The United States of America may have committed suicide on November 8th
We know Russia’s intelligence agencies directly intervened in the 2016 elections. We also know that Putin himself directed how the information was to be used. This information frames the beginning of one of the most important events in American history- there is surely more to come, but whether we know the true extent of the corruption and possible (likely) cooperation of the Trump team is uncertain, because America may have committed suicide on November 8th.
The post-election autopsy of a once great nation begins with direct Russian manipulation, a stunning and brazen an act of war, that instead of bringing us closer as a people, as 9/11 did, drives the wedge deeper- preventing any possibility of reconciliation.
The details are stark. Clinton won the popular vote, at last count, by almost 3 million votes. Trump’s margin of victory in the battleground states that gave him the electoral college win- a paltry 80,000 votes. However, his claimed landslide of historic proportions- both electoral and popular, are not just lies- but the basis for a fake-news thread.
Sadly, what people believe is very different from the truth. When ‘news’ became a profit center for networks it was only a matter of time before substance and significance gave way to telling people what they want to hear. Fox News does a terrific job serving this up every night to an eager, and stunningly misinformed audience. 69% of Fox Viewers and 77% of right wing talk radio listeners believe Barack Obama is or could be a Muslim (as if that in and of itself is a slander).
A recent PPP Pol puts it sharply:
Trump voters live in an alternate reality. They believe unemployment is way up and the stock market way down under Obama- in fact the reverse is true. It would be easy to fact check these assertions, but it’s clear that Trump voters and Republicans prefer to have their beliefs confirmed, not challenged. And, of course, the sources Trump voters rely on for news are limited and homogenous- think Fox News, Drudge and Breitbart.
An example of the rot at the core of our citizens distrust of each other is the story of the century; Russian hacking the 2016 elections. Responsible news organizations understand the importance of this story to our national sovereignty and are giving it some attention. Fox News, Breitbart et al either don’t report it, or attribute it to ‘fake-news’ created by liberals as a stunning example of the post-truth era we appear to be starting.
The irony of right-wingers invoking fake-news as a way to distract from the truth is comical, especially given the fact that one of Trump’s top advisers propounded the idea that Hillary Clinton and Leon Podesta were running a child sex-trafficking ring out of a DC pizza shop. As ridiculous as it sounds- it still compelled one deluded young man to show up with an AR15 ready to free the kids and die heroically, if need be. Mercifully no one was injured- but he’ll spend 10 years in jail for his swallowing a ridiculous lie whole. As sad as it sounds, our nations fate is likely worse.
Into that poisonous stew of overt deceit and half-truths add a decidedly racist component that for 8 years has worked overtime to delegitimize America’s first black President (half black- but for Republicans even that’s too much). That malign influence that nods and winks to the Alt-Right (even makes its progenitor a top Trump consigliore) also turns all killings by police into justifiable actions, regardless of the circumstance- in case you need reminding, the trial of a South Carolina police officer videotaped shooting an unarmed black man in the back, as he ran away, ended with a hung-jury.
When Trump says he’s going to be the law and order president- his voter know he means he’s going to stick it to anyone not blessed with white skin. Of course the fact sets that underpin his promise- more dead cops and impossibly high crime- are just plain not true.
This suspension of disbelief is fine when you’re at a movie, not when you are watching your democracy point a gun at its head.
As we get closer to T-day, the day America turns its back on itself (hard to do) and hands the keys of the kingdom to Putin via Trump, as the right-wing-echo chamber, appallingly, refuses to acknowledge the story of the century- it falls to the main-stream media and the current President to be rugged firewalls of democracy. Marianne Faithful in a line from the ‘Blue Millionaire’ may have said it best when she wrote “No one’s left and no ones coming” except in this case it’s an Orange Billionaire that we need to worry about. Neither the main-steam media, nor President Obama seem to be concentrating the necessary effort in keeping this infection from entering our national bloodstream.
It may be, that in a fit of false-equivalence the MSN is still trying to figure out how to fairly present both sides of the story- when there is only 1 side- (the USA was hacked and it’s an act of war). And, Obama may have finally had enough and said ‘I saved your jobs, the economy, the auto industry, got you health care, killed Bin Laden- fuck it. You want Trump as Putin’s puppet. I hope the dumpster fire keeps ya’ll warm’.
The again, maybe people are supposed to care- and want to keep America from falling into whatever hell is next- realize that it doesn’t matter how hard they try, how earnestly they implore or how many facts they have at their command- Trump voters devotion to their Fuhrer is unshakeable. So much so that they are willing to ignore or reject the certainty of 17 intelligence agencies- as well as digital fingerprints that, as of today, prove Russia and Putin himself wrecked our democracy. If you need any additional proof of how willing America was to pull the trigger of the gun pointed at its own head, check this out. http://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/12/15/how-right-wing-media-helped-trump-voters-warm-vladimir-putin/214830. That’s right, put your money on Putin- his stock is soaring with Republicans (incidentally yesterday Russian and Syrian forces murdered civilians in Allepo).
So here we are. There is no going forward, there is no going back. Americans would be right to reject and resist (by any means necessary) a man installed via a digital coup by a foreign enemy. You can count on those who want to make sure that only Trump is the next puppet President of the USA to fight back if he’s not seated. Solemn invocations of unity, of being the President of ALL American’s, seem like sarcastic comments uttered soto voce at the funeral of someone you hated but are also going to miss, as we observe what is supposed to be the peaceful transition of power, not the theft of it.
America betrayed itself, and no one knows what’s next.