John Dean Calls Political Ignorance ‘the Greatest Threat to Our Democracy’

Last updated on July 17th, 2023 at 09:43 pm

In response to a poll showing the majority of Republcians think Trump won the popular vote, Former Nixon Whitehouse counsel John Dean put the problem we are facing in a succinct 140-characters or less:

Yes. Republicans think Trump won the popular vote. And that’s just scratching the surface of their ignorance. Of their willful blindness to reality and the world of facts.

Republicans opposed a fake Obama, an Obama, the president told The Atlantic‘s Ta-Nehisi Coates, created by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and others.

The president added,

And that applies, by the way, even to some of the folks who are now Trump supporters. They’re responding to a fictional character named Barack Obama who they see on Fox News or who they hear about through Rush Limbaugh.”

It didn’t escape our notice that all Republican candidates were running against not the year 2016 but the year 2008, describing a country, and conditions, that hadn’t existed for almost a decade. It was as if, just as President Bush’s misdeeds were once wiped away in GOP memories, now Obama’s accomplishments had suffered the same fate.

These same Republicans supported a fake Donald Trump as well. Republicans long criticized liberals for wanting “free stuff” but those who flocked to Donald Trump flocked in response to a whole slew of empty promises of things he was going to do for them. All of which were lies.

That Donald Trump they supported no more exists than the Barack Obama they opposed. Just as they once enthusiastically hated on Obama for somehow representing the “elites” they now cheer on Trump who has amassed the richest cabinet in history, full of insiders and lobbyists.

As Bernie Sanders reminds us, 17 men who have more money than the bottom 43 million Americans as though these men have their best interests at heart.

It may not be as bad as former Gitmo prosecutor Col. Morris Davis says, that “The @realDonaldTrump minority of Americans are shocked to learn that emoluments aren’t the wafer & wine shared at midnight mass on Christmas.”

Then again, it may be worse. They may not have figured this out yet. They haven’t figured out yet, despite its glaring obviousness, that Trump is no more going to drain the swamp than he is going to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

They think when he says, “I will never forget you, and I will never, ever stop fighting for you,” that he actually means it.

Look at his cabinet. He has already forgotten them. He forgot them the moment they cast their votes and gave him what he wanted.

When Fox News’ Jesse Waters asks, “if part of Democrats’ fear of Donald Trump is that he’ll actually be successful,” it is difficult to know whether to laugh or cry or do both. He has already failed. By inviting Vladimir Putin to choose our next president, he has already put himself beyond any hope of success.

How is it even possible to ask such a stupid question? Well, there is a direct correlation here between Fox News, the TVs all across the country in shops and restaurants turned to Fox News, and the voters at the other end.

So not only are people hearing an overwhelmingly conservative message but as Obama put it, “Fox News in every bar and restaurant” makes it hard to reach voters. And it’s not just Fox News. Look at CNN and MSNBC, for example.

The result is dishonest, ignorant people telling other people what to believe. It is a chicken or the egg thing really – what came first? The need to have your preconceptions confirmed in the face of every fact to the contrary, or the need to convince people that what isn’t true, is true?

We can hardly separate the two now. It is not going to be easy when Fox News can convince them with Obama as president that the federal government can’t create jobs and then convince them that under Trump, it can.

What is left to the rest of us is to find a way to talk to people who have their hands over their ears chanting nonsense to drown out uncongenial facts. If we can figure out how to do that, we might just save ourselves – and the world – in the process.

Hrafnkell Haraldsson

Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen's Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.

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