5 Triple D
Nihilist # 1 – “We are Nihilists, Lebowski, we believe in nothing.”
Donny – “Are these the Nazis, Walter?”
Walter – “No, Donny, These men are Nihilists, there is nothing to be afraid of.”
Donny – “Are they gonna hurt us, Walter?”
Walter- “No Donny, these men are cowards.”
The Big Lebowski – 1998
5 Triple D – Five times Deferred Draft Dodger. Senator Tammy Duckworth in a speech calling for funds to be allocated for Military pay during the Government shut down, delivered what will be the albatross that hangs around Trump’s neck from here on. Cadet Bone Spurs. A name stinging with derision. Powerful in its exposure of a fraud. Adroit and complete with its outright undressing of an incompetent coward. It unmasks an obvious lie from a wealthy privileged playboy as he was ducking the draft. It shines a light on the cowardice of a man that spends his days attempting to wrap himself in military metaphors to have the honor and courage of those men cover for his cravenness. This is one of the early Trump lies that paved the way for more misdealing, double crossing, stiffing, manipulating, conning, and slandering. These Bone Spurs the poor Cadet suffered allowed him to make sure that the rabble went to war, and he safely stayed at home in NY to wreak his racist real-estate havoc.
We know Trump lies. We hear it every day. The Washington Post keeps a count of his lies, which stand above 2000 now, or approximately 5.5 lies or misstatements every day. People that haven’t been assimilated into his cult of personality have recognized this for years. We expected this man to have no character, no integrity, his word like silly putty. What we did not expect was that his entire Cabinet, Executive Branch, and Party would lie along with him. We knew Republicans lied. We knew they claim every religious mantel and then hypocritically do whatever they want. We knew they wrap themselves in symbols, then keep the exceptions to all the rules in their back pocket. We see them repeatedly claim Patriotism, while supporting a candidate aided by a foreign power. We hear them shout about protecting the constitution, while steamrolling the separation of church and state and actively promoting theocratic principles and litigating religious beliefs. We see Republicans shouting things about our “Brave Military” and voting for Cadet Bone Spurs the 5 times Deferred Draft Dodger. We see them wrapped in the flag touting our Men and Women in the Service only to bat down attempts to get them paid during a Government shutdown. We knew right wing media had a cadre of lie manufacturing factories from the well-funded fraud Think-Tank Right Wing pundits to broadcasting networks to conspiracy theory sites to state TV. These are very powerful propaganda and lie promulgating factories. We knew they were in the mix. We expected it of Trump, but we did not expect that it was contagious to one time statesmen. We did not expect that anyone in his orbit including his Chief of Staff and his Naval Doctor would be so corrupted. We saw pious frauds like Mike Pence put on his best Pharisee show for the religious right while lying through debates, but didn’t think more principled Republicans would accept and run with the stain that this level of cowardice imparts. How misguided were we. We thought they could feel shame. We thought they had guardrails of guiding principles. We were wrong. We now see Chief of Staffs, Secretaries, and Senators outright lying for Trump with the added bonus prize that some openly lie under oath. I thoroughly enjoyed a recent report where Mike Pence in all his most pious altar boy character blatantly throws a blanket lie to cover for Trumps affair with Stormy Daniels, a porn star. Pence was quoted by the AP saying he was “not going to comment on the latest baseless allegations against the President.” I always have my lawyers set up an LLC so I can funnel $130K to porn stars out of the goodness of my heart, doesn’t everyone? That fact that the fraud religious right archangel Pence is willing to sell all principle and lie to the cult of personality followers of Trump shows that not only is the religious veneer a thin cover for corrupt frauds, but that lying is a main character trait of the cult.
Why would Trumps followers be so happy to be showered by his lies. So happy to bathe in the lies of his toadies? What kind of sick masochism could drive people to implore our government to lie to us?
What kind of fifty shades of delusion, does it take to say to our government officials lie to me every day. Surely even the dullest tool in the shed can discern the lie from the truth. Hard to imagine that people can’t see this sickness every day when we have golum characters like Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders doing an official state propaganda extravaganza every day. The sheer volume, variety of sources and fanned out direction of the lies is compelling evidence this is not transactional, but a practiced improvisation of spew. “Obamacare is killing us”, “Terror Attacks in Sweden”, “The unemployment rate is 29, 35, 45% really”…until it isn’t. “Job creation is up”…except not really, “No Collusion!”, “No Collusion!”, “No Collusion!”…except that actual collusion, and > Dozen meetings with Russia. “Tax cuts are for the working men and women”….if you are wealthy already, “Climate Change is a hoax by the Chinese.”
I saw a great piece on the Berkeley Greater Good Science Center Site: The Science of Lying
The article discusses reasons that would motivate people to be ok with lies. Other politicians have been hung out to dry, folded and packed away for a single truth stretching fabrication, so why do the Trump Cult and GOP enablers embrace the shower of lies he pours on them. When do we think it is ok to lie? The answer is, we’re happy with our spies lying. We’re ok with lies when we are in a war. We are fine to lie in times of threat. These “Blue Lies” are a weapon to be used against other groups. If that is in fact the case, then we live among people at war with us.
Prior to the 2016 election, Ken Burns the famous documentarian expressed in an interview that he felt that we actually were experiencing a modern day Civil War, maybe even an extension of the American Civil War. Can the attitudes, oppression and hate have survived generations of simmering to boil over at this moment in history? It sure feels like it. In an interview Trevor Noah, who experienced Apartheid as he was growing up in South Africa, expressed that he felt the same atmosphere and attitudes here today. Guardedness and grievance are common practice among our factions now. Pundits have expressed that is feels like the 1500 year old Shiites and Sunni schism. I agree with Ken Burns. This is a Civil War.
We live among people actively promoting a government that lies to us. They cheer it on daily. We have a radical cult known as the GOP that sharpens their lies, and sprays them and their Gatling guns of disinformation like a hail of bullets at us all. They use deception in conspiracy theories as dim and slipshod as the Lawmakers and their propaganda networks that espouse them. Integrity of word has become a rubber chicken instead steel bond. What happens to our discourse when words no long matter? When what I say may or may not be a deception? When all of my contracts in any arena are subject to whatever sniveling act of cowardly cover they decide in the moment meets their grifter snake-oil needs at the time. What follows is sickness, anarchy, mistrust, hate, and eventually, when words break down, hands, fists and overall escalating violence prevail. The GOP cult followers may not be conscious enough to realize that they are being harmed by the lies they actively support and cheer on and enable, but we are.
So how do we restore sanity in our government and put up an umbrella against the daily shower of lies on us and our institutions? Looking closer, what about the people around us enabling this propaganda lie factory known as the GOP? People who get lied to every day, and say “isn’t America great again?” How do we deal with them? I say there has to be consequences for liars, and people that enable liars.
It may be the brand of their political party, but it is also the brand of dictators and oligarchs. The brand of oppression. It is not something we invite into our society let alone our Republic. People that enabled this hate must face consequences for the evil, corruption, oppression and lies that are beamed at us every day from our government. What are effective consequences for the people and institutions that support this stream of lies that give cover to hate?
I personally like the idea of the Sleeping Giants an organization that creates campaigns targeted at corporations or institutions that advertise or have an affiliation with hate or propaganda groups or activities.
These campaigns urge corporations to remove their support or advertising on media that promote hate, bigotry, racism, sexism or xenophobia, conspiracy theories, propaganda or outright lying. What about extending Sleeping Giants locally? I will not support any local business that supported Trump and his hate. Any barber, realtor, bartender, restaurant, trainer, golf instructor, sensei, gym instructor, cooking teacher, appliance technician, landscaper, accountant, lawyer, dog sitter, nanny, banker, HVAC or construction company do not get my business if they supported Trump and his unleashed hate and broad bigotry.
What about the everyday people that enabled this with their votes for Trump? What if those people were well meaning people? What if they intended something very different than the embarrassment and oppressive actions of Trump and his appointees? Certainly we wish no ill will or elicit no derision for people that may have been truly deluded by Trump’s carnival pageantry. Absolutely we’d be no better than the demagoguery of Trump if we derided people and spewed hate at them as he practices. Surely we don’t want that. We mustn’t become that. But also we must hold people to account. We must make clear that delusion is not an excuse for enabling immoral acts. For enabling righteousness and make-wrong. We must encourage Trump supporters that are appalled by his cruelty to immigrants, women, minorities, LGBTQ communities. Supporters of Trump must choose sides. We must confront them with the choice. They can continue to support embarrassing the country, spewing hate, attacking Democratic institutions, corrupting the government, flat out hurting people. We must go through a similar process as enabled after the abolition of Apartheid “Truth and Reconciliation”. Victims and perpetrators must be given a chance speak out on their grievance or request amnesty for their act to clear the space of the oppression and violence.
Walter Sobchak from the Big Lebowski was right; they are nihilists, they stand for nothing, believe in nothing, and they are cowards.
For a Five Triple D – 5 Times Deferred Draft Dodger as Cadet Bone Spurs surely is, one could understand how he’d need a blanket of lies to obscure that reality. A natural fit for a GOP party who’s Brand is Lies!
— V.M. Smith