When did the American people decide to stop thinking and become willing participants in the destruction of the Republic and supporters of a wannabe dictator? Sorry if I’m a bit dramatic. But, the political course we are presently on is taking us toward a direction that will cause irreparable harm to our current form of governance.
I was listening to two Republican representatives from my state, talk about how great Trump* is and the supposed “wonderful” things he has done for the country. I nearly choked on my coffee. I keep wondering, is this invasion of the body snatchers? It is the only reasonable explanation. Honest thinking people can see Trump* is a total idiot.
While I watched the Democratic convention the minute, the Republican one comes on I switch over to watching Hustle. It’s series about a group of British grifters. For a point of reference, Leverage is the US version, about a group of American grifters. Their plots center around the ripping off evil people for good causes. Think Robin Hood, the Errol Flynn version.
As I write this, we are slipping deeper and deeper into a great maw of hellish torture, any ability to think critically will be wiped away and replaced with canned automatic responses. Soon people will be repeating George Orwell’s words “war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength.
War is peace
The number of militia and white nationalist groups itching for the opportunity to take to the streets and reclaim what they think they lost to be the top racial dog. Woven into their misplaced philosophy is the deep-seated stream of hatred of all non-white and non-Christian people. They are the Trump* atom atoms. At ease being told what to do, what to think, and happily comply because, for them, thinking is just too damn hard.
They accept the Trump* propaganda spewed forth from the likes of Laura Ingraham, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity are modern-day versions of WWII propagandists, Iva Toguri (Tokyo Rose), Mildred Gillars (Axis Sally) Fred W. Kaltenbach (Lord Haw-Haw), and Robert Henry Best (Mr. Guess Who).
Peace for them is war. War on their fellow citizens who disagree with Trump* because of years of hate rhetoric that anyone who isn’t white or worships as they do is an inferior being. Instead of being educated around areas of looking at people’s strengths and abilities, racial and religious conformity are their determinant factors. How else can one embrace war is peace without always being at war with someone they have determined to be different.
Freedom is slavery
The funny thing about freedom it requires people to think. It means you have to think outside of yourself as your actions will impact those around you. Our freedom comes with responsibilities many don’t want even though they claim they do.
For us to keep it will require thinking about who we want to lead us, and doing all we can to be informed to make the best possible decision come election time. It means taking in information from multiple sources, analyzing it, and develop informed opinions we can express in logical discourse.
Of course, these discussions require facts and not non-sensical conspiracy theories that emanate from Fox News, OANN, Sinclair News, Info Wars, Qanon, or Breitbart. One should also balance out what you read from the Washington Post, NY Times, Huffington Post, and Wall Street Journal. If you are at least reading reliable newspapers and watching creditable news shows, you are well ahead of the average Trump* supporter.
Based on the observed behavior of the typical base Trump* supporter, they do indeed feel freedom is slavery. They will deny it, but all you have to do is watch what they do and say, and you will quickly determine, they would gladly give up their freedom if he told them to. They are all too happy to follow their dear leader in a mindless stupor to their utter destruction.
Ignorance is strength
Trump* followers revel in their ignorance, believe all his lies, and willingly do harmful things in his name. The individual who sent bombs to major news outlets, the Pittsburg synagogue shooting, the Walmart shooting in El Paso, Texas. All these allegedly influence by Trump*’s words.
Perhaps the most significant is their willingness to harm their fellow citizens with their open defiance around wearing masks and social distancing, by gathering in large crowds or making a singular public spectacle of themselves by criticizing other citizens for adhering to the advice to wear a mask. Mistakenly believing they are showing strength with their crass and ignorant remarks hurled at those who dare to wear a mask.
What the Trump* troglodytes fail to understand, is the mask is not for the wearer. The cover they down is a preventative measure. Out of concern for not wanting to make their fellow citizens sick, they wear a mask as a precaution in the event they are unknowingly asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
The circus known as the Republican convention is living proof of Orwell’s words. For the next 60+ days, the country is in for a rough ride, and Trump* is going to do everything in his power to encourage his followers to sow seeds of discord and havoc for the country he took an oath to protect. To those of us trying to understand why Obama’s words provide the insight we need;
I did hope for the sake of our country that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care.
But he never did. For close to four years now, he’s shown no interest in putting in the work, no interest in finding common ground, no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends; no interest treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.
Donald Trump hasn’t grown int the job because he can’t.
Ridding the country of Trump*blight will require us to vote. For those who can vote by mail, do it early. For those who are willing to go to your polling place, then take Michelle Obama’s advice. Prepare for a long day. Wear your comfortable shoes and pack breakfast, lunch dinner, an after-dinner snack. For it will be a long day.
Because those of us who understand how our democratic form of government and how it works understand war is not peace, slavery is not freedom, and strength is not ignorance.
That is why we read, question, discuss, and, most importantly, vote.
Excellent article, twilson117! You really touched all the bases and brought it all home by applying Orwell’s pillars of totalitarian propaganda from 1984.
There are competing outrages in all of this, also a trinity. Who is more frightening and shocking to be involved in this attempt to overthrow our democracy?
Trump? The GOP? Or their cult-like, deranged voters?
I don’t think Trump or the GOP actually believes in the worrying propaganda you point out. Trump is using it as part of his con job, solely aimed at his cultists. The GOP appears just to be mercenary, their beliefs don’t matter to them, they’re only about clinging to the cult figure who their maniacal voters are devoted to above any of them…and fearful of crossing him because he can turn these cultists against them.
Then there are these cultists. Republican voters who are so blinded by their racial hatred and worshipful of their Avatar of Bigotry because he hates and attacks all the “right” people. He is their protector of white supremacy and affirms their resentment against the majority of Americans who simply want equality…which they see as stealing power and superiority away from them.
So they are Trump’s cult no matter what he says but the propaganda is meant for them and the pliant media, to give all these fake arguments to them that simultaneously support their need to righteous. And when they see the propaganda all over the media, supportively on Fox and OANN and informationally on other news networks, it affirms it all to them.
This Orwellian propaganda is only consumed whole by those already addicted to the Trump Kool-Aid. They need a constant dose of it to stay deranged and whipped up and Trump knows this, as all cult leaders do. They must continuously feed their cult members fear and affirmation. Fear that their enemies intend to destroy them and everything they care about and affirmation that they are the true heroes in this conflict, they are protecting their tribe and their God-given entitlement to power over the “non-believers”.
And of course, the generator of all of this is the growing majority that rejects white supremacy and is changing the balance of power to a multi-ethnic majority where the white power types will be in the unempowered minority.
I’m not concerned that voters will be swayed by Trump’s authoritarian propaganda, after all these years of witnessing Trump’s 20,000+ lies and the revelations from Bob Woodward, Mary Trump, Michael Cohen, Jeffrey Goldberg, etc., they know wh Trump is and how his words are betrayals.
But it is of value to do as you did, call attention to the malign intent behind what he’s saying and doing, so the majority of Americans can be even more motivated to rebut Trump and defeat him no matter what on November 3rd.
Adlib, I want to thank you for posting this piece in PlanetPov. I know I’ve mentioned about writing more articles, and Trump* provides ample material, but it takes a minute to suss through things to develop a theme. As a writer yourself, you no doubt understand what I mean.
The thing about politics I find interesting is how easy it’s to manipulate the populace. This is because of people’s need to be loyal to their tribe, regardless of how the tribe behaves. So a person or group of people – bent on power, wealth accumulation – who can weave a good story have no problem acquiring believers to whatever cause they choose to promulgate. The process is astonishingly simple. Eliminate, asking a simple question, “why.”
By keeping his supporters from asking “why” gives him control; this is done by fanning the flames of fear among his base. So when enough related things take place that seem to verify their fear, they don’t take the time to ask or consider why they are afraid or why they should be in fear. Hearing their call to action words, they respond accordingly. Which why my reference to Orwell’s 1984.
I think we both agree, the Trump* diehards are with him regardless of what comes out about him. They will find a way to accept his actions and react accordingly. Loyal to the crown to the bitter end.
Hi twilson117, I absolutely know what you mean. I’ve found it much more challenging to write articles in this manic period of the Trump Era because each outrage is quickly topped by another the following day. I know that the strategy of authoritarians is to overwhelm and overburden citizens so that thinking about what is going on is exhausting, divining what is true and what is propaganda is more difficult and erosion of rights is so frequent it’s hard to stay focused on protecting any one of them.
Still, what was a severe issue yesterday can be replaced with a more outrageous one today which can be disconcerting at the very least.
I think there is a link between sabotaging education and playing the racist tribal game with the less educated who adopt political authoritarians the same way they view religious leadership, absolute and deserving of blind faith.
As the wealthy and corporations have used the GOP to continuously destroy the standard of living for the less educated, they have also been very clever in dodging the blame by holding up the Dems and people of color as the ones responsible for the damage the wealthy have inflicted on the poorer white population.
Tribalism is all they have left and they cling to it with a form of desperation. Despite their failing standard of living, the one thing they’ve had to soothe their insecurity has been white supremacy. Even those who are not openly racist and even see themselves as fair minded may have relied on, “Everything in my life may be bad right now but at least I have the built-in advantage of being white,” and as that belief is challenged more and more in society, they too find excuses to be tribal and support the avatar of white supremacy and hatred of racial equality, Trump.
It’s actually absurdly easy to convince these racist tribalists of anything as long as it enforces tribalism, “We’re righteous and they’re the enemy deserving of hatred and abuse.”
There is no critical thinking in the Trump cult, as with any cult. It is seen as opposing the leader to question the propaganda and an affirmation to quickly adopt even the most ridiculous positions such as protesting against wearing masks in a pandemic and believing QAnon’s insanity about Dems being child molesting cannibals.
The question may be, if we hopefully win this election as we should, what do we do about this?
I think the first principle should be to stand tough and aggressive on racists acts of violence and threats. Trump has made so many feel they now have permission to spout open racism And be violent. That needs to be slapped down hard.
Then, real help for all Americans on the many critical and neglected issues need to be addressed, especially institutionalized racism and economic injustice. The latter would benefit even the angry racist types. Education needs to be strengthened because the ignorance of these people has made them easy marks for these con men and women. And promoting the benefits of the change that is happening and will happen, to battle against the lies from Fox News and the saboteurs on the right is critical.
I don’t expect we will be able to change the minds of a majority of these racist, authoritarian tribalists. I do think making everyone’s lives better (aside from the 1%), will at least lower the level of anger and conflict in the country and give people better lives.
To accomplish this, Dems need to win the WH, The Senate and hold The House then they need to get rid of the filibuster in The Senate. Big change fast is needed and while I already have heard the old school Dems backing away from this, allowing Repubs to block big change will only hurt the nation and damage the Dems in the next election when they have failed to pass big changes.
America needs change in the vein of FDR, to get us past COVID-19, the recession/depression that’s being covered up by Trump’s trillions in handouts to Wall Street and very importantly, bring the nation together with a better standard of living for people of all races.
It is a necessity to be bold and effective in 2021, I like that Biden and Harris are saying they will be, as long as they are brave enough to follow through and delegate power to other strong and smart Dems and professionals, we could come out the other side of the Trump Era with a better life for all and hopefully, a less influential hate machine on the right that has only the intention of dividing and oppressing.