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THOMPSON: Democrats must fight the lies and fiction from Trump Republicans

June 28, 2021 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


What do you say to someone who believes the U.S. government and its major institutions are run by Satan-worshipping pedophiles?

How do you talk to someone who believes Democrats stole the last election from Donald Trump through an elaborate plan using Italian satellites to change votes cast for Trump to Biden?

Why engage someone who believes top Democrats - President Biden, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and George Soros - and entertainers and celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and Ellen DeGeneres, as well as Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama, gather regularly not only to molest children…but then kill and eat them to garner some life-extending chemical called adrenochrome?

I’m sorry…but what’s the point? If you’re that far down the rabbit hole…believe me, there’s nothing I can say that’s going to extract you from the mire of lies and crazy conspiracy theories you’ve dug into. You’re too far gone…not even a prize Dachshund could drag you out of that hole and back to reality.

Republican voters have feasted on a steady diet of lies for more than a decade…when the Tea Party hijacked the GOP. Donald Trump - in just four years - told more than 30,000 public lies…and God only knows how many behind closed doors.

But add Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham, Mark Meadows, Kevin McCarthy, Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Jim Jordan…just to name the GOP’s first line of liars…and well, it’s understandable how you might twist facts and fiction into an irretrievable knot.

Hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinions…but not their own facts. And yet, Republicans - following Karl Rove’s propaganda model - tell the lie, tell it often and tell it loudly because that works. But what you’re left with is a hopelessly ignorant audience…that wouldn’t know a fact or truth if it smacked them between the eyes.

In a recent survey by the non-partisan Public Religion Research Institute, some 24 percent of Republican voters believe: “There is a storm coming soon that will sweep away the elites in power and restore the rightful leaders.” In other words, about 18 million Americans believe Donald Trump will be “re-instated” as president this August. “Really?” No, I mean “REALLY?”

In the same survey, when asked: “Because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country,” an alarming 28 percent of Republican voters agreed. Is there any wonder how the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol happened?

Republican voters have been lied to so much that it might not be possible for them to discern truth or facts. It wasn’t always this way. In fact, it was Democrats who told lies from Reconstruction until the 1960s. All the things Republicans are doing today…Democrats did for decades. Lies are not good for democracy…regardless of who the liar might be.

But make no mistake…it is Republicans…and only Republicans…who are holding a knife at the throat of democracy today. Republicans in 48 states have introduced 349 bills to suppress voting this year alone. Fourteen states have passed into law more than two dozen bills…all aimed at making it harder to vote absentee and by mail…after a record number of Americans voted by mail last November.

Republican voters have bought into almost all of the lies, including The Big Lie that Democrats stole the election. And despite overwhelming evidence that the 2020 election was the fairest ever…and with no evidence of widespread voter fraud…Republican voters are marching lockstep with a ragtag band of white supremacists and Neo-Nazi crazies.

Republican voters are scared…sucked in by too many lies to count. The sole purpose of those lies is to convince white folks that they must give up what they have for people of colour to become equal. It is a zero-sum game for Republicans. And that, of course, is yet another lie.

Republicans are prodigious liars…it is a matter of record. The Republican Party has no platform…no policies…no interest in governing. All they care about is winning and staying in power…and if that means cheating, lying, stealing…and any corrupt and criminal act you can name…it’s all justified.

Mitch McConnell said again last week of Republicans: “One-hundred percent of our focus is on stopping this new administration.”

Trump's Republicans are a boldly anti-democratic, anti-immigrant party that will battle for the future of white people in a multicultural America. Suppressing the vote…no problem. Promote hatred of immigrants rather than even discuss an immigration policy…no problem. Embrace Russia and other foreign interests ahead of Democrats and - shudder - liberals…no problem.

Democrats need to quit taking a knife to a gun fight. They need to fight with the same zeal as Republicans…and forget fairness. Democrats need to show up at Watermelon Festivals and County Fairs with booths offering prizes to those who can take apart and put back together a gun…with the unvarnished truth about what sensible gun control really is. Democrats don’t want to take your guns…they want rules and regulations like universal background checks…and fewer deaths.

Forget all the lies…Republicans don’t own patriotism or the flag or support for the military or love of The Constitution...or mom and apple pie. If Democrats don’t engage Republican voters as Americans and counter the lies - which have become truths and facts to these mostly white people scared by demagogues - American democracy will cease.

Democrats today have to fight the lies and fiction of the Trump Republicans…just like the Republicans in the 19th and 20th centuries who fought Democrats determined to keep slavery…even if it was called “separate but equal” or Jim Crow.

However distasteful it might be to engage those who accept fiction over fact…who seem ignorant and mean-spirited and racist…anything less marks the beginning of the end of American democracy.

— Don Thompson, an American awaiting Canadian citizenship, lives in Vernon and in Florida. In a career that spans more than 40 years, Don has been a working journalist, a speechwriter and the CEO of an advertising and public relations firm. A passionate and compassionate man, he loves the written word as much as fine dinners with great wines.


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