Seig Heil

There Is No Difference


We’re told that there was fraud in every state, every county, every precinct and behind every tree. They tell us bad people brought boxes and suitcases full of fraudulent ballots to vote counting centers and that they destroyed legitimate ballots for Trump. People are righteously incensed at what they believe is a theft of our democracy and of their victory and they’re demanding that we “Stop the steal!” They pay no attention to the total lack of evidence of fraud. Well, there was a small handful of perps casting ballots for Trump in the name of dead relatives (here, and here), but not nearly enough to make a difference in any election outcome anywhere.

Gen. Jack D. Ripper – “Precious bodily fluids”

Right wing pundits, cable and radio blabbers and unhinged, googly-eyed senators and representatives are proclaiming that Democrats are forcing socialism on America. They rant that we are destroying our democracy and capitalism and that the Build Back Better plan is Marxism and it’s polluting our American precious bodily fluids. Okay, that “precious bodily fluids” thing is from the 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove, but the lunacy is parallel. The ranters aren’t even a little subtle in accusing Democrats of being communists.

They decry Democrats as part of an evil cabal running this country. They say Democrats are child sex traffickers and that they kill children for their blood in order to extend their own lives.

Surely, you remember the insane right wing conspiracy claim that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex trafficking ring run out of the basement of a DC pizza shop – “Pizzagate.” A North Carolina man traveled to DC to free those children. He was going to be a hero. In his rescue attempt he even fired a couple of bullets through the floor of the pizza shop – no clue why he would do that if he thought there were innocent children down there.

He would have been a hero, by golly, except that there were no children in the basement. There wasn’t even a basement.

Pizzagate Boy and millions of others had been fed that horrid story of child abduction, trafficking and murder and he believed it, as did many others.

Then there is the Jewish space laser thing. According to this piece of absurd hate mongering the wild fires from California to Colorado last year were started by – and I’m not making this up – an orbiting laser owned by Jews. Except there is no Jewish space laser. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, nobody has a laser in space that could even light a match. But people peddled this idiocy and millions believed it – some still do.

I’ve heard many interviews with Stop the Steal people being asked about their beliefs. To a person they puff up with righteous indignation and certainty, declaring that the election was stolen from Trump. When asked what evidence they have of that, the best they can do is to either repeat their assertion or declare that it’s obvious and everybody knows. They’re unable to cite even a single fact to support their certainties. To be fair, some have repeated ridiculous lies about bogus ballots. They have no interest in the near-perfect record of Trump court losses, wherein he claimed election fraud and was laughed out of court because all he had were wild accusations and no evidence. None.

There is no evidence of voting fraud beyond just a handful of idiots, most of them stuffing ballot boxes for Trump. It’s clear why some people peddle this lie. What isn’t as clear is why so many believe it. They truly believe what they have been fed by self-serving liars. They are certain that they are patriots standing up for truth, justice and the American way. And their certainty is as simplistic as Superman TV fiction for children.

So,

  1. Why would millions of people abandon their critical thinking and believe outrageous, baseless claims – like Pizzagate Boy did?
  2. Why would people believe physically impossible things or cruel, vicious allegations – like the Jewish space laser gullibles do?
  3. How did it come about that accusation is now the same as conviction? No evidence or proof is required – just a repeated accusation.
  4. How come working White guys have shifted in huge numbers to the Republican conspiracy Party, such that it’s now 90% White?

Rebecca Solnit took up these questions and wrote in part, “Distinctions between believable and unbelievable, true and false are not relevant for people who have found that taking up outrageous and disprovable ideas is instead an admission ticket to a community or an identity.” [emphasis mine]

Facts? Reality? Who cares, as long as I can be in a group with my peeps who validate me! And nothing drives us together like the passion of hatred of “others,” especially when we do it in a mob. It feels so good to blame and I feel so big when I make others small!

You don’t suppose all of that is somehow connected to our having elected a Black man as President of the United States, do you? You don’t think that privileged Whites harboring centuries of bigotry felt shaken when power went to the one who they think was born in Kenya, do you? Or that they were sure they were being displaced by less-thans? You don’t suppose that what they called the illegitimate president annihilated their sense of privilege and security, such that they’re eager to join in the choruses of snarling anger and hatred, do you?

Nuremberg Rally, 1934

Last weekend I was a judge at the junior high school science fair. One 8th grader’s entry sought to determine if the stress of peer pressure had more influence on introverts or extroverts. Interesting study. Would that this student scientist could have had a few million MAGA hatters to test. The peer pressure to chant “Stop the steal!” must be overwhelming, just like Hitler’s Nuremberg Rally chants. And it turns out that,

There is no difference between “Stop the steal!” and “Seig Heil!
.

None.

It’s so easy to manipulate people into hate and violence. The fallout from this stuff is nuclear waste. It’s poison. It’s deadly. And it’s now American red, white and blue.

We’ve seen this movie before and we know how it ends.

Republican Follies

The announcement of Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement wasn’t even 24 hours old when Republicans started bashing President Biden’s not-yet-picked replacement. Gosh, that’s so surprising.

Reading List

Click me. Watch, listen and read. Again.

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Copyright 2022 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

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