This Election Has Made Everyone Dumber, And May God Have Mercy On Our Souls
From Kubler-Ross's 'On Derp and Derping'
Today, brothers and sisters, we take as our text a reading from the Apostle Billy's epistle to the Madisonites:
What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
This election has had much the same effect upon us all, I say unto you, yea, even unto the point that sustaining pseudo-sermonish language is too great an effort to sustain, so let's just drop that. 2015-2016 has been bad for our brains. Let us count the ways.
Fact-Checking No Longer Matters
Let's not kid ourselves. Facts have always been somewhat overrated in politics. Democrats drove themselves nuts pointing out that Ronald Reagan thought trees cause pollution, nuclear missiles could be called back, and strapping young bucks were spending their food stamps on vodka, and it didn't do a bit of good. The man smiled and lied to America, and America begged for more smiling lies. But there's something breathtaking about Donald Trump's utter indifference to facts, and his insistence that lies are really really true. Politifact couldn't narrow 2015's "lie of the year" down to just one, so it just gave up gave the award to everything Donald Trump said. If, Crom forbid, he's elected, they may as well retire the award for four years.thousands of Muslims dancing in the streets of New Jersey when the twin Towers fell on 9/11, and not only did he never admit he was wrong, comment sections filled up with people who also "remembered" seeing the exact same thing. You could point out to them there was no video of such a thing, and all that meant was that the networks were hiding it -- yet nobody ever came forward with an old VHS cassette of the broadcast they'd saved since 2001, which you'd think would be the Win of the Year. But the thing never happened. And it makes no sense -- why would Muslims in New Jersey be celebrating an al Qaeda strike before anyone was sure who'd brought down the WTC? Oh. Sorry, there we go trying to treat a Trump statement as if it were even subject to rational thinking. Old habits die hard
What is a lie? It is a thing Donald Trump cannot do, according to campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, because first he would have to know a thing.
We are shocked shocked that Trump lied on President Obama in a thing we can all see because there is video. Shocked.
The Past Is Another Country, And Donald Trump's Visa Expired
Donald Trump is his very own personal Ministry of Truth: he has always been at war with reality, and if in the past he said something different from what he's saying today, he just says "wrong. Never said it" and moves on. Donald Trump doesn't merely throw inconvenient facts down the Memory Hole; he IS the Memory Hole. One way he achieves this is by never being terribly specific in the first place, so when an inconvenient contradiction appears to arise, he or his staff can wish it into the cornfield. Muslim ban? He never said he'd ban _all_ Muslims (the statement is still on his website); what he meant all along was that immigrants from terrorism-prone areas would be subject to "extreme vetting." Global warming a Chinese-manufactured conspiracy to hold America back? Never said it, except for that time he did.
And so on. For old fogeys who maintain a pathetic belief in the outmoded concept of reality, it can be fun but ultimately fruitless to catch past-Trump seeming to contradict present-Trump. Buzzfeed's Andrew Kaczynski had a good'un just yesterday, in which Trump appeared to be agreeing with the post-2012-election RNC "autopsy" which determined that passing comprehensive immigration reform was necessary:
lol, just found this video of Donald Trump in December 2012 saying if GOP doesn't pass immigration reform they won't ever win again. pic.twitter.com/ElHVFCgKgB— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) November 7, 2016
Ah, but Trump only said the R's would never win another election "unless they do something" about immigration, not that he agreed with the then-current Republican sorta-consensus. Maybe "do something" meant Build The Wall. So there.
Journamalism Is Nice, But How About That 'Pussy' Tape?
News nerds been going nuts over Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold's deep dive into Donald Trump's virtually nonexistent charitable giving, mostly accomplished through the most basic, work-intensive investigative technique: Calling up charities that seemed likely to have received some of the "millions and millions" of dollars Trump says he's given to charities over the year, and keeping track of all the charities to which Trump had actually given money out of his own pocket. Fahrenthold's list, on a plain vanilla pad of paper, was an evolving record of nothing there; by the day before the election, he'd called just over 450 charities and only one had acknowledged a gift from Trump:
New York A.G. Eric Schneiderman is investigating the Trump Foundation just because it may have engaged in some illegal donations. How is that even fair?
We'll close here, before we feel compelled to go off into the desert and commune with the tortoises. But damn, this election has done a job on our national sense of reality. By way of serendipity, we should mention that while we were writing this little thinky thing, NPR's Diane Rehm was doing an hour-long panel discussion of fact-checking, misinformation, and the election, and took a call from a very angry gent who had written an expose of the Global Warming fraud, and excoriated Rehm and all her guests for covering up the Real Truth.
Maybe David Byrne was right all along: Facts are pretty damn tricky:
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.