Mother Jones illustration; Chris Kleponis/CNP/Zuma
WN: But what about his crazed cultic followers?! Of whom I have two close relatives . . . Deplorables, yes! But what else? . . .
What can seem like dizzying insanity is by design. If you aren’t among the minority of Americans subscribing to the Trump cult, then he wants you to give up. When people are constantly pummeled with confusion, conflict, and outrage, some will stop paying attention and check out. There’s work to do, bills to pay, kids to Zoom-school, a raging pandemic to worry about. It can feel like it’s not worth the effort needed to sort out what’s true or false. Meanwhile, repeated lies gain traction. With the vague sense that everything is an unpleasant mess, then maybe some people won’t even bother to vote, especially with Republicans working overtime to make that fundamental right more difficult.
Trump may well bea dangerous psychopath, but he isn’t crazy. He doesn’t spread lunatic conspiracy theories because he believes them. Not for a moment does he actually think that Joe Biden secretly arranged the murder of Navy SEALs in a scheme to stage the takedown of Osama bin Laden. When Trump shared those claims recently on Twitter, his motivation was, as always, to provoke, entertain, confuse, “trigger the libs,” and change the subject from his own failures. Never mind that a pro-Trump Navy SEAL who was on the bin Laden mission openly called BS on Trump’s trolling. By the time NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie asked the president during last Thursday night’s town hall why he would spread such bizarre and baseless material, he wouldn’t give an inch.
Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.
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