It was Thomas Gray who said ignorance is bliss.
This is true now, more than ever.
Americans, generally speaking, are almost entirely ignorant when it comes to political reality.
Especially the true believers.
Eric Hoffer wrote a book about this. The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements was published in 1951. He analyzed the motives of various types of personalities that give rise to mass movements. It doesn’t matter if they’re followers of Communism, Fascism, National Socialism, Christianity, Protestantism, or Islam.
Hoffer said mass movements promote faith over reason and serve as “fact-proof screens between the faithful and the realities of the world.”
This is the case with “Make America Great Again” followers of President Donald Trump.
Faith trumps reason, no pun intended.
For instance, when it is pointed out Trump has killed thousands of civilians in Syria and Iraq — besting his immediate predecessor — the Trump True Believers respond by saying it’s all Barack Obama’s fault.
No argument Obama is responsible for war crimes, most notably in Libya and Syria.
Fact-proof screens will not allow the True Believer to accept Donald Trump is continuing — and intensifying — the war crimes of both Obama and George W. Bush.
If pushed, the Trump True Believer will minimize or ignore the murder of innocent civilians. He’s going after the head-choppers, they argue. Not only will Trump Make America Great Again, he will defeat the terrorists.
Obama and Hillary Clinton founded the Islamic State, they insist. Obama is an “Islamist,” a Muslim Brotherhood operative.
There is no evidence, but that doesn’t mater.
The Islamic State emerged from the ranks of al-Qaeda in Iraq. It was supposedly established by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a one-legged super terrorist who may or may not have existed.
The Pentagon admitted the “Zarqawi campaign” was a psychological operation aimed at the “home audience,” that is to say Americans who don’t know any better, thanks to endless establishment media propaganda.
“Counterterrorism and war propaganda are intertwined,” writes Michel Chossudovsky. “The propaganda apparatus feeds disinformation into the news chain. The objective is to present the terror groups as ‘enemies of America,’ responsible for countless atrocities in Iraq and around the World. The underlying objective is to galvanize public opinion in support of America’s Middle East war agenda.”
The True Believers are galvanized by Trump. He promised to torture terror suspects, kill their families, steal Iraqi and Syrian oil, and “bomb the shit” out of Syria and Iraq.
He’s made good on the latter promise.
Give him time on the others.
Problem is, most of the dead are not members of the Islamic State, they’re innocent civilians.
For the Trump True Believers, this really is a non-issue. Trump’s killing the terrorists, and that’s all need be said, they argue.
Instead of facing Trump’s crimes against humanity, they concentrate on what they perceive as the real threat to America — Democrats, liberals, progressives, and fellow travelers in the Republican party. All evil in government can be laid at their doorstep.
It’s an internecine war. Nobody wins but the ruling elite.
Meanwhile, as the two sides accuse each other of horrendous crimes — most recently, pedophilia and sexual harassment — behind the scenes the war party continues along its destructive path, sowing misery and smoldering resentment and violence among the survivors.
The Trump True Believers are little different than the Obama True Believers and the Bush True Believers.
It’s a shell game. It’s worked like a charm for decades.
Manufactured realities are amplified by a captured media — including the “New Right” media (think Breitbart, Infowars, the Drudge Report).
Do the Trump True Believers realize MAGA means more of the same — same wars, same Federal Reserve, same military-industrial (and surveillance) complex, same relationships with Israel and Saudi Arabia, same coercive domination and looting by banksters, transnationalists, globalists, and vested interests, from Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan to Lockheed Martin and Raytheon?
No, they don’t.
Because they are True Believers.
Shakespeare was right. Down that way madness lies.