To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Observercast

Political Dark Acts

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It’s amazing what people will believe. Who in their right mind thinks any state would pass a bill that lowers the age of consent to four?

The first time I saw the post, I advised a former student to check her sources. It’s what old English teachers do. She did, and then she set other people straight.

The claim kept showing up, although by now Facebook has tagged it false information. Even with the tag, people share it.

Do they choose to believe the world is that evil? Maybe they think the fact checkers can’t be right because they saw the post with their own eyes.

We know the art of misdirection works. In 2015, six months after Secretary Clinton announced she was running for president, Republicans grilled her for several televised hours about the death of the four diplomats in Benghazi. Benghazi became a Republican rallying cry.

Voters believed she was running a child trafficking ring out of a DC pizzeria.

Republicans accused the Clintons of murder.

After two investigations confirmed that White House Counsel Vince Foster killed himself, Brett Kavanaugh convinced Ken Starr to start another investigation into Foster’s death. Kavanaugh’s investigation took three years and cost taxpayers $2 million to confirm what the first two investigations found, but that didn’t stop candidate Trump from telling a reporter that it was probably murder.

A torn note that Foster left in his car sheds light on the why of misdirection:

“Here, ruining people is considered sport.”

The president and his followers are playing the game.

The administration sends camouflaged soldiers into protests and welcomes armed civilians to stir things up. Then, the president accuses Democratic governors and mayors of being unable to control the streets of their cities and states.

His followers, on purpose, miss the point that police brutality isn’t the response to a protest against police brutality.

Whenever a new accusation surfaces against President Trump, he turns the accusation onto his opponent. It doesn’t have to be plausible. He understands that his voters only need an excuse to excuse him and to blame someone else.

There is nothing genteel about it. If you saw the shirts that even Amazon refused to sell from their website, you know what I mean. In the age of Trump, you can call a woman who has the nerve to run for office, anything you want. And his followers, including the evangelicals, will repeat it.

Misdirection can turn an election. Who still believes Clinton’s emails were a problem? Or that she was too ill to do the job?

Misdirection is the problem, but what’s the solution? If we don’t find it soon, there may not be much of a democracy left to save.