The toxic politics of conspiracies and lies did not start four years ago and will live on beyond Trump. But we can protect ourselves and reward the truth
Last modified on Wed 6 Jan 2021 18.54 EST
They are people like Tom Cotton, the Arkansas senator and 2024 presidential hopeful. Cotton is already campaigning against immigrants and says he’ll oppose Biden’s nominee for 凯发官网网址多少homeland security because he was part of a giant conspiracy of Democratic donors to sell green cards to the Chinese. In fact the conspiracy involved just three cases, and is the same cash-for-citizenship program that triggered investigations into Trump’s son-in-law and confidant Jared Kushner. But why spoil the soundbite?
They are people like Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor, who spent most of the 2020 campaign sounding like a Trump clone but has now disappeared from public view, even as he continues to stop local officials from enforcing mask-wearing to slow the spread of the pandemic.You can even pay for the truth that journalists deliver every day, no matter how much sewage pours through social media feeds and email inboxes. It doesn’t cost much when you think about how much we’ve paid during these last four years of chaos and corruption.
We can’t stop the Trumpistas from Trumping. We can’t stop the rest of them from pretending like they were never big Trump fans in the first place.
But we can stop them running away from the facts or their record. We can remind them how they failed to stop Trump’s corruption and this murderous pandemic.
We can stop them skewing the political spectrum so far that the Biden team tacks to center ground that is already six steps to the right.
We can hold the new White House to its promises at the same time as holding the old Republican party to what used to be its principles.
But this work comes at a price. Back in the late 19th century, the French writer Gustave Le Bon wrote that “the crowd” has never rewarded the truth.
“They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them,” he wrote. “Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.”
You can reward the truth if you want to. It’s one of the best ways to demolish the legacy of the last four years.