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Politics, Polls, Propaganda & Purgatory

Rightfully, a lot of folks are alarmed by an ABC News poll showing Trump leading Biden in the 2024 presidential race.

My takeaway from the poll is that Hitler’s chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels was right:


““If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”


Here’s an example. The day Trump was indicted, I switched over to Fox News at the top of the hour to see what Sean Hannity had to say about the biggest news story of the day. As other news outlets focused almost exclusively on the indictment and its implications, Hannity totally ignored it and instead peddled the notion that Biden is mentally incompetent … and the impact of that kind of ignore the truth and peddle the lie propaganda is reflected in the polling.


Goebbels also said:


“It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

If you doubt the power of propaganda, all you have to do is look at the messianic worship of Trump … the most immoral, incompetent, reckless and corrupt president in American history who many perceive as the paradigm of Christian faith and American patriotism.


When I ran for Congress in 2020, I met people along the way who believed crazy stuff you’d expect a normal 4 year old to have the intellectual capacity to reject, like the rightwing nonsense about progressives being demonic spawn who kidnap children, keep them hidden in the basement of a DC area pizza restaurant (that in reality doesn’t even have a basement), and drinks their blood. You may think that’s just a joke, but there are people out there who believe it’s true.


Comedian Ron White says “you can’t fix stupid” … and he’s right. You also can’t reason with delusional. You’re not going to persuade someone who believes you’re a literal demon by employing facts and logic.


The MAGA cult has proven that they’ll do anything … legal or illegal … to obtain and hold power. Rules and norms do not deter them in the least. Those of us who still believe in America, democracy and reality have to set aside our proclivity for niceness and do whatever it takes, within the bounds of the law, to prevent the country from careening off the cliff with the Trumpists and into oblivion. I (as well as former Asheville Citizen-Times Answer Man John Boyle) was castigated by some in 2022 for advocating using what the rules allow to oust insurrectionist imbecile Madison Cawthorn. Buncombe County (NC) Democratic Party Chair Jeff Rose called doing what the rules permit to achieve a less onerous outcome “ineffective” and “playing cynical games” with the political process. Well, Cawthorn went down and Lauren Boebert came within 500 votes of defeat (props to David Wheeler from American Muckrakers for his tenacity and hard work).


Listen, I would much prefer perfect, but at this point in time I’ll settle for relatively safe and relatively sane. We have got to do what we have got to do today to make sure we retain the chance to do better tomorrow. If we cling to the desire for perfect we’re likely bound for a very unpleasant purgatory … which I suppose isn’t so bad if you’re literally a demon.

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