That Donald Trump tweet.
As I write, 52,786 retweets. What are we to say? My first view was, ignore it. He has no evidence for it, and it is an allegation which, if serious, would show that the electoral system in the US is undermined. However, he does not care that it is untrue. It pops into his head, he tweets it, knowing that it will make his supporters angry and self-righteous, and his opponents angry and demoralised. He does not need to act in the interest of a great number of his supporters, only to keep them angry. If they are angry and hopeless enough, he can even act against their interests and they will still vote for him.
Ignore it, I will not allow it to miserify me. The NYT refuted it, expressing cold judgment of the liar and groper. I am clear, the lie is harmful- yet I cannot let it hurt me. Accept the things you cannot change. I am glad the NYT is concerned.
The lie is harmful because it is the basis of voter suppression laws, making people of colour queue longer at polling stations, requiring photo ID which poorer people are less likely to have, etc. Our defence against it is Fact, but for that you need a lot of time to accumulate them, and trusted sources.
Mr McCrory continues to dispute the gubernatorial election in North Carolina. His opponent won a slim but sufficient victory, and he quibbles about votes. Slate tells me that if the race is undecided long enough, it will be referred to the Republican controlled state legislature, which could appoint him Governor though he lost. I don’t find other sources alleging that is his aim. Would they? How far might partisan manipulation of the State constitution go? I hope they would have the integrity to consider the vote clear.
With Mr Trump’s lies and distortions, I cannot be sure. My trust in the system wanes. Though Republican-controlled electoral boards have stood up to Mr McCrory.
Here’s Truth Awakening, on facebook. “Awakening” is the metaphor I would use for getting closer to truth, and the description is inspiring- The truth is available if you want to wake up. Stand up and fight for your civilisation– but I don’t like that word “fight”, and a little digging finds them suspect. They have a meme- “Hi, I’m Jacob Rothschild… we were behind 9/11 and the resulting wars…” Another: “PizzaGate”, a criminal cabal in the shadows of government were “sodomising”, killing and eating children. Oh, God! How could I react to that? I still hope it is untrue, and that enough people would bring it to light if it were true; and powerful men abuse children. I am aware Sir James Savile operated with impunity to his honoured death, before his crimes came out. Paedophilia seems the major interest of “Truth Awakening”.
It could be a tactic- share as much as you can about paedophilia, in the hope of giving your false allegation credibility.
My fbfnd is a member of Veterans for Peace. He was in the British Army in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, and now has made several trips there to talk to former IRA members, for reconciliation. I find this beautiful. He shared a post from Truth Awakening, from the Daily Express, We can’t prove sex with children does them harm, says Labour-linked NCCL. The headline is a lie: the article describes the position of the National Council for Civil Liberties, now Liberty, in 1976, not now, and it was not “sex with children” but “sex between children”- NCCL proposed that where partners between 10 and 16 had less than two years’ age difference, sex should not be an offence. Whether it should raise the suspicions of social workers is a different question, and it was an old story.
I know the Daily Express is a propaganda sheet for the far-right UK Independence Party, whose new leader Paul Nuttall, of North of England working class stock, wants to attract Northern working-class votes, much on the tactic of Trump- keep them angry and hopeless enough and you can take their votes even as you harm their interests. Truth Awakening might think it part of the “Main Stream Media”. It still operates a printed daily paper.
My residual trust in the system stops me believing in “PizzaGate”. My fbfnd does not have the trust in the system, which sent him to point guns at Irish folk, and thought Mrs Clinton a greater warmonger than Mr Trump. So he shares this story. If I said, Come on, it’s Liberty! It’s the Labour Party! They’re the good guys! he might be unmoved, not believing in any good guys.
The Express article is not fake news, but distortion, pretending something is more important than it is. Truth Awakening shares it for its own purposes, my fbfnd shares it on, his other friends express disgust at paedophiles. I feel distress and powerlessness: once enough people are happy to spread misinformation, you can’t trust anything.
I was born into a society! I thought we had common interests, and flourished by working together! Now I find my country atomised. Here’s Stewart Lee railing ineffectually at Paul Nuttall of UKIP: