AWASH IN FALSEHOODS
WITH NO END IN SIGHT
Can you sum up 2017 in a famous quote?
I’m going with a line from Adolph Hitler. He’s the all-purpose stand-in for everybody you think is bad, and his enduring observation remains as fresh today as when first uttered…
“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
Lord knows, that’s the assumption behind pretty much everything that’s been said about Donald Trump’s first year as President.
Yes, The Donald is given to flights of wild hyperbole and intemperate criticism. And yes, such things can involve an element of mischaracterization (not to say untruth).
But, could anything Trump has ever spoken or tweeted beat this Newsweek headline for total disregard of fact and proportion?…
“How Trump and the Nazis Stole Christmas to Promote White Nationalism”
Now that’s imaginative.
For all his pettiness and exaggeration, The Donald has never even come close to a whopper like that one. In fact, when you consider the endless barrage of denigration he’s endured — much of it idiotic in the extreme — Trump’s reactions often look downright restrained.
Actually, it’s clear by now that there’s method to his mad tweet storms. They put his critics on notice that he’s more than willing to get down in the mud and slug it out with anybody. No low blow goes unreturned. No critic is too distinguished or too celebrated to receive a little mud in the face.
Along with that, Trump’s antics have kept the media focused on his mercurial temperament — allowing him to advance his policy and personnel initiatives with much less weeping and wailing than would be the case if everyone wasn’t so tweet-crazed and distracted.
It’s the ultimate sleight-of-hand. And it’s worked fabulously.
Deprived of the ability to shake Trump off his objectives, the only alternative is undermining his credibility. Hence, the ongoing perpetration of the “Big Lie” — actually multiple “Big Lies.”
The trouble is: nothing has stuck.
His approval numbers continue to bounce around at about the same level. (Interestingly, a Rasmussen poll puts Trump at the exact rating Obama held at the end of his first year: 46 percent approval, 53 percent disapproval.)
The people who hated Trump during the election still hate him. And the people who supported him then still support him. Although, in the latter category I think there’s been some growth that doesn’t get reflected in the polls, just as his true level of support wasn’t apparent during the campaign.
But then, the Trump phenomenon was misunderstood right from the start. The Donald’s credibility hasn’t been undermined, because his appeal was never based on credibility. In a certain sense, it wasn’t even based on him.
What it was based on — and continues to be — is anger. Back when Trump’s campaign for the presidency was beginning to look plausible, I observed that Americans have endured…
“a half-century assault on the values and freedom that had set life in the U.S. apart from conflicts and suffering endemic to other parts of the world (and from which endless waves of immigrants have fled throughout history)….”
At the same time, we’ve been told “that we should open our hearts to let the nation’s blessings be shared by others too long excluded from them. And, over time, with some grumbling and hesitation, we’ve responded positively.
“But rather than receiving words of encouragement and any acknowledgment of real progress made, we’ve been hammered with claims that our values are false and our freedom is a rigged game favoring us with a certain kind of unfair ‘privilege.’
“Whether or not Trump is addressing these resentments directly, his smart-ass self-confidence and shoot-from-the-hip disdain raise hopes of returning to a life that once seemed to make sense but now is out of reach. Essentially, The Donald is serving as the herald of a great restorative revolution that’s much desired and long overdue.”
That was written in December of 2015. Fast-forward to today.
The allegation of so-called “white privilege,” and its related concepts of “endemic racism,” “supremacy,” “misogyny,” “exploitation,” “cultural appropriation,” and others are being hawked even more energetically now.
People’s anger at all that hasn’t gone away, though it has been modified.
After a year, Trump’s tangible accomplishments are becoming visible (tax reform most prominently among them), and their impact on the economy is undeniable. Consequently, the forces behind that half-century assault on our values and freedom which stirred the anger that created the Trump phenomenon in the first place are doubling down on character assassination.
It’s all they can see to do. It’s all they have. And so…
Trump’s election was engineered by the Russians.
Trump is promoting white nationalism.
Trump is a rapist and a sexual abuser.
Trump is a reckless warmonger.
Trump wants to bring back child labor and black slavery.
Trump is planning a military coup to stay in office forever.
All of these and more have been claimed. Indeed, Trump’s enemies repeat them with increasing fervor — hoping that at least one claim will be believed; his base of support will evaporate; he’ll be impeached; and the dark night of The Donald will come to an end.
Well, it’s the Christmas Season, and in an appropriate spirit of fairness I must acknowledge that a lot of conservatives had clung tenaciously to the hope for some miraculous release from the Obama nightmare. In that case it was the longed-for revelation of his true origins as a foreign national. This would invalidate his election and all those extra-constitutional actions by which he attempted to change the nation “fundamentally.”
That doctored birth certificate aside, no such revelation ever happened.
Instead, The Donald is gradually undoing Obama’s handiwork.
See? There is a God in heaven.
But alas, Adolph Hitler’s theory of the “Big Lie” persists. We can expect to hear continuing repetition of all those wild fantasies in the coming year.
My advice is to just tune them out.
Facts will prevail in the end. For better or for worse, the reality of Donald Trump — his strengths and his weaknesses, his accomplishments and his failures — will be revealed in history.
As John Adams said, “Facts are stubborn things.”
So hang in there.
Speak the truth.
And have a happy, blessed New Year!
Here’s a link to that Newsweek article mentioned above. Writer Cristina Maza charges The Donald with advocating use of the greeting, “Merry Christmas,” as a means of advancing white supremacy. She calls it “exclusionary politics at its most flagrant.” An excerpt…
“…Trump is promoting a version of the holidays that excludes members of other religions, and … his crusade to bring back Christmas is part of a larger attempt by the president to define America as a country for white Christians alone.
“Wishing people ‘merry Christmas’ instead of ‘happy holidays’ is thus in line with Trump’s decision to ban citizens of Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, critics say. It fits neatly with his refusal to condemn white supremacists when they march against diversity, and with his condemnation of athletes who protest police brutality against black men.”
Maza’s essay could very well serve as Exhibit A for The American Thinker’s Thomas Lifson. He describes the four stages of Trump Derangement Syndrome, a chronic pathology evident in all the lying about Donald Trump. Lifson is hopeful that remission is possible. But left untreated, TDS’s final stage is truly horrifying…
“I expect those NeverTrumps who have not developed an immune reaction in the cerebral cortex will recover, while those unable to get beyond their own failure to understand Trump’s electoral victory and subsequent triumphs will lapse further into their illusions.
Writing in the Washington Post, Gary Abernathy, publisher and editor of the Hillsboro (Ohio) Times-Gazette, analyzes the enduring support for Donald Trump which so frustrates his critics…
“…in addition to consistently exhibiting what many see as negative attributes, Trump has also tried to keep his biggest campaign promises on repealing Obamacare, securing the border and cutting taxes, and he stayed true to his word with his pick of Neil M. Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. Now, his declaration of U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital fulfills another pledge. No one who backed Trump as a candidate, with all his flaws, has been given much reason to abandon him.”…
Historian Victor Davis Hanson takes a long view that might offer a measure of solace even to Trump’s most agitated critics. Writing in National Review, he compares the leadership styles of various figures in U.S. history, and notes that there’s a place for “loud, often reckless, and profane pile drivers” such as Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and you-know who. Read the whole thing. As usual, Hanson is very insightful…