnormality in Donald Trump. He is no anomaly however, but a natural progression and manifestation of the entire American system since 1984 and before.
Therefore what they’re actually doing, by refusing to see that Trump is an expression of the same darkness and deadness that gave rise to Bush-Cheney, is driving an unstable, authoritarian narcissist into a corner.
And when this déclassé channeler of hate realizes that he’s losing, and will be branded for all time as a “loser” (worse than hell in his book), he’ll provoke a real war that will make Obama’s continuation of the made-for-military-industrial-complex/media “war on terror” look like an interregnum.
Rather than place President Obama on the continuum of complicity, where his extrajudicial executions and blanket bankers’ pardon squarely puts him, some mouthpieces for the corporate media now canonize him. They repeat willfully naïve nonsense such as, “Barack Obama represented a fast-approaching future in which whiteness is not synonymous with power, in which power is more widely shared.”
Many of the same whites that voted for Barack Obama in 2004 and even 2008 flipped (out) and voted for Donald Trump in 2016. That fact alone should give the narrators of the “white rage” narrative pause, but it hasn’t.
The easiest trope however, and the one that’s filling the entertainment media’s veins with the most dope, is the “Russian attack on our democracy” narrative. In progressive circles, it tops the list of causes of why Trump won the election.
The truth is that though Russia certainly did everything in its power to mess with our election, and there was a cunning campaign of cyber break ins, well-timed leaks, and “fake news” about Hillary that helped erode her shaky support, the effect was marginal at best, and did not determine the outcome of the election.
Indeed, if you put the entire Russian cyber attack on one side of the scale, and James Comey’s surreal thumb-on-the-scale-comments near the end of the campaign on the other, Comey’s single bilious eruption probably carried more weight than all of the Russian interference.
Trump is an abomination. But by refusing to face and speak the truth themselves, there’s also something malign in progressives repeating ad nauseum things like, “Trump has attacked every traditional institution in this country…but possibly the most dangerous and destructive has been his assault on the truth itself.”
The truth is that focusing on Donald Trump as the cause of the disease is a convenient way to avoid an accurate diagnosis, much less an adequate cure. Facile explanations such as “Russian cyberattack, voter suppression, racial anxiety and rampant sexism,” are half-truths. The truth is that America lost its soul over a generation ago.
Bush-Cheney weren’t shots across the bow, but disablers of the rudder. President Obama, though he kept the ship of state afloat, was unable or unwilling to assess and convey the damage. He was a captain powerless to guide and steer. Predictably to everyone but pundits and pollsters, Trump came along and is driving us all into the reefs.
Half-truths repeated over and over are worse than bald-faced lies, because they help people to avoid facing the hard truths.
America elected Trump, not Republicans, as Paul Krugman maintains, or a superficial mix of the usual suspects, as Blow maintains.
As long as columnists propagandize the narrative that Trump is an anomaly, “a blasphemy and a disgrace, an assault on the culture and the country,” they help people deny the truth that America lost its soul over a generation ago, and don’t have to work like hell to get it back.