“Just remember, what you are seeing and what you are reading is not what's happening.”
Remember when the president of the United States said that?
This is an important rule dictated by every fascist despot and every cult leader. Free speech and a free press are not to be trusted.
Only Big Brother, the Fuhrer, Dear Leader, or Big Daddy’s going to tell you the truth. All you have to do is believe.
This is now a core doctrine of Trump era conservatism. It is Trumpism.
It feels so good to have a Big Daddy or a Dear Leader watching out for you and protecting you.
It feels secure and righteous to be the Real Americans, with a real leader to tell you who to blame.
Conservative Trumpists feel comfort and assurance in believing doctors like Fauci and the “liberal media” are wrong. They feel deceived and angry that science and journalism are fake news. They feel those journalists and scientists are a liberal conspiracy aligned against them. Can you blame them for feeling resentment, anger and fear?
So why feel threatened by all that mostly verifiable information?
No need for those phonies. Trumpism, née conservatism, has all the answers.
Science and journalism tell us large crowds are unsafe in a pandemic.
Trump holds rallies. Herman Cain felt he would be safe there.
Trumpist conservatism tells us shutdowns and masks are for libs and sheep, and it feels really good to go to Trump rallies.
It feels good to hear Trump attack the mainstream news media.
It feels good to chant and cheer loudly at their two-minute hates for Hillary, Obama, and Pelosi.
It feels good to hear Trump bellow, “Law and order!”
It feels good when Trump orders the gassing and assault on Americans legally protesting, just for a photo op. The vicarious thrill of exercising violent power against people protesting police brutality feels great. Like the press who were shot with rubber bullets or slammed and jabbed with shield edges, people who protest police brutality are the enemy.
And it feels mighty good to hate the enemy.
Indeed. Rallies, flags, and the angry hateful rhetoric of victimhood feel good.
Trumpism FEELS good.
Well, Trumpism FEELS good, until it doesn't. See Herman Cain and the Trump supporting politician who said coronavirus was a "socialist" hoax, until they were killed by the disease.
But rallies, flags, and the angry hateful rhetoric of victimhood are what make white nationalism and fascism feel so good.
Authoritarians in particular are drawn to the emotion-filled rhetoric of resentment and anger. It’s never about rational discourse and consideration of facts and evidence. It is gut level.
Or more precisely, it is centered in the emotion generating, fight or flight, reactionary responses of the amygdala. It's that pesky science again. The fear and loathing rhetoric of authoritarian leaders appeals to the primitive emotion part of the brain. When these emotions are channeled through far Right ideology, it comforts the frightened authoritarian followers. It soothes and assures them of their place in the world. It feels good to belong to the “good guys” and be a part of a greatness beyond their abilities.
Resentment, anger and fear become the bonding emotions of the far Right. A bracing sense of righteousness and belonging balances the fear and loathing. Their emotions are now on the roller coaster of far Right ideology. Blame, and feel good about blaming. Hate, and feel good about hating. Be great by scorning others. It feels so good.
Yes. I have to admit I can be a stubborn fool, especially by engaging in dialogue with Trump-supporting conservatives.
While there may not be a brilliant method to my madness, the many rounds of words with them have revealed certain tactics and patterns utilized by the far Right. We’ve all been inundated with the projection, dismissal of facts and evidence, and their whataboutism to deflect and distract from any message they wish to reject. Besides the usual tactics, there is another consistent pattern of far Right political discourse, with progressive or other positions outside their ideological cult bubble.
A recent exchange at a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing between Dr. Fauci and Sen. Rand Paul illustrates this pattern.
“To those who argue that the lockdown flattened the curve in New York and New Jersey, the evidence argues otherwise,” Paul said.
“No, you misconstrued that senator, and you’ve done that repeatedly in the past,” Fauci responded.
Paul claimed that New York has achieved herd immunity, saying around 22% of New York’s residents have likely been exposed to the coronavirus.
“You are not listening to what the director of the CDC said,” Dr. Fauci told Paul. “If you believe that 22% is herd immunity, I believe you’re alone in that.”
And there it is.
“I don’t have to listen to you. I know more about what you think than you do, and I know it is bad. I know all I need to know. I don’t care about your journalists, educators, scientists, doctors, logic, facts and evidence. And I don’t answer questions. Now, why don’t you listen to me? I’ll tell you Trump and Republicans and conservatism and capitalism and militarism and nationalism and MY religion have ALL the right answers to everything. And that makes you wrong about everything."
Yup. Trumpism FEELS so good. And this is exactly how Fascism feels so good.