Monday, January 30, 2017 at 8:58 AM

Trumpasites Already Gagging on Big Lies (aka “Alternative Facts”) and Outrageous Pledges They Swallowed

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

I was in the vanguard of those who despaired at the willingness of so many Americans to swallow the big lies (e.g., about tax returns) and outrageous pledges (e.g., about banning Muslims) that characterized Trump’s presidential campaign. Not least because I began sounding alarms in this respect years before he even declared his candidacy — as “Trump for President?! Don’t Be a Sucker,” April 8, 2011, substantiates.

Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that, just days into his presidency, cartoonists are already ridiculing Trump’s supporters as suckers for buying into the signature pledge of his campaign. (I shall henceforth refer to them as Trumpasites, the mood-sucking parasites who feed off his toxic rhetoric.) No doubt you recall him leading them at rallies in chants about building a wall and making Mexico pay for it.

Well:

In a startling new pronouncement today, Donald Trump’s press secretary proposed what many analysts have long suspected – Americans, not the government of Mexico, would pay for building a wall along the U.S. southern border.

(Forbes, January 26, 2017)

Meanwhile, it is particularly galling that evangelicals are venting moral indignation at the religious bigotry inherent in the executive order Trump signed on Friday. It calls for a travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries — with Trump clarifying that

We only want to admit those that support our country and love deeply our people.

(Reuters, January 29, 2017)

Never mind that the only possible way to show that support and love is for Muslims to not only hail Donald J. Trump as the greatest leader in the history of mankind but also declare their love … for him.

But the reason this venting among evangelicals is so galling is that these are the same Christians who swallowed his campaign pledge to ban “all Muslims” from entering the United States. In fact, I found their willingness to sacrifice their moral authority at the altar of Trump’s idol-minded ambition so contemptible, I condemned them in “Evangelicals Supporting Donald Trump like Israelites Worshipping Golden Calf,” January 20, 2016

I am now in the vanguard of those despairing at the willingness of so many liberal (and liberated) women to take solace in Trump making his “first daughter,” Ivanka, “the most powerful first lady ever.” No less a liberal authority than the Washington Post heralded Trump’s incestuous intent in its edition on December 16, 2016.

Except that all of their talk about Ivanka having a positive, moderating influence on her Daddy is demonstrable bulls#!t. After all, this stepford daughter couldn’t even bring herself to criticize him for bragging about sexually assaulting women — complete with his infamous boast about “grab[bing] them by the pussy.”

Apropos of having a positive, moderating influence, don’t get me started on erstwhile sensible and principled Republicans like Speaker Paul Ryan. After all, they decried all of the big lies and outrageous pledges Trump blurted out during his campaign. Yet they are now blithely endorsing and rationalizing his implementation of policies based on those lies and pledges.

If you’ve ever wondered how so many German politicians became Hitler-saluting fascists, you need only look at how so many Republicans are becoming Trump-saluting bigots.

Unsurprisingly, everything Trump has done since his presidency began nine days ago has outraged Democrats. But everything Trump has done merely throws into stark relief the maxim

Elections have consequences.

In fact, those consequences have not been so dire since voters elected George W. Bush instead of Al Gore in 2000. That led to the 2003 invasion of a sectarian hornet’s nest in Iraq — the tragic and costly effects of which we’re still suffering to this day.

This is why I feel constrained to reiterate that the phenomenon of Donald Trump says far more about the American people than him. They clearly want to be entertained by the disruptive spectacle he creates and couldn’t care less about the offensive and invariably self-aggrandizing things he, er, tweets or does.

More to the point, the nature of foolish pride is such that, no matter how willfully he betrays them or endangers us, these Trumpasites will be loath to ever admit they were wrong about him. As indicated here above, this is especially the case with the evangelicals who betrayed zealous adherence to moral rectitude (and sold their souls) to vote for him.

The only saving grace in this context, according to sensible Republicans, is that he had the good sense to nominate cabinet members like James Mattis as secretary of defense, Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, and Nikki Haley as ambassador to the UN. Sure enough, these secretaries all seem determined to neuter the politically stray and rabid Trump, so much so that it’s already clear that, no matter what he might say, they will try to do what’s best for the USA.

Unfortunately, this president still gets to play the stereotype of the ignorant and boorish ugly American on the world stage like no American has before. And only God knows what that portends.

In any event, I presaged the sociopolitical consequences unfolding now in commentaries like “Why I Hate Twitter,” February 1, 2013, and “Rant about Stupid Voters…,” July 19, 2016. But I could not have presaged them better than the following from Matt Bai’s essay, “Trump’s Not Orwellian. He’s the Distracter-in-Chief,” Yahoo! News, February 2, 2017, in which Bai quotes Neil Postman’s polemic, Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985), in which Postman alludes to Aldous Huxley’s prescient novel, A Brave New World (1932) … got that?:

No Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As [Huxley] saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

Thank you Twitter, Facebook, Apple, et al. for helping to make Huxley’s fictional brave new world a reality.

Related commentaries:
Trump for pres? Don’t be a sucker
American people are fools
Evangelicals supporting trump

* This revised commentary was originally published on Saturday, January 28

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