How targeted attacks on the truth destroy democracy and promote war.
Over the past 20 years, American conservatives have moved away from their platform of small government with a focus on independence and fiscal responsibility towards a puppet platform designed to maintain power at any cost, increase divisiveness, and stoke hatred and fear in their base. Under the guise of traditional and religious morals, conservatives have acted in bad faith towards the people they are paid to serve – overturning mask mandates, criminalizing women’s reproductive rights, stifling people’s identities, blocking universal healthcare and spreading misinformation about vaccines.
How did we get here? To a place where tribalism trumps the truth and anger and confusion reign.
Cambridge Analytica legally and illegally accessed swaths of Facebook data that allowed them to easily find and target people susceptible to conspiracy theories and lies that promote Trump and hurt democrats, notably Hillary Clinton.
For more detail on the personality type targeted, see: Enfranchised Narcissists, fighting for the right to party
For more information on Cambridge Analytica, see: How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions
Fox News should officially change its name to Fox Opinion, and, for additional clarity, perhaps they should add the sub-heading “Using fear and hate to make our audience question everything.” The trouble with Fox News is that, from time to time they do cover the news, so there’s a semblance of truth to their content.
Unfortunately, some of their most popular shows happen to be opinion pieces, i.e. Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity who busy themselves with tearing down democrats, promoting lies and creating conspiracy theories around woke culture.
For a detailed breakdown of Fox News and its anti-democratic ideologies, see: DO YOU SPEAK FOX? How Donald Trump’s favorite news source became a language
The Divisive Right
Bipartisanship never used to be a dirty word, but it seems like the Obama win triggered Mitch McConnell and he figured his only line of defense was to use the filibuster as a political weapon to block every democratic initiative. After the Trump win, McConnell championed the Trump agenda, pushing partisanship past any semblance of rationality – refusing to support any democratic agenda.
McConnell and his merry band of followers including Jim Jordan, Ted Cruz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Lindsey Graham, Tom Cotton and Kevin McCarthy seminate a fictitious left wing agenda to enrage their base and increase their power. Ideas and laws around critical race theory, transgender children, abortion and woke culture are used like prized arrows in their quill – aiming at the heart of their followers fear and hatred. (See tribalism for more info.)
For more information: Five myths about bipartisanship
The Millionaire/Billionaire Class – the Anti-Saints of Silicon Valley
It’s time to see the Silicon Valley millionaire/billionaire class for what they are – libertarians that refuse to support the society that enabled their wealth. Billionaires like Elon Musk, Peter Theil, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos all made their money on the backs of tax-payer funded schools, universities, infrastructure (roads, bridges, power), libraries, museums and law enforcement yet scream big government and theft when they are forced to pay their fair share in taxes.
Some break up with their baby momas and move to republican tax havens like Texas when they decide to cash out their stocks (Elon Musk), while some devote their time and money supporting a divisive authoritarian Republican agenda (Peter Theil), and others use weaponized algorithms to increase their platforms value (Mark Zuckerberg). All of them leverage a team of accountants to figure out tax avoidance loopholes for both themselves and their companies.
For more information: The world according to geeks
Have you ever had an uncle/friend/boss who gave the best bonuses/gifts. Like miles better than everyone else? But they also were a bit rude, drove a gas-guzzler, told off-colour jokes and didn’t align in any way with your moral principles? Did you ever think that you would refuse their valuable gift? Well this is how both Democrats and Republicans feel about their corporate donors.
It’s hard to introduce tough climate change laws when you are funded by the coal lobby, and it’s tough to change tax law when your primary donors benefit from their complexity. Joe Biden tried to pass the For the People Act in an effort to put people’s needs before corporate needs, but the divisive right shot it down. But, fair is fair, and a lot of the credit should go to Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin as well.
For more information on the For the People Act, see: Senate Republicans Block Democrats’ Sweeping Voting Rights Legislation
Oh, the lies and the lies. I’m the first to admit that all news sources get it wrong from time to time. “In fact” left leaning newspapers are often proud of their corrections, believing that by showcasing their mistakes they are proving the efficacy of their truths and commitment to journalistic integrity. But since Trump’s Fonzie-esque (post shark) soundtrack stealing descent down the escalator, one side has leveraged lies as a way to confuse and obfuscate the general public.
While in office, Trump uttered over 30,000 lies. Fox “Opinion” supported those lies. Other news organizations disputed the validity of those lies which unwittingly gave each lie more oxygen and made it more difficult for people to parse the truth. “Jan 6 was a tourist expedition”, “Jan 6 was Antifa”, “Covid is gone”, “Putin’s plan is genius”, “Hilary’s emails…”, “Hunter Biden…”. A tip for district attorneys everywhere – if Trump accuses someone else of a corrupt act, then it’s almost guaranteed Trump did it himself.
In life there will always be the super fringe; people that are so desperate to understand the meaning of life that they start believing bizarre conspiracy theories that defy logic. These guys are the hardest to rationalize with because to them everything is a conspiracy or a cover up. With QAnon they don’t even need outside proof, they can find their own validation when they spot the letter Q or the number 17 (Q’s position in the alphabet). The fact that the theory places Trump as the ultimate savior to their manufactured afflictions is a happy coincidence.
More information: What Is QAnon, the Viral Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theory?
Leveraging hot button issues like gun control, abortion and critical race theory, Republicans transition their base from supporters to staunch loyalists. They incite a tribalism culture which carries a win at all costs mentality while overlooking their party’s lies and misdeeds. Their base assumes that their leaders have their back and take delight in subverting democracy and use the same techniques to wield their own personal power.
For more information on the people who adhere to tribalism, see: Enfranchised Narcissists, fighting for the right to party