What are the other lies?
Over the weekend, Trump was exonerated by the Special Counsel investigating whether he is some kind of Russian Manchurian agent.
For months, we were told the case against him was pretty much a done deal. Mueller was going to lock him up.
I remember surveying a few acquaintances months ago, asking them the question, what do you think Trump’s collusion with the Russians entailed.
The people I asked were varsity graduates, who read the news. Almost all of them had somehow come to the conclusion that Russia had hacked into voting machines in Wisconsin, or had placed fake hit pieces on Hillary all over Facebook.
I had actually read deeper than the headlines and I knew that these accusations were laughable.
The real story was that Hillary’s campaign chairman had his Gmail account hacked and the contents released on Wikileaks, apparently because his password was ‘password’. These emails were not faked by Russian agents, and Wikileaks has maintained they did not get them from Russia, and nobody has proven otherwise. The emails were pretty embarrassing, mostly because they simply showed how weird an old Clinton acquaintance to be.
But the idea that voters who pulled the lever twice for Obama in Ohio and Michigan before voting for Trump had their minds hacked by Putin because they saw something on Facebook is absurd – especially when you consider that Facebook admitted to the fact that Russian accounts (all of them ) in total only spent $100 000 during the election (in a campaign battle that went into the billions of dollars). Or when you consider that the vastly more powerful Google openly strategized how they could help Clinton.
The closest parallel to this global example of fake news is the so-called Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) possessed by Iraq leading up to the US invasion.
What’s interesting is that only two major candidates in the 2016 election had shown any credible opposition to one of the greatest foreign policy blunders by a major power in history – Trump, and Bernie Sanders.
And both of these politicians have now been shown to have been victims of this latest saga of fake news – the Clinton campaign’s hacked emails showed Bernie to have been stitched up by the Democrats to help Hillary win, and Trump’s victory was spun by the likes of CNN to have been some kind of Russian operation.
Why all the lies, from all the so-called experts?
The lies about the WMD and Russia-gate have all meant that attention has never really been given to why Trump or Bernie Sanders struck such a chord with vast amounts of people, outside the avenues provided by the mainstream media. And it seems to me that there are important elite interests that don’t want to have this conversation.
They don’t want to talk about why bankers keep getting rich while manufacturing jobs in developed economies vanish. They don’t want to talk about why big corporate interests keep pushing for open borders and the concomitantly cheaper labour. They don’t want to talk about the vast mental health crisis of working and middle-class men in the west. They don’t want to talk about why countries like Britain, France, the US, and Australia responded to 9/11 by toppling the Arab leaders who opposed the jihadi maniacs – Hussein, Gaddafi, Mubarak, Assad. They don’t want you to ask why Robert Mueller is allowed to investigate his president after being part of the fake news theory of Al Qaeda sending anthrax packages to US politicians after 9/11.
I am not saying we should all support Trump – in fact, give the Democratic 2020 presidential candidates Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard a good look. Ignore the crooks and charlatans like Joe Biden, and even the multimillionaire professional politician, Bernie Sanders.
I am saying that this entire fake Russian collusion story should give us all pause to consider the political narratives we all readily consume from the responsible media who pose as experts to us. Trump does us a service by opposing the global media complex, by pointing out the insane power Google and Facebook and Amazon have over information access.
Climate change as impending doom, Ramaphosa as ANC saviour, the ‘patriarchy’ as global female oppressor – what if all these concepts are far more dubious than we are being told? Cui bono? Who benefits from these narratives?
Maybe we all need to do a lot more reading, and not of intellectually lazy Zapiro cartoons and ‘orange man bad’ memes.