How does one confuse citizens, reinforce biases, dilute truth and, ultimately, attempt to undermine the established norms of democratic values and behavior – with the complicit support of elected enablers/“leaders”?
Apparently, it’s remarkably simple. Develop a tactical playbook and repeatedly accuse political rivals of theft, cowardice, cheating, lying, or being really, really sleepy, senile, stupid, small, old or just plain losers.
After all, facts and science are irrelevant. If you are a proponent of fake news, label all who do not agree with you as purveyors of fake news. Ignore intelligence reports, coronavirus data and climate reports; by all means, promote unqualified loyalists; and never, ever admit to a mistake.
An old adage comes to mind: If it looks, sounds and walks like a duck, it is a duck. In this case, it’s a lame duck who continues to quack in a pathetically whining manner rather than energetically and skillfully leading our nation during this precarious time.
Trump’s supporters can make the argument that he kept his inherited pre-coronavirus economy growing; helped create a short-term stimulus with tax cuts; rolled back environmental regulations; was “tough” on immigration, trade with China and NATO’s financial commitments; and added three conservative Supreme Court justices in rapid succession.
Was it worth the cost?
Are we at a point in our history where it is acceptable for a president to willfully ignore inconvenient facts, including those of COVID-19 and the certified results of an American election, thereby endangering both the lives of our citizens and the very principles upon which our country was founded?
Is this the reckless behavior we have come to accept?
One can only hope that this is all a nightmarish anomaly, that the Republican Party returns to its traditional philosophical roots and that the Democratic Party refuses to succumb to this type of dangerous playbook.
History has demonstrated all too often that the acceptance of absurdities (delegitimizing an election, undermining democratic norms and lying without consequence) by both cronies and the body politic can spiral into the abyss of atrocities. And that is not fake news.
Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin