MONDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2022
Manifestations of Babel: Donald J. Trump, the former president, was launching a manifestation.
Last Saturday night, he was speaking at a Save America rally in Robstown, Texas. Before long, he was discussing "the January 6th committee of unselect political thugs:"
TRUMP (10/22/22): Remember this, and I’m going to get off this subject, but January 6, January 6, January 6 was caused because of a crooked stolen election. And they don’t even talk about it during the January 6 committee hearings. Never even discussed.
January 6 was caused by a stolen election. But the committee of that name won't even discuss that fact!
And that's not all they won't discuss! As the former president continued, he turned to a favorite tale:
TRUMP (continuing directly): So they don't discuss that. And what's the second thing they don't discuss? Nancy Pelosi is in charge of security in the Capitol. Ronny knows this better than anybody. There he is. And they don't discuss it at all because they said, "Hands off, we're not going to discuss that."
I authorized from 10 to 20,000 troops, should they need them, four days, three days earlier. Nancy Pelosi didn't like the look and she decided not to do it. They never discussed that.
In the run-up to January 6, Trump authorized twenty thousand troops—but Nancy Pelosi wouldn't allow it! According to Donald J. Trump, the January 6 committee won't even discuss that fact.
The claim about the thousands of troops is a favorite of Trump's. By now, the claim has been stated, and restated, then stated again, about twenty thousand times.
On this morning's Morning Joe, we saw videotape of a recent focus group. Elise Jordan had spoken with ten Trump voters in Pittsburgh. Eventually, one of the voters said this:
TRUMP VOTER: Nancy Pelosi denied his request of several thousand National Guard troops.
Trump voters have heard that claim at least ten thousand times. The claim has launched a thousand negative fact-checks, but there was no sign that any of the focus group members knew anything about that.
The young man who offered that remark almost surely believed what he said. On the videotape, Jordan offered a somewhat clumsy rebuttal to his claim, but then quickly moved on.
Even this morning, when the tape was played on Morning Joe, no one offered a clear rebuttal to what that young man said. The claim had been broadcast once again, with no clear attempt at correction!
History teaches that Cassandra, daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba, "was a Trojan priestess dedicated to the god Apollo and fated by him to utter true prophecies but never to be believed."
Cassandra's foreknowledge made her life hard. As if things weren't bad enough, she could only see the future when a snake or snakes licked her ears!
For ourselves, we see them everywhere we look. We see manifestations of the belief that our nation, such as it was, has already come apart, in a way unlikely ever to be undone.
The red tribe spills with false or unfounded belief. Given the failures of our blue tribe, can "the center" hold?
Tomorrow: Some bogus beliefs are merely false. Some bogus beliefs may seem worse.