Welcome to Trump's America.
2016 has been a head of head-shaking and face-palming for millions of American Citizens as we watched with disgust, disillusionment, and dismay as millions of other American Citizens grasped onto a seemingly unending stream of fake news stories. They then proceeded to repost, retweet, and retell them as if they were factual stories, grounded in truth and research. They offered citations as if these works of fiction were reported from genuine sources of actual truth.
The utter gullibility of so many people who will believe the most illogical, unfounded, and blatant lies that have come out of Conservative media on an incredibly broad range of subjects has reached epidemic proportions. So much so, that now we have extremely high-level politicians calling these lies “opinions,” and touting them as “refreshing.”
Trump’s spin doctors, supporters, and surrogates are defending these lies with great zeal, even going to the point of stating that there’s “no such thing” as facts anymore, that it’s perfectly fine to say things as truth even though there are no facts to back them up, and that they really aren’t lies, but merely pushing the envelope to cause people to think. This is inherently dangerous, because some of the worst events in human history have been birthed by these notions, and by the continual dissemination of propaganda.
While many see this as harmless, the ramifications are disastrous. Whether it results in someone shooting up a pizzeria because they read somewhere on their Facebook feed that Hillary Clinton was running a human trafficking ring from the non-existent basement, all the way to women, minorities, and members of the LGBTQI community voting for a man who has pledged to do everything in his power to take so many hard-won rights away from them. And their support continues in spite of Trump filling his cabinet with millionaires and billionaires who not only have no idea what it’s like to live on modest means, but are equally bigoted, discriminatory, racist, xenophobic, and imbecilic.
The damage that has been done by the proliferation of the hundreds upon hundreds of lies by Conservative media throughout this election year is immeasurable, and will likely not be fully realized until it’s too late to stop the barrage of negative effects upon entire swaths of our population. Already there has been a serious uptick in hate crimes, in abuse and bullying, and actions happening on a regular basis that were once reserved for the certifiably and criminally insane.
Donald Trump is a consummate con artist, and his election to the Presidency is proof positive that not only will people believe anything they are told, but they do so with reckless abandon, and obviously do not have the mental acuity to separate fact from fiction. This is obvious just by the virtue of what I see all day, every day, being re-posted on my social media accounts as being real news stories, when, in fact, they are total and complete tales of fiction. Some of them are so utterly ridiculous, that I have trouble understanding how someone can actually believe there is any truth, whatsoever, to the stories. I wonder how some people can manage to tie their own shoelaces every morning.
One of the main problems with people who unquestioningly believe all the lies spewed forth by Conservative media comes from the successful proliferation of circular logic, something that is normally reserved for theological arguments. Basically, they are told by the very same Conservative media not to take heed to anyone who is refuting them, then disparaging the information sources that are used to legitimately fact check, and finally insisting that they be taken solely on their word that what they are saying is true.
These purveyors of illegitimacy tell their readers and listeners that all the fact checking websites are illegitimate, on the take, stocked with liars at computer keyboards, or in the pockets of those damned Socialists. The fact is, the reliance on circular logic by the right is epic. It is the secret to their success. It is how they manage to get so many people to believe their lies and propaganda. The result is that instead of seeing the demand by these bogus news sites to ignore any attempts to refute or research a story as a huge red flag, readers and listeners dig in, double down, and tighten the blinders they have on. This is why most of these people not only never bother to research anything, but rarely read past the headline.
And their gullibility doesn’t end at politics. Many of them are gullible in general, or at best, highly naive and easily swayed by whatever sounds good. They hear something appealing, and their confirmation bias files it away in the dusty corners of their brains as facts. That there are so many people in this country who are so easily misinformed, mislead, conned, or otherwise prone to believing even the most flimsy falsehoods gives me pause to wonder where our nation will be in a generation down the road. I am starting to believe that the movie, “Idiocracy,” is not science fiction, but prophecy.
It won’t take long for the effects of a Trump Presidency to be realized as a disaster for his own base. Taxes will go up, healthcare will be in a shambles, social security and Medicare will be ruined, we will end up in more wars, and the rise in hate crimes will become epidemic. But the gullible will look at all this, all that Trump and his billionaire crony cabinet will wreak upon this nation, and blame Obama….