It’s all part of the conservative propaganda war.

Formerly responsible editors appear to be open to the idea that people’s feelings are a kind of truth. So whatever people feel is true, is true, in a way, and therefore potentially newsworthy. Then they take an illogical leap — True is true, isn’t it? Do we really need to debate kinds of truth? And there you have it!

Ipso facto, if people feel like the election just wasn’t right, then it wasn’t. If people feel the insurrection was just an unplanned mob, then it was. If people say they’re sure Antifa and BLM were there, then it’s true, at least in the effect it is having on their opinions about who should be held to account.

This is textbook propaganda. Fox’s bread and butter. Trump’s mastercraft. Goebbel’s inspiration.

It’s also the same tool that the Republicans have been using to pursue power for the past 30 years. This is not new. Do whatever the fuck you want, lie about it, then complain that you’re being censored and double down on your first lie by equating your feelings to truth. It’s dangerous.

I think some editors have bought into the “disenfranchised working class voter” narrative, and what they’re trying to do is give their right-leaning audiences and writers a chance to be heard, in the hopes that it will reduce partisanship.

But articles like the ones you discussed suggest that the educated political commentators and politicians are as yet still unwilling to change. They still ultimately seek to rationalize and support their beliefs. They still think like Trump. Truth is relative, and if you have enough power, you get to say what is true and what isn’t true. So let’s keep playing up how we feel.

In their own way, what they’re saying is always the same. “The election was stolen from Trump. We believe it’s true. You can’t deny our beliefs. So, it’s true. Anyway, when we regain power, you’ll agree that it’s true, too, or else.” That’s the message that is coming across from all these Trump voters outreach articles. I am not seeing any sign of a change of heart.

I would prefer NYT take a hard line. Tell Trump’s voters, “It’s indisputable that voter suppression is rampant and calculated, while voter fraud is extremely rare. And yet you, Trump voter, say the exact opposite is true, because you think you can make it true by sheer will (or manipulation, or force if needed). You think I am condescending because I call you a fool, because you are simply choosing what to believe based on what you want to be true, and you often ignore overwhelming evidence to the contrary. But please make no mistake. You’re not a fool. You’re a liar. And I respect you even less for thinking that I would be capable of being fooled by such poor arguments. So go publish your Trump voter human interest story somewhere else!”

Organizations like NYT need to use their OpEd spaces to promote awareness of logical fallacies, gaslighting, and propaganda techniques. Educate Trump’s base, don’t humor them. Encourage them to tell us what they want, not how they feel. Tell them to reflect, get in touch with what they really want, and then tell the world.

I think a lot of Trump’s voters genuinely believe there should be various castes or classes of Americans, and by some means advantages should be given to those with multi-generational white, Christian, English backgrounds. I don’t think they recognize that they believe this, though.

Conversation mover. Engineer. GenX. FL-CA-AL-TX-Korea.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store