♫ Look at the damage,
The fortunes came for the richer men.
While we’re left with gallows,
Waiting for us liars to come down and hang ♫
— Will Future Islands have need of a Snow Patrol?1
Another Gaslight Anthem lyric runs, “I came to get hurt, / Might as well do your worst to me / Have you come here to get hurt? / Have you come to take away from me / Might as well do your worst to me.”
And if anyone comes to the Weekend Politics Thread header looking to experience and return aught but the worst, keep walking.
Jumpin’ jeremiads! Seven days of despicable disingenuousness demands a diatribe denouncing duplicitous deceivers. Your ranting recapper of rascality has revisited the regrettable reprehensibility of gaslighting repeatedly. But just this week:
- Newt Gingrich swore he never endorsed a candidate despite recording more than one endorsement for said candidate.
- Trump insisted he would walk a mile in insurrectionists’ shoes.
- A federal district judge accepted a bald-faced lie as a plausible excuse for “accidentally” invading the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
- Russian state media2 calls the Bucha massacre Russian troops committed a Ukrainian psyop. And worse.
With the possible exception of Vladimir Putin and his henchpeople, none of the listed liars expect anyone to actually believe them. Rather, the prevaricators perniciously play at peeling back the prevailing perception of a permanent reality. When everyone lies about everything, when the immutable become mutable, who can believe anything? Why would anyone even bother to seek out and insist on the truth?
At the low end, accepting the unacceptable notion of a notional truth yields an avowed free press that defines “objectivity” as amplifying facts and distortions in equal measure. While always overcorrecting for distortions. For fairness and balance, you see?
In the middle, gaslighting becomes educational policy. Books get banned. Teachers face discipline and harassment for acknowledging nonstraight people exist or documenting how nonwhite people did not fully share in the uniquely American™ blessings of life, liberty and equal justice under law.
On the stage where world-altering events play out, gaslighting triggers—to choose a nonrandom example—an invasion of Iraq and genocide after genocide after genocide after genocide. Forever again, to coin a phrase.
Normally, at this nadir of negativity,3 Uvular would interject some quip or bit of wordplay to lighten the mood. Ignore the footnote.
Stay down. But get mad. Grow so angry, you will not take it anymore. Or, take it with a Gramsci of saltiness.4
Tell the truth. Spotlight lies. Remove the scales from the eyes of others. Comment below.
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