Donald J. Trump and Madison Cawthorn!

MONDAY, MARCH 1, 2021

We live in extremely strange times: As you've probably noticed by now, we live in extremely strange times. 

If our only goals are anthropological, we live in interesting times. A Chinese proverb is said to have warned us against that.

We live in a time when people seem to be crazier—perhaps more deluded—than people have ever been in the past. Or it may just be that the widespread rewards are too darn high, and that people are hugely dishonest.

It's hard to say just how it works, but we'll offer two current examples:

Donald J. Trump's lunatic comments at yesterday's CPAC session. For a summary of those remarks, just click here.

Also, Rep. Madison Cawthorn's ongoing gruesome behavior, as described in a front-page report in today's Washington Post. The gentleman is "a new pro-Trump star of the far right," the Post headline points out.

Due to new technologies, there has never been a time when it was so easy to spread so many bogus claims on such a mass scale. As an example of what we mean, consider the start of this morning's front-page report in the New York Times :

GRYNBAUM ET AL (3/1/21): At 1:51 p.m. on Jan. 6, a right-wing radio host named Michael D. Brown wrote on Twitter that rioters had breached the United States Capitol—and immediately speculated about who was really to blame. “Antifa or BLM or other insurgents could be doing it disguised as Trump supporters,” Mr. Brown wrote, using shorthand for Black Lives Matter. “Come on, man, have you never heard of psyops?”

Only 13,000 people follow Mr. Brown on Twitter, but his tweet caught the attention of another conservative pundit: Todd Herman, who was guest-hosting Rush Limbaugh’s national radio program. Minutes later, he repeated Mr. Brown’s baseless claim to Mr. Limbaugh’s throngs of listeners: “It’s probably not Trump supporters who would do that. Antifa, BLM, that’s what they do. Right?”

What happened over the next 12 hours illustrated the speed and the scale of a right-wing disinformation machine primed to seize on a lie that served its political interests and quickly spread it as truth to a receptive audience. The weekslong fiction about a stolen election that President Donald J. Trump pushed to his millions of supporters had set the stage for a new and equally false iteration: that left-wing agitators were responsible for the attack on the Capitol.

It entered the head of a right-wing host that the invaders were Antifa. Or maybe BLM!

In the words of Grynbaum et al., "What happened over the next 12 hours illustrated the speed and the scale of" the  ability to spread bogus ideas and ridiculous claims, given the power of certain modern  technologies and media.

It increasingly seems that our human discernment is extremely poor. This surprising fact is being put on display in a remarkable way, due to the ease with which we the humans can now be confronted with ridiculous claims straight outta La-La Land.

Does Trump believe the various claims he bruited at CPAC? We don't have the slightest idea. But ten minutes after he made the claims, millions of others did!

Lack of discernment and sociopathy seem to make excellent partners. For what it's worth, Donald J. Trump is 74, Cawthorn just 25.

In many locales, their bogus claims are accepted on face. As a basic matter of basic persuasion, how do we undermine this process?

Inquiring minds need to figure that out. Also, whose possibly imperfect claims do we possibly buy Over Here? According to major credentialed experts, the lack of discernment isn't restricted to one set of human towns. 

They have at heart our not getting lost! They come to us in the dead of night and dance their disconsolate waltz.


23 comments:

  1. "Does Trump believe the various claims he bruited at CPAC? We don't have the slightest idea."

    You, dear Bob, certainly do appear to believe various claims made by your liberal-goebbelsian media, all of them instructing you to think that everything The Others say is bogus, lunacy, etc.

    And y'know, if anything does deserve the label of 'sociopathy', in our judgement that would be precisely the attitude you (and your fellow liberal zombies) exhibit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brilliant!
      Game, set & match for Mao!

      Delete

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      ........

      Delete
  2. “Does Trump believe the various claims he bruited at CPAC? We don't have the slightest idea. But ten minutes after he made the claims, millions of others did!”

    Can Somerby really discern on an individual basis who really believes something and who may or may not believe it?

    If one of those “millions” got up on the CPAC stage and repeated Trump’s claims, would Somerby say that person really believed them or would he say “we don’t have the slightest idea if that person believes the claims?”

    ReplyDelete
  3. “Does Trump believe the various claims he bruited at CPAC? We don't have the slightest idea. But ten minutes after he made the claims, millions of others did!”

    In which case it doesn’t matter whether Trump believes them or not.

    The purpose of the claims is to get millions to believe them. Obviously. Many other Republicans are backing these claims.

    If I said “Trump made false claims about the election and about the coup in order to propagandize and solidify his base, maintaining his power over the party”, would Somerby criticize that because I claimed to know why Trump was making those claims, even though it is transparently obvious?

    At some point, the absurd worry over Trump’s mental state has to give way to the realization of what’s actually going on.

    ReplyDelete
  4. ...incidentally, dear Bob, speaking of psyops: what's your esteemed opinion on your liberal-hitlerian cult's sly maneuvering to get rid of Andrew Mario's Son Cuomo on the pretext of him allegedly asking wimmin if they ever had sex with older men -- instead of prosecuting him for killing tens of thousands of people?

    This has to be your favorite liberal-hitlerian psyop, dear Bob, nicht wahr?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joseph E. KelleamMarch 3, 2021 at 6:48 AM

      Anyone who uses the term "liberal-hitlerian" in earnest is a lying piece of shit.

      Just in case you thought we didn't know.

      Delete
  5. Were there enough voting irregularities so that they swung the defeat of Stacy Abrams for Governor of GA? Were there enough irregularities so that they swung the Trump's defeat?

    I would answer both questions, "Probably not". However, we cannot be sure. To answer "yes" or "no" as definite fact is a false statement IMHO. Trump is incorrect when he says he definitely won. Trump's opponents are incorrect when they say Trump definitely lost.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David, you need to look at the specifics to answer your question. You cannot just conclude that maybe the gate swings both ways. First, the irregularities claimed by Abrams were substantiated whereas Trump's were not. Second, hers involved voter suppression, not fraudulent votes as Trump claimed. There are facts that you can use to answer your question if you are honestly seeking such an answer.

      And yes, Trump definitely lost because there was no evidence that any irregularities caused his defeat. No maybe about it.

      Delete
    2. David,
      The only thing that can be 100% known in life is anyone who isn't a bigot, or isn't perfectly fine with bigotry, left the Republican Party more than two decades ago.

      Delete
    3. Santa Claus, the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy are all elated to learn that in D in C’s world they might really exist.

      Delete
    4. If you're not a virgin ya gotta be a whore!?!

      Amirite!!!!

      Delete
  6. In order to believe Michael D. Brown's claim about Antifa etc., you would have to ignore all of the advance preparations for Jan 6 that were all over the internet among TRUMP supporters, not Antifa or BLM. You would have to ignore Trump's call to action and the efforts of various groups (Proud Boys and their ilk), the discussion of whether to bring weapons, the logistical planning, all done in the open.

    How stupid does Somerby think we are over here, in Our Town, that we would believe that anyone on the right really believed Antifa or BLM was involved in that insurrection? When anti-Trump protesters show up at a Trump rally, they are far from ignored. There is usually violence. Does Somerby think that Trump's large mass of supporters would have just stood by and watched the Antifa and BLM people attack the capitol, doing nothing? Of course they wouldn't.

    That's why this suggestion about Antifa and BLM is so outlandishly and obviously bullshit.

    Why does Somerby seem to suspend all critical faculties, all ability to apply common sense, when it comes to the things Trump says and does, and the things his minions do in his name?

    ReplyDelete
  7. "In many locales, their bogus claims are accepted on face. As a basic matter of basic persuasion, how do we undermine this process?"

    Stop saying "anything is possible" when it isn't.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Notice that Somerby wastes no time deploring Cawthorn's "gruesome" behavior, or even telling everyone what it was.

    Instead, Somerby is pretending that there is someone, anyone, on the left who is as gruesome as Cawthorn.

    Somerby says: "According to major credentialed experts, the lack of discernment isn't restricted to one set of human towns." But Somerby never tells us what we in Our Town are doing that is anything like the extreme behavior on the right. We didn't storm the Capitol. We don't excuse sexual predators. We don't routinely tell blatantly false lies and then close ranks when the falsehood is revealed. We haven't done any of the callous, mean-spirited things Trump did in office, we haven't tried to steal any elections, we are not ignoring the pandemic and just letting people die. You get the idea. Somerby's idea of equivalence is hugely wrong, as big a lie as Trump's claim that Biden stole the election.

    This big lie that Somerby keeps pimping is intended to put Trump back in office. Don't believe Somerby. And no, there are not any credentialed experts supporting anything Somerby claims about the left (Our Town).

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  10. Drum writes about Cawthorn being a "star" of the right, so Somerby writes it too. Then Drum writes about Michael D. Brown's impact, so Somerby writes about that too.

    Clever how Somerby illustrates the echo chamber via his own actions, instead of just telling us about it.

    ReplyDelete
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