Filling the Void

The Arizona election audit — paid for and conducted by Trump dreamers who would give their right arms (they gave their souls years ago) to find one scintilla of semi-plausible evidence of widespread voter fraud that might lend credence to their idol’s endless and hitherto groundless ranting about a stolen election – turned up exactly zero scintillas of such evidence. Nothing. “Not a sausage,” as Eric Idle might say. Not even a plausible whiff of any “problem” that would seem problematic to anyone not already emotionally invested in Trump’s ego-saving fantasy that he could never have lost an election except by systematic theft.

And Trump’s answer to this complete evisceration of his lies, and at the hands of allies who spared no expense to find support for those lies, no less? Naturally, his answer was, as always, to double down on the lies, and to insist that his superfluous and absolute exposure as a fraud is somehow rock solid proof that he was right all along. Trump, a lifelong conman infamous for his gloriously self-assured ignorance of all things, has nevertheless learned one thing in his life with exceptional perspicacity: Once you have broken the little people (aka the crowd, the audience) to your saddle, you can ride them until they drop, and they will never abandon you – as long as you maintain the perfect swagger of certainty in your sales pitch.

This, of course, was what he was explaining when he boasted during the 2016 primaries that he would not lose his followers if he shot a man on Fifth Avenue. He owned them, and he knew he owned them, and he knew that they knew it. For the little people, as he saw then and sees now, are not looking for truth in any traditional sense of that word. They are looking for “something to believe in,” to be saved from their fatigue and their lack of realistic answers. They need a certainty to fill the void where genuine faith might once have been. Just be that certainty for them, without cracking, without a bead of sweat on the forehead or a hint of self-doubt around the mouth, and they will run right off a thousand cliffs for you — as millions of Americans (some of them genuinely decent people before they lost themselves to the flim-flam man’s sales pitch) have done for Trump over the past five years. And as they continue to do even now, in the face of yet another amplification of the garish neon lights screaming “Fraud!” from every corner of Trumpworld.

(“How dare you call them a cult!” I have heard repeatedly over the years, as though I were merely employing a convenient catchword or smear. As I have replied consistently from the outset, I intend no smear at all, but merely a literally accurate description of what I was watching, what Trump was intending, and what becomes increasingly undeniable with each passing day that this thoroughly exposed inanity continues to find millions prepared to overlook and deny everything, again and again, in the name of such a charlatan — and a charlatan who displays his utter disdain for those millions each time he opens his trap.)

“But Biden! But the communists!” I can hear the flock shouting now, just as they shouted “But Hillary!” in 2016. It was a fool’s false dichotomy then, and it is a lunatic’s false dichotomy now. The Biden disaster is no case for reviving the Trump disaster, anymore than Trump’s demagogic lurch towards tyranny was any justification for espousing neo-Marxism. 

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