The Right Problem

Sometimes, unrelated “factoids” converge to tell a story. Just in the past couple of weeks, I’ve come across stories that seemed initially to be unconnected, but come together to illustrate a troubling aspect of contemporary political life.

Factoid #1: Recent polls show that a third of Americans do not believe the Nazis killed six million Jews.Thirty-one percent of the Americans surveyed, and 41 percent of millennials within that group, do not believe that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust and think the real death toll is at least 2 million lower. (Eleven percent said it is acceptable to hold neo-Nazi views.)

Factoid #2: An October poll by Axios found barely a majority of Americans affirming faith in democracy. Just 51% of Americans said they have faith in the country’s democracy, and 37% say they have lost faith in democracy.

Factoid #3: The people most apt to share “fake news“–to be taken in by conspiracy theories, spin and propaganda– aren’t defined by political ideology, but by age (although age does correlate with political philosophy). Research published by the journal Science Advances, found that older Americans — especially those over 65 — were much more likely to share fake news than younger ones, and conservatives and Republicans were more likely to share fake news than were liberals and Democrats.

There are several disheartening conclusions to be drawn from these disparate items. The most obvious is that Americans are woefully ignorant of history. Another is that the pace of social change has been most upsetting to older Americans, who find themselves attracted to “alternative facts” when their settled views are  challenged. Still another is that Americans are disappointed with the direction the nation is taking, and draw the conclusion that democracy hasn’t worked.

But beneath those fairly superficial conclusions, I think there is a state of bewilderment. As our media has fragmented, as the availability of widely-trusted news sources has diminished and the number of politicized, highly partisan outlets has increased,  thoughtful Americans–those who don’t automatically accept the spin from one “true believer” cult or another– no longer know what to believe.

Did you read that six million Jews were murdered? Well, maybe. Where did you read that?  Did you read that Trump lies constantly? Well, that was from the Washington Post; this article from Breitbart attributes the accusation to the Post’s “liberal bias.” I’m not sure who’s right.

An article for the Guardian profiled David Neiwert, who has written about the contribution of the alt-right to our current situation.

For several decades following the Great Depression, when capitalism and liberal democracy teetered on the brink, Republicans and Democrats “agreed to defend democracy, and defend the values of democracy because it benefited them all by following basically FDR’s program. Now, we’ve lost that because conservatives have decided they are no longer willing to submit to any kind of government run by liberals,” Neiwert says. “The current conservative movement has decided it no longer wishes to be part of a liberal democracy.”…

Neiwert has focused on the media environment.

In his 2009 book The Eliminationists, Neiwert explained how this post-9/11 authoritarianism was fuelled by increasingly lurid fantasies in conservative media of destroying liberals, Muslims and other perceived enemies. These bubbled away throughout the presidency of Barack Obama, himself the subject of endless conspiracy theorising. Trump, of course, became the principal pusher of the idea that Obama wasn’t born in the US. His subsequent presidential campaign was powered by authoritarian and conspiratorial fantasy. And so, Alt-America has its president.

But can the problems Neiwert points to actually be remedied? “I’m not optimistic,” he says. “I believe that we’ve dug ourselves a really deep hole and we have a really long way to dig up.” He believes that while Trump is likely to lose in 2020, the movement, and the party, that propelled him to power will continue to have a malign effect.

One important step to challenge this would be media reform. He says that the internet and corporate ownership of local media have “basically gutted the ability of local newspapers to cover local news, gutted the ability of larger newspapers to do consumer and investigative reporting”. Social media, a paradise for conspiracy theorists, is filling the gap.

Without trusted and trustworthy journalism,  reasonable citizens don’t know what they can believe, and that uncertainty paralyzes them.

Unreasonable citizens believe what they want to believe, and alt-right propagandists are happy to oblige.

27 thoughts on “The Right Problem

  1. Per these statistics only 51% of Americans still have faith in democracy. That means that 49% of Americans have either lost faith in America or are undecided about the matter. We need to stop questioning why so few Americans vote; we know why. A better line of questioning would be why so many Americans have lost faith in democracy. Many would say that it is a lack of education. Others will say it is the propaganda of the far right. This old woman will say that it is social evolution driven by that most basic of human instincts… survival.
    Whether those who are running the economy and governments admit it or not, mankind is facing the ramifications of our destruction of the ecology of the world. We have bred ourselves into poverty and hunger, and the lifestyles of those at the top of the food chain are in jeopardy.
    So, just as mankind has done throughout the ages, we adopt new systems of government and economics in order to maintain what we already have. If that means building a wall as the United States is doing or deporting migrants to a remote island as Australia is doing, it is plain to see that those with the most are willing to jettison democracy in order to maintain the status quo of their power and money.

  2. Do we believe Trump, Limbaugh, Coulter, Fox News or our own lying eyes?

    “Did you read that six million Jews were murdered? Well, maybe. Where did you read that? Did you read that Trump lies constantly? Well, that was from the Washington Post; this article from Breitbart attributes the accusation to the Post’s “liberal bias.” I’m not sure who’s right.”

    “Research published by the journal Science Advances, found that older Americans — especially those over 65 — were much more likely to share fake news than younger ones, and conservatives and Republicans were more likely to share fake news than were liberals and Democrats.”

    These two quotes from Sheila are strongly connected; some of us who comment regularly have referred to our own experiences with family members and friends who read the same history books, watched the same history programs and old newsreels, have had friends who survived the Holocaust or WWII and saw firsthand what happened or the results. They also at this time watch Trump’s rants and blathering in his endless campaign for the 2020 presidential election and deny his lies. IMO the disbelievers all fit into two categories; staunch Republicans and those who do not vote. “There are none so blind as those who WILL NOT see.”

    “Unreasonable citizens believe what they want to believe, and alt-right propagandists are happy to oblige.”

    When the blind lead the blind, both fall into the ditch. Is this current administration nearing that ditch or are my lying eyes deceiving me? Is that higher percentage of Americans who recognize the reality of our history and our current situation gaining ground against those who blindly follow Trump’s White Nationalist agenda and his lies or will corporate America buy another election?

  3. i grew up, primary education,catholic and public schools,age 5 to 13 in the new york city/newark n.j. area. the curriculum was complete,with religion,except for publc schools. my aunt ,a nun,and college grad was across town teaching elementry school. my grandfolks,relocated to this area from scranton pa,hard scrap town,with a irish,german,heritage. many made the move to the east coast,to supply the war effort(WW2) the ship yards and supply fields,then i moved to, norfolk va,something was diffrent, 1968 navy town,vietnam,public school. new school, i went to a grade above the one i left.. then again when i moved to bakerfield calif,1970 again,i skipped a grade when entering this school.
    seems the education level from my catholic school,its curriculum was ahead of typical public school in jersey.. the subjects and area i was studying in bajersfield,were already done,and was just taking it over again. but,the world had changed. instead of being around interesting people who held the world in thought,i was around people who just matter of factly… i lost a passion. bakersfileld,is a concept from the depression,dust bowl. though one to knock it,i will,its hillbilly in thought,as far as the education and civic minded. i actully quit school in tenth grade,and at 17 joined the navy during vietnam era,just to leave it.. i couldnt take the dust bowl attitude,and its educated past. never thought about why,until years later. my grandfolks installed on me,civic duty,and it was a natural thing to do. i was educated thru the many voices from my elders,neighbors,and thier friends,about war,politics and why.. many of those were only 2/3 generations,from those who crossed the atlantic,for a new world,and freedom from unjust goverments.and many,went back,in both wars,to secure freedom,and many did not come back. I listen to those voices,and must have been very moved by them,as i was only growing up.the best education,is one from those who lived it,and will not stop educating the next generation to keep America,America…

  4. I wonder if Axios would do another poll asking the respondents to define democracy, before answering the question of whether they believe it’s working. I would also suggest a follow-up question: Do you vote?

    We only have a democracy, or in our case a democratic republic, if the people vote.

  5. Maybe all this is the result of successful subversion of our democracy by those who swallowed Lewis Powell’s call to arms by corporate/banking America to literally purchase the hearts, minds, souls and government of the United States for the sake of PROFITS.

  6. Just voting doesn’t work because a large majority of our politicians are liars who work for the Donor Class while telling voters what they want to hear.

    Democracy is a country run by the people and we don’t have that at this time. We’ve had an Oligarchy for a very long time and most likely since our inception.

    The press was neutered long before social media and the internet. Some of the best journalists are independent and would never have a voice if it weren’t for the internet and social media.

    Media apologists love to use scapegoats instead of owning the problem. Also, how many young journalists were rejected from corporate media because after all, “Media is a business first.”

    I have a lawyer friend whose kids attend a local high school and play sports. He attends all the events and shares what he’s witnessing (social media) with scores and highlights. He’s doing sports journalism on Facebook.

    My local Gannett trash is really good at writing about local criminals who get arrested and/or convicted. So, why doesn’t the Delaware County Sheriff, Muncie Police Department, and Delaware County Justice system have their own social media staff to report on local happenings?

    The technology is already there for this to happen. I can spend 15 minutes on Twitter and know all I want about current events because those reporting the happenings and covering the stories use Twitter (social media). Some stories are published by major outlets while others are not. Watching TV news is a complete waste of time. Waiting for a newspaper to be delivered is so 1980s.

    This is the reason for my optimism about media prospects. Technology is causing changes to occur rapidly. We will refine how stories are conveyed much to the chagrin of traditional media shareholders, advertisers, and consumers.

    We were lazy and wanted someone to tell us everything we needed to know in a neat package. Not anymore. Critical thinking skills are even more important than ever because of all the information coming at us.

    This is why closed minded people on social media have banned or blocked their open-minded friends/family. They want to share racist memes without being called racists. And their followers want to like the meme without the guilt of being tagged a racist. 😉

    I could crush the remaining newspaper in our community but somebody is secretly defending it and I suspect this is the case all across the country. As for the IndyStar, don’t you think all those restaurants they write about have Facebook or Google pages? 😉

  7. If it is true a third of the American Populace doesn’t believe the Nazi’s killed the Jews, then the poll that showed them responding some 59% favorable to there being a real 7 DAY CREATION and the VIRGIN BIRTH of ‘Jesus’ is true too… and this nation is down the crapper of history. Perhaps this is why my research isn’t even looked at by people. I recently took my page down – after 21 years of trying to show it to people – I guess it is time to just continue on my own. Maybe one day people will be willing to see it. Folks – these are your neighbors or possibly even some of you!… And all I can say is that humanity is about to wipe itself out – because the Universe doesn’t choose for STUPID.

  8. I have long held the belief that the America’s 4 Estate of American journalism must be regulated by Truth, meaning that occurs daily thats news and must be factual, truth based, accurate about the news event and liable if not accurate.
    All other news that veers from that accurate truth must be labeled opinions or open commentary.
    If less that 75 % of that story is untrue in anyway it should be listed as entertainmening commentary.
    This standard should be crafted in a way that does not impair free speech but like movie ratings contain a designation of it accuracy and factual content.
    The 5th Estate the universe of social media should be open and free to all as the American Free Speach square , “reader beware”, where theories, negative comments, conspiracy theory and all outcries are posted with some rules for decorum and decency. You should have the verbal skills to voice your thoughts and opinions.
    Free speach among citizens should not be limited but commercial news that fills the public airways should the factual to the highest standards. It’s a brave new world out there and truth is the first causality in the battle to hold on to our democracy.

  9. It is the media itself which educates citizens since the powers that be seem disinterested in providing civic education to children, and with print and electronic means owned by corporations primarily interested in advertising revenues it’s just a matter of choosing the best propaganda line to fatten bottom lines and hence we have Foxes, MSNBCs, Breitbarts and their ilk in relentless pursuit of Nielsens and circulation numbers.

    The backroom owners (Murdochs et al) and publishers who are slashing newsroom personnel to make more profit have little interest in history, democracy or any other such reminder of the past such as year guideposts (1776-Declaration of Independence; 1789-French Revolution; 1619-first introduction of black slaves into the then colonies etc.), and why? Because they don’t sell; they do nothing for Nielsens or circulation; they don’t make money, all of which tells me that we need much greater public investments in NPR and curricular reform beyond reading, writing and arithmetic in our educational system. STEM emphasis and funding while necessary is a capitalist thing – we clearly need to teach more why along with how in the system.

    Those who would throw democracy under the bus should look at the alternatives provided by history, alternatives such as life under a Stalin, a Hitler, a Genghis Khan – bloodthirsty dictators who thought no more of their subjects than as mere means of expanding their own powers, situations we see at work today in our own country with a wannabe dictator whose current preoccupation with a fantasy wall has taken all of the oxygen out of other real and pressing problems (e.g., Putin, Kim, global economic slowdown, fractured alliances, domestic wage inequality etc.). We the people are entitled to a political and economic system that treats real problems in a real world for real people; we cannot afford the waste of our time and resources in the pursuit of fantasies. To do: Defend democracy (or what is left of it) vigorously and relentlessly from all oppressive forces foreign or domestic.

  10. Your essay today, Sheila, omits one important thing in all the problems that have developed, and that can be defined by one word: ‘evil’.
    Evil has always existed and always will, but during the ‘good times’ good and confident people work hard to keep it under control and in the background where it has limited acceptance. This changed in 1980 when a certain President uttered the ‘Ten most feared words in the English language,’ “I’m from the government and am here to help you”, and the idea was accepted.
    Newt Gingerich undermined the nation with the “Contract (on) for America” which destroyed the accepted truths of America that had existed for 50 years. What “W” Bush did was, unlike 12.7.1941, to lie us into the wrong war after we were attacked, and yes, that too, was evil.
    And the most destructive act of all? Mitch McConnell who pulled an unconstitutional trick to deny the duly elected President and Congress the right to govern.
    And the source of all these actions? Simply the undoing of the fairness doctrine on the mass media which was promulgated by that first President I mentioned.
    Now, we have a minority President committing actions which remind us of the Holocaust of Germany.
    These actions are all pure, unadulterated evil, and they are being applauded by nearly half the population of the nation. Is it any wonder people no longer trust ‘democracy’ and really have no idea how to restore it?

  11. _______THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT (PER SHEILA)————-Seems like a good day for this…

    CommonGoodGoverning was born to try to begin to turn the Titanic of American Democracy. Our story….We are concerned citizens worried about the world and country our children and grandchildren will live in. We fear that our democracy is coming apart at the seams due to partisanship, ideology and issue/identity politics.

    We are working to replace US House career politicians with servant leaders who will take American governing toward the common good. Last November, we helped elect four of them: Conor Lamb (PA), Elissa Slotkin (MI), Dean Phillips (MN), Elaine Luria (VA). We would greatly appreciate sharing our vision with you for your thoughts. We have a brief “backgrounder” with our ideas that I can share. We write to you as citizens, not in your professional roles.

    Sheila has my email address.

  12. I think that an important component of the backlash to “social change” is coming to grips with history. Actually, when I was being educated in the 1950’s and 1960’s, the textbooks and common knowledge of history, in the North, were more racist and ignorant than backwards textbooks currently in Texas. So, our history has changed, and we know it had, and has, been packed with lies and misinformation and crucial omissions/erasures. So, most people are able to change their values and to compromise in a pluralistic society. However, we are asking people to change their history. That is more difficult. Based on facts, there is no compromise with one’s history. Those changes are deep and mind-boggling, to cut down all of the assumptions and false narratives, confabulations and rationalizations in one fell swoop.

    I have one more comment, and that is to point to the fear of LatinX migration. This is not just because of the tendency of Hispanic voters to vote Democratic. It is also still an effort to contain socialism and to contain the liberation theology of actual Christianity. To me, one of the most important things we can do today is to not allow the oppression of Socialism or Social Democrats or Liberation Theology. This means stepping outside of the Democratic establishment, standing up for bold socialist reforms that are the only way to save capitalism, given our current gilded age.

  13. The root cause of much of this is our current education system that teaches to test on “facts”, rather than teaching critical thinking. If you can find it, the book “Teaching as a Subversive Activity” from the 60’s tells the story.

  14. Although I am passionate about democracy, I suffer from concerns about its resilience. If a man as deeply ignorant and totally unprepared as Trump can shake the foundations of the rule of law and freedom of the press and establish mendacity as an administration policy, and then get 52 Republican Senators to support him, is democracy able to defend itself? It appears to me that we can keep democracy only for as long as we have patriotic leaders of good will who understand how much there is to lose. That criterion would exclude our current president.

    When Trump’s back is against the wall as it will be in the 2020 election, and he has educated subversives like Bolton and McConnell and Bannon to advise him on how to seize absolute power, will he decline the opportunity? I don’t think so. How, then, will democracy prevail, or will it? Our founding fathers did not envision a sadistic, traitorous, self-seeking individual in the presidency and therefore, made no provisions for dealing with such a circumstance. If you and I don’t figure out the answer to that question, we will relive many of the experiences of pre-WWII Germany and gather new insights into the almost limitless depths of human depravity.

    I do not personally wish for an early demise (actually it’s too late for that) for this worst of all men, but I agree with my friend who says, “I won’t be offended if his head explodes or he develops a permanent case of explosive flatulence.”

  15. Americans in general are exposed to a Corporate History. 20 million Soviets were killed during WW 2 as a result of Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union. Hitler’s planned genocide of the Slavs is well documented, but ignored in general.

    With a unique American amnesia the 3.5 million Asians killed during our Vietnam War is ignored. Millions of people killed, wounded, missing or refugees because of Bush the Younger’s Gulf War 2. No WMD’s ever found. High government officials that made these decisions escaped responsibility.

  16. I caution (again) against sweeping conclusions from surveys, particularly conclusions drawn from and combining results from only three questions in three different surveys.

    1. 37% said they had “lost faith” in democracy. Place me and about a third or more of your viewers in that category.

    2. As to the number of Jews murdered, participants were given eight (8) different choices ranging from 20 million to “other”, 6 million being a rather precise number from an historical event over 70 years ago.

    3. The survey creators interpreted the over 65 year of age correlation with sharing “fake news” as may being a proxy for other factors such as “digital media literacy”.

    Lies, damned lies and statistics.

  17. Democracy is in danger in a society overwhelmed with advertising. In such a world people can easily become addicted to whatever glitters. Political advertisements during the last year were horrendous and they get worse with every new election. I haven’t lost faith in democracy, but I am deeply worried about it.

  18. We have all heard about and been exposed to these “total deniers” of the Holocaust. They have been around even before WWII ended. Undoubtedly, it’s very troubling that 1/3rd of Americans choose not to believe the Nazis killed 6 million Jews.

    I suspect there are a variety of reasons, some less benign and less rational than others, why these 1/3rd of Americans “choose” to deny the overwhelming evidence that it happened. Some don’t believe anything coming from the U.S. Government (There are still those who choose to believe that the moon landings were fake), even if it was back in the days when the Greatest Generation came home from Europe and testified to what had happened.

    But I doubt the refusal to believe in the reality of the Holocaust is due to a lack of education or exposure to that history. They heard it. They know about it. They just don’t want to believe it. So they don’t. The old saying that “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink” comes to mind.

    But what really made my head spin in those poll numbers and is hard for me to make any sense of whatsoever was the “41 percent of millennials within that group, (who) do not believe that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust and think the real death toll is at least 2 million lower”? What the heck?

    Explain that to me: These millennials choose (or are willing) to believe the Nazis DID KILL up to maybe 4 million Jews, but no way it was as many as 6 million? Just couldn’t have been that many! How could you kill 6 million? Had to only be 4 million?

    So these folks not only know, but believe the Nazis killed huge numbers of Jews. But what? If it was only 4 million Jews instead of 6 million Jews, it wasn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be? 4 million or so Jews killed was just sort of bad, but 6 million would be really bad? So it just can’t be true?

    That’s not an education problem, it’s a dysfunctional thinking problem. Truly hard to make any sense of that at all. Maybe it’s just me.

  19. Funny that I woke this morning thinking about how I view government and politicians currently in office. I quickly moved to conclude that I may vote for particular candidate for local, state or federal office, but I don’t trust them to follow the positions they provide as part of their campaigns. Trust is the operative word. Loss of trust is pervasive, in the media, in my religious institutions, in neighborhood and city officials, in state representatives and certainly in federal officials of all parties.

    Too often the self-interest of the person, company or institution takes precedence over the common good. Whether those interests are personal or bought by oligarchs’ dark money, the outcomes are the same. Don’t trust anything they publicly support, report or preach

    I don’t know how we ever get trust back once it is lost. Ask anyone who has been betrayed by someone they trusted. Forgiveness can be realized but trust almost never comes back.

    As to the history we were taught in school, it was always told from the perspective of the victors, almost always males, and in this country, white Protestants. I learned about the other perspectives by reading voraciously, often books that were frowned upon or outright banned. Fortunately, my parents were readers themselves and encouraged us to think critically. I was present at family meals where politics and religion were regular topics of sometimes heated discussions. Family members had been participants in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, bearing witness in personal accounts of the horrors of war and the cost they paid for the rest of their lives.

    I don’t know the answer to the bigger and most challenging questions. I do know that I have to work hard to keep myself informed as much as possible and view the political rhetoric of all sides with a jaundiced eye and an open mind as I attempt to find the truth even as I no longer trust.

  20. “There are several disheartening conclusions to be drawn from these disparate items. The most obvious is that Americans are woefully ignorant of history. ”

    Drop the words “of history” from the above quote and you have identified the nexus of the problem. We are ignorant of history, science, climate change the political process, and absolutely ANYTHING about the rest of the world.

    I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

  21. Watch the movie, “Denial”, based on Deborah Lipstadt’s book, “History On Trial: My Day In Court With A Holocaust Denier”. Well known Holocaust denier and Hitler supporter David Irving, filed suit against Ms. Lipstandt for naming him in her book “Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory”. Because Irving is a British citizen and Ms. Lipstadt’s book was published by a British publisher, the trial was held in London. The case was decided in Ms. Lipstadt’s favor; her defense in itself is interesting as is the working of the court system in the UK. Mr. Irving acted as his own council; his condescending demeanor will be familiar to those of us who are watching our own government officials and their supporters deny history and spout rhetoric as fact. Antisemitism is as old as history itself but all is becoming new again and acceptable to those who agree with Trump’s comments about the Charlottsville, VA, rally and murder.

  22. When I think about it the first time that I heard the seeds of the ignorance now engulfing the country it was from Rush Limbaugh.

  23. Rush is a detriment,but he was effective in moving the Liberal establishment to the right. This blog is proof of that.

  24. Understanding the mind of a Holocaust denier or a Trump lover is impossible. Their minds are inscrutable even to themselves. Lack of self awareness is their chief defense mechanism, and that tactic seems inexhaustible. Ask Joe Scarborough, whose head was spinning as he plaintively asked, “How can those people (at Trump’s El Paso rally) listen to and applaud lie after lie? They know he is lying, and still they applaud!” Aren’t we all equally puzzled?

    Recognizing this form of mindlessness for the evil that it reveals is probably a better use of time than trying to comprehend the incomprehensible. Thirty-five percent of the American people are afflicted with this form of paralytic dementia. All we can do is to better prepare ourselves to deal with them when Trump calls them into the streets. Some highly compensated journalists – who are also part time Trump advisers – share this class of morbidity.

  25. Don’t believe anything.
    Be a skeptic about all things.

    Look at that word “believe” and consider what it means. Be skeptical even about that definition. It leaves out important stuff, like: to believe is at worst an insult to your own intelligence and at best a plan K or a plan X — a plan you’re left with when all the more reasonable plans have failed or been discarded. No reasonable, sane person begins with plan X.

  26. With media that are now propagandists rather than journalists, Pinocchio for President, and a dwindling middle class, I can understand why faith in democracy is suffering.

  27. This is a real eye-opener of an article and it explains a lot of what I would term as being traditionally “unAmerican” thinking that permeates many quarters of this country now and goes a long way in explaining why and how this has taken place. I have wondered for a long time how people that grew up in the public school system that I did and took the same basic introductory classes in civics, government and our country’s history could adopt ideas that border on being neo-fascist in some instances.

    While this country has flirted with this sort of aberrant thinking in the past, most notable during the mid-1930’s immediately prior to FDR being elected to his second term as President during the Great Depression, it is definitely back again with a vengeance. Hopefully, we can get past this but every day this goes on it continues to rip the very fabric of our society and our form of democracy to shreds. The fissure between the left, middle and right is akin to the Grand Canyon and it is weakening this country in ways that we are still trying to grasp.

    While we run ourselves aground our geopolitical adversaries are gaining ground and leverage over us and our friends are running scared since they feel that they can no longer count on us as the bulwark of democracy as it has been traditionally practiced. That old Pogo cartoon where “We have met the enemy and he is us” applies more now that when it first appeared. All of this is far beyond liberal and conservative thinking – it includes fascist thinking exhorted by demagogues that are fueled by hate, racism and, very likely, Russian money and help to push it along further.

    The deep hole David Neiwert describes in this piece just might end up being to deep for us to climb out of. We may have already lost the war for global leadership without a single shot ever being fired while we fight like cats and dogs with each other. What a legacy we leave as perhaps the last caretakers of what started 243 years ago, something that we have allowed to be irrevocably damaged and perhaps destroyed.

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