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Dystopian Gaslighting

Emerging from the orange fog of false conspiracies

I actually know some fairly rational citizens who, because of their diet of social media and fake news sources, are still not quite certain that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election 45 days after he was sworn in. My only advice for them is change your diet because you are being gaslighted. It’s ongoing and persistent.

That’s the way the “big lie” persists. If you repeat false information often enough, even the liar himself believes the lie. And so it is with the Loser of the Last Election as evidenced by what he said at the Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Florida on Feb. 28. Daily Kos reporter David Neiwert reported on this phenomenon recently.

“If you watched Republicans on the Sunday news talk shows this weekend, you could be forgiven if you experienced a surreal, out-of-body feeling seeing every Republican official invited on for interviews claim, without a scintilla of evidence, that the November presidential election was stolen by Joe Biden. Even worse, they did so with zero pushback from their network hosts.”

The intent of the insurgents was to capture both the Speaker of the House and Vice President Mike Pence, perhaps killing them and thus suspending the certification of the vote.

The problem is twofold. First, conservative media, like Fox News, and its offspring, including Newsmax and The Epoch Times, reiterate the lie of the “stolen election.” This lie picks up momentum when it goes through the echo chamber of social media and then continually referenced by clearly partisan sources. Then the mainstream media, attempting to be “fair” gives Republican defenders of the Lost Cause equal time, with reporters never challenging what they know to be false. This, of course, causes doubt in some people’s minds as to what is and isn’t the truth.

In his analysis, Neiwert explains how conservatives are attempting to whitewash and downplay the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

“In those moments, you could see the various strands of right-wing narrative regarding the Jan. 6 insurrection in the U.S. Capitol coming together into a cohesive, up-is-down gas lighting narrative, building an alternative universe that is likely to form the core of Republican politics for the next four years and more. It’s an old rhetorical sleight of hand that has a long history of use by American conservatives: they call it ‘waving the bloody shirt’.”

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The problem is that if you thought the Golden Don told some whoppers (close to 30,573 according the Washington Post fact checker) while in office, what he said at the CPAC conference was even worse after his followers raided our national capital attempting to illegally stop the certification of the vote and to steal the election by force of arms. This will be proven to be the last desperate attempt to throw the election.

 We’ve all seen the pictures. Some of you watched it in horror in real time. It’s why the U.S. Congress rushed to impeach a second time as they were right there threatened by the mob, there wasn’t any need to investigate this act of insurrection. The intent of the insurgents was to capture both the Speaker of the House and Vice President Mike Pence, perhaps killing them and thus suspending the certification of the vote. Let’s just be clear, this was treason against our democracy, our Constitution and the only fraud that amounted to anything was the 60 some odd lawsuits filed by Republicans to change the vote after the November election. That’s just not how it’s done — at least not in America, thankfully. 

And yet he continued to boast, “I got more votes — I got more — and which is me — when I say ‘I,’ I’m talking about we. We— we got more votes than any incumbent, any incumbent president in the history of our country, almost 75 million votes.” This, of course, is some convenient B.S. since the former president doesn’t mention the 81,283,361 Biden got. 

He lost in the Electoral College vote by the same margins that Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 ­–– 306 to 232, and there was no intelligence report of foreign interference in this election. Even the former president’s claims of election fraud were debunked by Christopher Krebs, former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, who has been one of the most vocal government officials debunking baseless claims about election manipulation, particularly addressing a conspiracy theory centered on Dominion Voting Systems machines that Republicans have pushed. Krebs got fired for doing his job right after the election.

Even FBI director, Christopher Wray, who testified in Congress this week, reported that of the 257 people charged with federal offenses to date, 33 allegedly belonged to anti-government militia groups and other far-right groups, according to a new report released by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism.

Wray was asked repeatedly whether the FBI had any evidence that the attack was organized by “fake Trump protesters,” left-wing anti-fascists and anarchists.

“We have not, to date, seen any evidence of anarchist violent extremists or people subscribing to ‘antifa’ in connection with the 6th,” Wray said. “That doesn’t mean we’re not looking and will continue to look. But at the moment, we have not seen that.”

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Still, our nation is suffering a kind of Post Trump Stress Disorder after four years of gaslighting, fake news and phony conspiracies. And­ emerging from the orange fog of delusion will take some time. But unlike the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no vaccine against delusional thinking but the cure against fake news is still the truth!

James Preston Allen
Random Length News