THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 2022
This problem has always existed: Early yesterday morning, Joe Scarborough was ranting about the "bumpkins" in Virginia who couldn't clear I-95.
Almost surely, he didn't know what he was talking about. But at least he was talking real loud!
Sometimes Scarborough gets that way; often he's very insightful. This morning, in the Washington Post, he starts a column in the manner shown:
SCARBOROUGH (1/6/22): My grandmother’s faith in God sustained her as she struggled to raise her family through the Great Depression, said goodbye to her teenage son as he left for World War II and buried her husband a decade later.
The sounds of Billy Graham’s crusades would fill my grandmom’s Georgia home in the 1970s. A decade later, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s “PTL Club” would win her loyalty, as well as her monthly tithes. My parents gently tried warning her that the “PTL” stars were scam artists less interested in her spiritual welfare than in her monthly Social Security checks. Even after being treated rudely by Tammy Faye in a chance encounter, Grandmom kept sending money the Bakkers’ way as they built their empire on the backs of working-class Christians. The dreadful pair’s get-rich schemes leveraged Americans’ love of God for cold, hard cash.
Scarborough's grandmother got conned by a pair of con artists. She'd come to trust Jim and Tammy Faye, and she couldn't be dissuaded.
Decent people have been conned by con artists down through the annals of time. They'd purchase their phony elixir cures. They'd purchase their stories of faith.
As Scarborough continues, he moves on to a contemporary target. He goes after the "false prophets" who have convinced a large chunk of the electorate that the last election was stolen.
He says we should be tougher on those powerful people than we are on the people they've fooled. Adjusting for possible mental illness, we think that's good advice.
It's always difficult for people to know who they can trust. And here's the thing:
When people decide to trust the wrong person, they don't know that they're being conned. To cite one memorable example, how many of us infallible liberals fact-checked an unnamed cable news star when she made that ridiculous presentation, on that Monday night program, about the way she'd been researching the gender wage gap all day long?
His grandmother trusted the wrong people. That didn't make her a bad person, and it's been a part of the human experience as long as we've all been around.