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Narrative Yes, Truth No

QAnon cultists and others at Stop The Steal rally in Georgia today

Here’s a tweet that went out today from the senior art critic at New York magazine, a Manhattan intellectual with over 523,000 followers on Twitter:

Interestingly, yesterday I heard from a DC-area friend who mentioned a conversation he had with a pal of his, a military officer high in the government. The officer said the same thing as Jerry Saltz. My DC friend said that almost all of his educated urban friends and colleagues think the same thing, and cannot imagine thinking otherwise.

These are not Antifa. These are middle and upper middle class professionals.

Meanwhile, in Georgia today, there was a big “Stop The Steal” rally of Trump diehards. You can watch the whole thing here. They cheered for Alex Jones. They chanted “Fox News sucks!” Look at this:

And this:

It’s insane. What did Tucker Carlson do? He introduced doubt into the Narrative. That’s all it took for this mob to denounce him. What is crucial here is that Tucker expressed a fatal lack of confidence in the president’s top lawyer, and asked her to back up her extraordinary claims with evidence. This mob doesn’t care about evidence. It knows what it believes, and anyone who doubts it from the Right is a traitor. A back-stabber, even!

Check out this clip from Limbaugh’s show late this week. Here is a listener who breaks down in tears, saying he will die for Donald Trump if it comes to it:

What kind of cultist do you have to be to break down crying, saying that a radio host and Donald Trump are your only hope? A grown man did that. How is this guy any different from those fragile, shrieky leftists who go to pieces when someone violates their Safe Space? It’s pathetic.

By the way, the Georgia Stop The Steal folks are threatening to boycott the January 5 Senate runoff to punish the GOP for stabbing Trump in the back — that is, for not going balls-to-the-wall to advance and defend the conspiracy theories about how Trump had the election stolen from him. Meanwhile, back in the real world, a federal judge in Pennsylvania today threw out the Trump campaign’s request to negate millions of votes there. From his ruling:

In other words, Plaintiffs ask this Court to disenfranchise almost seven million voters. This Court has been unable to find any case in which a plaintiff has sought such a drastic remedy in the contest of an election, in terms of the sheer volume of votes asked to be invalidated. One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with
compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption, such that this Court would have no option but to regrettably grant the proposed injunctive relief despite the impact it would have on such a large group of citizens.

That has not happened. Instead, this Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence. In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more. At bottom, Plaintiffs have failed to meet their burden to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Therefore, I grant Defendants’ motions and dismiss Plaintiffs’ action with prejudice.

Conservatives have a hell of a fight ahead, but now a significant number of people on the Right would rather see the Senate fall into Democratic hands than surrender their preferred Narrative. Unbelievable, just unbelievable. Trump lost this election. It’s not the end of the world. The GOP can still hold the Senate, and frustrate Biden’s plans. But if the party loses these Senate runoffs in Georgia, there will be nothing standing the way of the Democratic president and a unified Democratic Congress. Donald Trump knows good and well that he has lost this election, but he’s willing to allow the Right to tear itself apart over him, and willing to let the country and its institutions suffer serious damage.

As I have done often, I encourage you to watch the first episode of a 1980s-era British documentary about the Spanish Civil War. It covers the five years leading up to the outbreak of war. It’s only an hour long, but it’s quite informative about how political extremism on both Left and Right destroyed the possibility of democracy, and led to civil war.

And, once again, as Hannah Arendt said of the kind of people who are ripe for totalitarianism:

They do not believe in anything visible, in the reality of their own experience; they do not trust their eyes and ears but only their imaginations, which may be caught by anything that is at once universal and consistent with itself. What convinces masses are not facts, and not even invented facts, but only the consistency of the system of which they are presumably part.

Not just masses, as we now know, but also elites.

UPDATE: The wheels keep coming off the clown car:

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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