I heard an interesting argument this week explaining that foreign powers/trolls/Trump/Fox News etc aren’t gaslighting the American far right, not because they aren’t trying, but because they don’t need to. The American far right long ago diverted from mainstream reality, and they did so on their own accord.
*note: below I use “American far right” and “American white supremacists” interchangeably. Because they are interchangeable. And fuck those guys.
Basically the argument was that American white supremacists were so traumatized, and felt so personally victimized by Barack Obama’s election…it so SHATTERED their world…that, in order to preserve their perceptions of the world and themselves, they had to invent an alternate reality to retreat into…a reality where Obama’s presidency was illegitimate, where he wasn’t an American citizen or a Christian, or extremely intelligent and accomplished (handsome, athletic, etc haha), where no brown man could ever be legitimately elected to our highest office.
To quote DJ Khaled:
“Congratulations, you played yourself.”
Essentially, like many people who have been **victimized**, rather than cope with a reality they couldn’t believe was **really happening to them** the American far right created an alternate reality where the abuse (yeah…the lawful election of a brown dude) never happened.
To quote The Big Lebowski:
“Shit…man…she kidnapped herself”
And they spent roughly a decade waking up every day, refusing to recognize Obama or refer to him as president, or agree with even one thing he did or said. They essentially denied his existence. And they became obsessed with cracking the “conspiracy” that had eliminated the legitimate office of the president in America. They just started making shit up. And believing shit that other, likewise traumatized people made up. And they were off to the races.
And when likewise traumatized assclown, Donald Trump was selected as the face of the birther movement, he became, for this cohort, a single, perpetual, absolute source of truth.
This was pretty interesting to me, because I’ve always thought of the far right bigot contingent as people who choose to believe anything Trump tells them, no matter how far-fetched or ridiculous. Viewed in this context, however, these are not people who choose to believe in deep states and pizzagates and crisis actors and white genocide, and witch hunts and secret Muslims and crooked Hillaries and a feasible border wall, but severely traumatized people who absolutely HAVE to believe all of those things. And they have to disbelieve anything and everything that the mainstream believes, because if they accept even one thing the mainstream believes, they have to consider all things the mainstream believes. Because a crack in any single part of their alt reality could mean cracks in all parts of their alt reality, and that would mean that the thing they couldn’t come to grips with in the first place, the thing that challenged their existence to the point that they had to retreat into a decade-long fantasy REALLY DID HAPPEN. And that would break their brains.
Now, I’m not sure this is true, and I’m no doctor. It’s just an interesting position I heard that changed my views about the ownership of America’s bigot contingent a little bit.
To quote Thom Yorke:
‘You do it to yourself, you do. You and no one else. You do it to yourSAAAAAAAAAALF”