Of course there are no tapes. There never were. The president is a liar. Again. Always. He’s probably lying now about Syria. You just can’t believe anything he says. Not because MSNBC tells you he’s lying, but because you have a brain and can reason. Because you have ears, you know that he’s pathogocial. Plain and simple. It’s clear. To most of us. But it’s still not clear to over 60 million Americans who just don’t seem to understand that this is in any way harmful to our sense of trust, devastating to our civil discourse, and destructive to the office of the presidency. The uneducated think it’s just fine. They see no problem whatsoever with his lying about the tapes. They don’t get that if you can’t believe him about the tapes then you can’t believe him about chemical weapons. And they think that the majority of us are just crazy for being upset about him and this administration. The pink hats are just a sign of our stupidity to Trump supporters. How can millions of Americans in 2017 still be in the dark?
Welcome to the Gaslighting of America, brought to you by FOX [Fake] News. It makes sense that the people of North Korea don’t know any better. They’ve never been on the internet. They don’t even have electricity at night. They don’t know that their “Dear Leader” is madder than a hatter, because they are kept in the dark, literally and metaphorically. When you have no information, you have no context. Everything is flat in your mind when you’ve never seen the curvature of the earth. And the late Roger Ailes understood this and saw an opening the size of a Mack truck. He created FOX [so-called] News and drove it right down route 66 and parked it on mainstreet in everytown U.S. of A. He understood that FOX was not really fair and balanced, but if he framed it as the opposing view, then it would serve as the baseline for the right. Tell ‘em what they’re already thinking and they’ll think it’s fact. It took about 2 decades for it to really settle in, to take root like an evil weed that chokes out the vegetables in your garden. Just because it is the opposite of the widely accepted “liberal” view of most media, does not make it factual. But it feels so good to so many, that it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not. It’s locked and loaded with hate and that makes it powerful.
On 9/11 we all agreed. We all agreed what had happened, with the exception of a few radical fringe conspiracy theorists. The left and right, D’s and R’s agreed and we stood together. Imagine if 60 million Americans had denied that the attacks had happened as we were watching those towers collapse over and over on TV. Imagine if 60 million saw it, but said if was fine. What’s the problem? That’s where we’re at in our country today. Nearly half of us are so mad that we don’t even acknowledge the other side’s truths. And what’s even worse is that we don’t even care. The other side is the enemy.
Many of us are trying hard to understand this, as it feels like a place we’ve never been before. A dark, sad. lonely place. At the root of this seems to be disappointment and personal judgement. If you see this administration as normal, if everyone in your world and everyone on your TV is reinforcing that it is just fine, then it makes perfect sense that that they feel disappointed in those who think the world has gone crazy. And if you think that it is indeed harmful to our country, if you think the chants of “Lock her up” were harmful, that our global reputation is in tatters, then you’d naturally be equally disappointed in your friends who are Trump supporters because you want them to be better informed. You want them to be able to recognize a serial liar. You want them to have a passport so that they can travel and get informed about the world. You want them to be able to deduce, and imagine, rather than just rationalize.
What’s different is the information we’re getting, or not getting. I know that if I believed the same information FOX viewers have been lead to believe, I too would likely be a Republican. If I believed that there was enough oil to last forever, that Obama was a muslim terrorist, that most muslims are terrorists, that immigrants have taken all the jobs away from white Americans, that the UN is just where we get bossed around by a bunch of foreigners, that Hillary really is a serious criminal and the biggest threat to our nation…if I believed these to be truths, and I might if this is all I ever saw and heard and if all my daily contacts believed it to be the truth, then I just might vote like they did and think like they do. They did not get here alone. Thanks Roger Ailes. They were intentionally led down this dark trail. Intentionally. By people who know they don’t have passports, who know that they are scared of foreign travel, by people who understand how to manipulate them and are doing it quite intentionally. That’s the saddest part of this orange adventure. Not the dismantling of rights and norms and policy. That can all be rebuilt in time, over many years. But the Gaslighting of Americans cannot be undone. And those doing the gaslighting should be held accountable. The only problem is that half of us can’t be convinced that it’s even happening and even if they believed it, they really wouldn’t care.