Perhaps the most telling sign that American culture is in the midst of a serious crisis is the set of results of the latest report from the folks at Public Policy Polling. Truth, which one would think must be the solid foundation stone of democracy or even of life itself, is not considered a value by those who chose America’s next president.
Truth: The stock market has much more than doubled since Obama became president. Trumpies’ belief: The stock market is down.
Truth: Unemployment is down by nearly half since Obama became president. Trumpies’ belief: Unemployment is up.
Truth: Clinton won the popular vote by a large margin. Trumpies’ belief: trump won the popular vote.
Truth: California is a fully legitimate state in our Union. Trumpies’ belief: California votes shouldn’t count in the presidential election.
Truth: Clinton has nothing to do with any child sex ring, but 14% of the Trumpies think she does.
It is tempting but badly shortsighted to blame trump himself for the disconnect between trump supporters and reality. But the truth (which we of course car about) is that the conservative mindset in our country has been sliding toward gullibility, conspiracy theories, and outright stupidity for decades. People like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, two especially egregious examples of devotion to falsehoods, are just the tip of the iceberg. One of the worms crawling out from under the rocks these days is the highly popular Alex Jones but even he is just one among a great many “talk show” personalities who have valued ratings above reality.
The conservative mind is essentially defensive. Every new idea is seen as a threat. It is proving very easy for this defensiveness to slip into paranoia. And this brings with it an incredible gullibility. If you say to one of these gullible folk that Joe Blow is trying to undermine the right of Americans to eat fried chickens, they won’t even ask if there is such a person as Joe Blow.
Or, to use an actual example, if you say to a Michele Bachman or a Rush Limbaugh that Obama is spending $200,000,000 a day on a visit to Asia, they will explode with scorn of this awful president, not even giving a moment’s thought to the utter impossibility of such a claim.
Sadly, Republican leaders have not protested as this devotion to falsehood has arisen in their midst. The result — so far — is that a master manipulator comes along, sees how many suckers there are in America, and takes advantage of falsehoods and lies to become our next president.
You can read the PPP report at:
Or you can let Rachel Maddow summarize it for you at: