Trump Idiot Scottie Nell Hughes Says Facts Don't Exist, Also She's The Lindbergh Baby
In 2005, Stephen Colbert coined the word "truthiness" -- it was supposed to be a joke about people who claim things are true because they feel them in their gut. It was not supposed to be an aspirational word. Yet, here we are, a decade later, and Trumpist Scottie Nell Hughes is announcing the death of facts. Which seems appropriate since I have always thought her name would work fantastically in a murder ballad.
In an interview on the Diane Rehm Show, Hughes explained how Trump can lie and have it be the truth, because people believe it to be true. A sort of Schrödinger's Bullshit, if you will.
There's no such thing, unfortunately, anymore of facts. And so Mr. Trump's tweet amongst a certain crowd, a large -- a large part of the population, are truth. When he says that millions of people illegally voted, he has some -- in his -- amongst him and his supporters, and people believe they have facts to back that up. Those that do not like Mr. Trump, they say that those are lies, and there's no facts to back it up. So...
Donald Trump making something up, and a bunch of his supporters believing it, is not the same thing as a "fact." It doesn't mean facts are dead, it means that people are stupid and fine with believing things that are not true, which is far from a new phenomenon. It has always been possible to believe things are true without having facts to back it up. Remember, the word "truthiness" was coined during the Bush Regime, and for a good reason.
For instance, I could say I'm the real Anastasia Romanov, and I could believe that in my heart to be true, just as Trump and his supporters believe "millions of people illegally voted." Believing something to be true doesn't make it a fact.
However, what Donald Trump is doing here is actually insidious. Over the course of his candidacy, he has been psychologically conditioning his supporters to believe that his truth is the only truth, that the facts he makes up trump actual facts. And anyone dismissing his truth is "the enemy" and not to be trusted. Anyone pointing out that he's lying is "picking on him" and being mean. Even things that are obvious lies are accepted as "well, it's not factual, but there's a larger truth there."
This is what cult leaders do. They tell you you're special, that the world is against you. The lies start out small, the boundary-pushing gentle, seeing what falsehoods you're willing to buy, and then they keep pushing and pushing until you're like "Kill Sharon Tate? Drink some Kool-Aid? No problem! Oh, you wanna marry my 11-year-old daughter? Well, you are in direct contact with God so I assume you know what you're doing! Here's a million dollars, hope you can rid me of my body thetans! Can't wait to put on my purple Nikes and hitch a ride on the Hale-Bop comet to The Evolutionary Level Above Human!" People get to a point where nothing is ridiculous, and that is a scary place to be in.
This is why Trump wasn't really exaggerating when he said he could go out into Times Square and shoot someone and people would still worship him. I spend a lot of time reading pro-Trump forums and I absolutely believe this to be the case. They can rationalize literally anything he does, anything he says. When he gets caught in an obvious lie, it's "Oh, but there's a larger truth behind it" or "He's playing 4D chess!" or "The media is just out to get him! He made a mistake! So what!"
It's hardly surprising that his followers believe him when he says that "millions" of people voted illegally, despite there being literally no evidence that this occurred. They're already believing or overlooking way more absurd shit than that. That's nothing at this point. Hell, they're going above and beyond the call of duty, believing lies he didn't even start -- like insisting John Podesta was for real worshiping Satan because he got an invitation to a performance artist's dinner party.
Hughes also noted, in the interview, that facts are just relative sometimes:
“One thing that has been interesting this entire campaign season to watch is that people that say facts are facts, they’re not really facts. Everybody has a way, it’s kind of like looking at ratings or looking at a glass of half-full water. Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth or not true.”
It's not interesting, it's scary. If someone says something is a fact, and it's not true, it's a lie. If someone says something that is not provable either way, like "Oh hey, I was Cleopatra in a former life" but that feels true to them, that is a belief. People can look at facts and draw different conclusions -- but whether or not you believe a glass is half empty or half full, the actual amount of water stays the same. That is, in fact, the whole point of that saying.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse