It seems there is no end to the swill tossed at the American voter.
What’s more, Americans seem to be incapable of discerning the difference between the swill and the gold. Chief among the swill-tossers is former President of the United States Donald J. Trump.
For the past year, Trump has continuously attempted to undermine the credibility of the 2020 presidential election. Just last week at his rally in Iowa, nearly one year after the election concluded, Trump was still pushing the same narrative. “I never conceded. . . no reason to concede.”
He lost; that should be reason enough. But according to Tim Snyder, a Yale University professor specializing in Central and Eastern European history (and events like the Holocaust), Trump is using the language of fascism to maintain his hold on the Republican party and remain in the public spotlight.
“He claims to be both the winner and a victim. That’s the classic claim of a fascist, and that’s how he builds his following,” Snyder explained to me on my podcast “Just Ask the Question.” Other fascists like Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler both used similar rhetorical techniques.
While the consequences of Trump’s falsehoods have already manifested themselves in the form of the Jan. 6 insurrection, people are still angry and clinging to the narrative. “We’re not going to take it anymore,” one woman who attended Trump’s Iowa rally told NBC News. “I see a civil war coming.”
And while an actual civil war seems unlikely, it does not altogether seem impossible.
As Congress tries to investigate what happened on Jan. 6, Trump has instructed his former aides to ignore subpoenas from the House’s Jan. 6 Committee, asserting executive privilege over documents the committee has requested. Like it or not, Trump still has his claws firmly sunk into the democratic process.
The truth of the matter is that the American electorate is at a position it has never been in during its entire existence. Trump and his acolytes’ continued misinformation has led to millions of people in the United States no longer being able to discern between reality and fiction.
The foghorn of disinformation is distorting reality and filtering facts out of our collective consciousness, creating major headaches for the current President Joe Biden. It does not help that Biden’s Democratic Party appears to be having an identity crisis of its own.
That’s right. The Democrats have as much to blame for the confusion in the United Statas as the Republicans. They are not as mean spirited or vicious, but they are often wrong-headed. They have trouble uniting for a common cause, are often indifferent and intolerant to those who think differently than they do (even treating each other with disdain) and all the while acting as if only they hold the key to the palace of Democracy.
As Adam Parkhomenko and Sam Youngman pointed out Tuesday in their newsletter “Today’s Big Stuff,” “It’s really pretty goddamn infuriating that Biden has to remind some lawmakers that his agenda will actually help people and the economy, but we’re Democrats and this is what we do.”
The Democrats in office have a growing number of problems. Time is running out on Biden to get meaningful climate change passed, as well as infrastructure legislation. The midterm elections will soon be upon Democrats and Republicans alike – it feels inevitable that Donald Trump and the Republican party will retake seats.
But the vote is still a year away; anything can happen. What the United States electorate must do in the time between now and the midterms is identify and remove the poisonous and rancorous swill in the national conversation.
It must focus on reality. Not conjecture. Not pablum. Not Donald Trump.
Trump only succeeds if we abandon reality.