Tuesday, September 20, 2016


What Orwell could never get over when reporting on the Spanish Civil War was the sudden, disorienting communist propaganda flip-flops, whereby fighters for the people became enemies of the people, overnight. Orwell ended up sleeping in a cemetery, for fear of arrest.

Trump's Birther flip-flop is just like Communist flip-flops of yore. These were among the reasons Americans used to hate communists. Hell, a Birther soldier refused to deploy to Afghanistan, got court-martialed, and is in prison now. How would Trump explain the flip-flop to him?

Trump employs gaslighting and other forms of psychological abuse when campaigning among the American electorate. Bitch-slapping is an unusual way to campaign. The question is, does it work?

At least my house is adjacent to a cemetery. I may be sleeping there next year:
The Trump campaign is making a bet that it can barrel through the debates without offering an honest accounting of birtherism. That he and his surrogates can gaslight media elites and passive news consumers about Trump’s role in coopting the birther movement, and turning it into an intimidating source of right-wing grassroots politics.

As grotesque as their effort is, and as nakedly as it reveals the Trump campaign’s disdain for media and the news-consuming public, it is not an entirely new strategic innovation. Don’t-believe-your-lying-eyes revisionism has a lengthy pedigree, and a mixed record, in conservative propaganda. And though it is unlikely to prevail in this instance, we’ve never seen it put to use at such a high level of Republican Party politics. The emergence of birther-truthers within the GOP leadership is the most fitting testament to the way Trump and the Republican Party are now one and the same.

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