This sort of thing has been discussed before, but it feels like we're all Marty McFly in Back to the Future Part II, arriving back at good old 1985 only find that it's been mysteriously commandeered by Biff Tannen and transformed into an unrecognizable hellscape.
But we don't need a time traveling Delorean to remember how, just after the 2008 election, the Republican Party went indiscriminately bonkers when then-President-elect Obama began hiring policy advisers to his administration staff. Since the FDR administration, the press has been calling these specialized advisers "czars." It's a catchy press nickname and not an official White House title, but the GOP figured their people would be too dumb and too outraged to understand that Obama didn't invent the word. From there, way too many Republican voters helped to reinforce the utterly false "Obama is a commie" meme.
Also worth mentioning is how the GOP conflated "czars" with 2009's other panic-button issue: the rise of socialism in America (that never really happened). In other words, a pre-communism Russian word, "czar," was deliberately misconstrued to reference Soviet-era communist Russia. But, naturally, Republicans dutifully lapped it up.
How times have changed, eh?
The exact voting bloc that lost its collective shpadoinkle over the (nonexistent) White House czars due to the word's ahistorical, anachronistic "commie" misuse, are currently lining up to defend Trump and Putin against CIA revelations that Russia hijacked the election in order to install Trump. In other words, fake "czars" are a major issue but Russia literally meddling in our democratic process is greeted with a group "whatevs."
No wonder Putin's scam worked as planned.
Regarding the Russia story, the 4,000 pound gorilla in the room -- the angle that few are discussing today is this: Russia's cyber-attacks only worked because gullible idiots and a complicit press (online and off) made it work. Without the American people taking the bait, the alleged bombshells in the Podesta and DNC emails would've landed with a thud rather than being reported nearly every day with screamer headlines, effectively decimating the Hillary Clinton campaign.
So, on top of James Comey's series of reckless press conferences and confusing public letters; on top of 30 years of unfair and mostly untrue smears; on top of a defiant and nihilistic Jill Stein crowd; and on top of widespread voter suppression and voter purges, we can add to the mix Russia's ongoing manipulation of the press and voters alike. As a corollary to the Russia story, insert "the rank stupidity of 62 million voters" and "the unquestioning press" and we can only conclude that Hillary Clinton's popular vote victory is even more impressive.
Let's be perfectly frank: tens of millions of Trump voters cast their ballots from a place of raw dumbness. If we factor in this week's reaction to Putin's tampering, it's almost too much imbecility to comprehend, made worse by the reality that very few if any Trump voters will ever admit they made an historically cataclysmic error.
Just how misinformed are Trump's people? According to a PPP poll conducted from December 6-7, here's what Trump voters think about a series of top shelf stories:
- 40 percent of Trump voters insist that he won the national popular vote
- 60 percent of Trump voters think that Hillary Clinton received millions of illegal votes.
- 73 percent of Trump voters believe that George Soros is paying Trump protesters.
- 29 percent of Trump voters don't think California votes should be allowed to count in the national popular vote.
- 67 percent of Trump voters think the unemployment rate went up. Only 20 percent accurately believe it went down.
- 39 percent of Trump voters think the stock market went down under Obama. 19 percent are unsure.
- 14 percent of Trump voters think Hillary Clinton is connected to a child sex ring run out of a Washington, DC pizzeria. Another 32 percent aren't sure one way or another. Only 54 percent are certain that Pizzagate is what it is: a myth.
Of course none of these opinions are true. And every single one of these voters is therefore dumb and gullible enough to be perfectly ripe for Putin's espionage activities.
It's debatable whether Trump voters would've cast ballots for Hillary if they were made aware of the truth about Russia, not to mention the list of other issues about which they were so grossly mislead. Reality aside, it's possible they would've conjured another set of excuses to vote for Trump. As with quite a few Trumpers, they simply hated Hillary and devised whatever excuses they could conjure in order to justify voting for Trump. I tend to go with a multi-causal analysis, though, with blinding stupidity appearing toward the very top of my autopsy list. All told, Trump voters have been willfully brainwashed by Fox News and the conservative entertainment complex to believe reality is fake and fake news is reality.
And now we have no choice but to find ways to survive Trump's America after this historically dangerous electoral blunder. For the first time ever, 62 million Americans and a damaged press corps helped Vladimir Putin install a puppet of Moscow in the Oval Office -- a puppet that can be blackmailed and strong-armed to do Putin's bidding.
Good job, Trump voters. And good luck.