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Repubs continue their war of People of Color

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These Republican efforts to crush minority voting are so obvious that I had to ask myself how they dare to do it in the glare of daylight. Usually when rogues do dastardly things, they wait for cover of night—like cockroaches raiding the kitchen pantry.

But these Republicans seem to have no fear or shame. Instead, they boast of their crimes. Where do they get their effrontery?

From Trump, of course. They have learned from him (and he learned it from Goebbels) that the Big Lie works. “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it,” the Nazi Minister of Propaganda and Enlightenment remarked, “people will eventually come to believe it.” Hence the 30,573 lies Trump told during the course of his blighted presidency.

These Republicans knew that Trump lied almost every time he opened his mouth. At first, they were appalled—privately, of course. They’d heard his prevarications about Obama’s birthplace, and, later, about the size of his inaugural crowd and the fakeness of the COVID-19 pandemic, and so they knew he was a pathological liar. But they saw, also, that he got away with it—not with Democrats or the legitimate news media, but with Republicans, who loved Trump’s boastful chutzpah. Popularity is the mother’s milk of politicians, and so they decided to back up Trump’s lies. Later, they decided to lie themselves, and this is where the Republican Party is today: hoisted on the petard of its own unnatural tendencies. Like a serial killer who knows that time is running out, but who lusts for additional spoilage, these Republicans double down every day on lies. The depravity of the Arizona “recount,” with its bamboo-laced ballots, is the most recent example. It would be completely insane, were there not so many others.

How long can Republicans maintain these lies? Goebbels had the answer. “The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.” Trump’s lies do have severe consequences for the American people, the most important of which are the undermining of our democracy and the resulting erosion of civil liberties. But there are economic consequences too: working class Americans can’t get ahead because Republican tax policy is heavily stacked against them, and because their wages are limited due to Republican favoritism of corporations. If Republican voters, especially the working class, understood how negatively Trumpism is impacting them, they might become Democrats, or at least Independents. Hence (Goebbels again), “It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

This is where Fox “News” and other conservative media outlets come in. Their role is not to disseminate news, and it is not to tell the truth. It is to repress facts that are “the enemy of the State”—the Republican state. It is to repress voting. People of color are not stupid, as Republicans insist they are. People of color know exactly what’s going on. They see how Republicans keep trying to marginalize them. They know they lost ground economically under Trump. They know that Trump tried to kill them by gleefully letting the pandemic spread unchecked through their communities. They understand that Republicans don’t want them to vote, and they know why: because people of color tend to vote Democratic. They heard Trump when he said, on his favorite T.V. program, Fox & Friends, that if every American voted who was eligible to, “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.” There it was, a dastardly thing said in broad daylight. Republicans said they liked Trump because he told it like it was and always spoke his mind, and it was true. He spoke the “truth” of segregation, of Jim Crow, of voter suppression laws, of white supremacy. He did it openly, and saw his popularity among Republicans soar higher and higher. No wonder Republican politicians sold their souls and jumped on to the Trump train.

Well, here we are, already thinking about the 2022 elections. McCarthy is widely said to be favored to become the next Speaker. Anything is possible, but I have to believe that the American people are finally realizing what a horrible disaster Trump was, and are grateful to be done with him. But I’ve been wrong before about Trump. In 2011, I predicted he was done. What did I know, in my blue bubble? What do I know now?

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