We had a collective sigh of relief after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election. Celebrations around the world took place as we believed a dedicated statesman would return to the oval office, bringing sanity and dignity back to the United States.
Yet we overlooked a crucial circumstance. This was not a normal election, the opposition was not a normal disagreement of politics. The party of Trump and their supporters have waged a war on reality for four years and that mindset will not simply vanish when Biden is sworn in.
Donald Trump was not solely responsible for this war on truth. It has been long been waged by conservative talk-show hosts and right-wing media such as FOX news. Things most people would mock or look down on, completely ignoring it’s influential power on the more rural, conservative audience that has also been neglected and starved of attention by this once prosperous nation. These right-wing media outlets have for decades built the groundwork for someone like Donald Trump to come and create chaos by fighting for what they believe is a criminal enterprise within the Democratic system. Twisting the truth of corporate corruption within Washington D.C. into a delusional war on “evil” Democrats that are viewed, not so differently, as the Jewish community in 1930’s Germany. Using conspiracy theories such as QAnon to label any critics of their beliefs as part of a “Deep State conspiracy”. The very things we made jokes about, like Donald Trumps 1st run for Presidency, have come to humble us at a horrendous expense.
This Goes Beyond Politics
As Trump is on his way out of office he has done everything possible to keep the country divided, whether maliciously intended or simply due to his own out-of-control and reckless narcissism. His once beloved FOX News has now become the target of his rage after announcing his loss to President-Elect Joe Biden.
Trump has now endorsed other far-right news media as an alternative for his supporters to watch. The ones that agree Trump has “won” the election, that there was massive “voter fraud” and Biden and the Democrats are “a threat to Democracy”. One of these is called OAN.
The network, self-proclaimed to be the “greatest supporter of Donald Trump” and misinformation itself, gives a newsroom atmosphere and appearance of credibility to far-right conspiracy theories. For a President of the United States to be calling on his tens of millions of supporters use this media outlet instead should be horrifying at the most and unsettling in the least. Add to this dangerous mixture the utter silence and complicity from fellow GOP members in Government for failing to unite behind a bipartisan call to stop spreading misinformation and hyperbole is slowly radicalizing the vast audience of the cult of 45.
This Doesn’t Stop When Trump Is Kicked Out
This new era of alt-right media is not going to stop simply when Donald leaves office. This new era of alt-right conspiracy and misinformation will continue to live and breath in places liberals and progressives have ignored for far too long. Places most might poke fun at or look down upon instead of providing information or helping hand. Because at the end of the day we too are responsible for pushing these people to the edge and becoming desperate enough to fall for someone like Trump to be their champion. We shunned the ideas and perspectives of many of these people into an abusive relationship with a narcissistic Pariah. If we are to make any progress in healing this country it must start with less mocking and more listening. Listen to the person who feels marginalized. Do not follow what a narcissist would do and subvert their feelings of being suppressed.
Our founding fathers believed the only way a Democracy could function is with an educated electorate. Therefore being knowledgeable about our political issues, as well as social and economic policies, should be easily accessible to all and as objective as possible. There must be more guidance on how to verify a claim and spot a political bias. We need to acknowledge the conspiracy theories and misinformation now as we have about racism and bigotry. For if our electorate continues to be divided on what is a fact, divided on what we call our very reality, than our education is truly a matter of national security.