The clever British fantasy series Black Mirror features an episode where soldiers must eradicate dangerous humanoid mutants known as roaches. Spoiler alert: when the neural transmitter implanted in one soldier’s brain misfunctions, he sees that the cowering mutant roaches are in fact ordinary men, women and children like himself – which makes them that much harder to kill.
Something similar is going on in the US at the moment, where 82 per cent of Democrats said in a recent survey their number one fear was Trump supporters and secondly, white nationalists. Yes, those terrifying yet mostly elderly and polite people responsible for just one of the multiple US riots in the past year (remembering the flaming but ‘mostly peaceful’ chain of protests across Portland, Minneapolis, Kenosha and more) are now the main fear of the Democrats, despite their control of the US Congress, presidency, mainstream and social media, Silicon Valley, academia, the intelligence agencies, the military, the federal bureaucracy and more. The target of all this angst, the Republicans, by contrast, worried about immigration and taxes.
Rather than Black Mirror’s neural transmitters, the media seems a more blameworthy candidate for this wildly successful demonisation of Orange Man and his 74 million supporters. After four years of relentless harassment (impeachment, Kavanaugh, Deep State leaks), fantasies (Russia collusion hoax, ‘Nazis are fine people’ hoax, ‘drink bleach’ hoax) and insult, the media capped off their Trump Resistance by turning the Capitol election protest into an ‘insurrection’. As propaganda, it has worked brilliantly. Due to the protest’s deplorable descent into violence, Trump supporters can now be painted as terrorists, fascists and Nazi bigots – pick your insult. Just forget, for a moment, that the legal definition of insurrection requires some degree of firearms and organisation, both of which are, so far, absent.
Always with a keen eye for theatricality, Democrats quickly turned Washington DC into an occupied military zone, with upwards of 5,000 National Guardsmen still patrolling fenced-off zones; an emote-fest in Congress was staged for members to exhibit their fears and, enlarging on the terrorism theme, Democrats are now pushing for a 9/11 Commission into the events of 6 January. The roaches are now dangerous.
Never mind that of the five deaths blamed on the Capitol riot, four were of Trump supporters, and the fifth, a policeman erroneously reported to have been bashed by a fire extinguisher, remains a mystery, occurring as it did after the riot, and after he had texted his brother to say he was fine.
Upwards of 25 people died in the George Floyd riots, however, with multiple cities and businesses burnt and trashed, and a damages bill estimated at $2bn. US justice has largely glossed over this rash of wrongdoing, with Democrats including Vice President Kamala Harris raising cash to bail rioters out, leftist lawyers working pro bono, and judges discovering reasons for leniency. By contrast, an example is being made of Trump supporters. Capitol protester Richard Barnett was photographed sitting at Democrat Speaker Pelosi’s desk; the Arkansas window installer, who had no previous record, has been refused bail for two months, has exhausted his funds and is facing years in prison for effectively trespassing on federal property. By comparison, as Miranda Devine reports, the only Capitol Hill protester released without bail is leftist activist John Sullivan who prosecutors say encouraged the violence that day, and was paid handsomely by the media, including Australia’s ABC, for his video footage.
Amid such disparate treatment, Trump supporters have more reason to fear the US power apparatus than do ‘progressives’, yet the Left’s vendetta against conservatives continues with matchless ferocity, with weapons ranging from cancel culture to blacklisting of Trump officials and supporters to inventive new legal attacks. Having survived two impeachments, Trump now faces a tax probe. Michigan’s Democrat Governor Whitmer is trying to get lawyers who were active in election fraud cases disbarred. Some Democrat spokesmen want cable news platforms to drop the Fox network, just as free speech chat site Parler was cancelled. Twitter still disallows references to 2020 election fraud, although SCOTUS Justice Thomas raised just that possibility in his recent dissent from the court’s refusal to hear Pennsylvania poll challenges. Poll workers who decried fraud have been sacked and two Pennsylvania poll watchers are being sued for court costs after speaking out – no one, it seems, is too small or insignificant to escape retribution.
It’s hard to understand what fuels such viciousness; you’d think winning the presidency might have been enough. But the one battle the Democrats haven’t won is that of legitimacy. Trump refused to concede and around 70 per cent of Republicans maintain in various polls that the 2020 election result was fraudulent. Sizeable numbers of independents and Democrats agree. Around 50 million conservative Americans, then, believe that they are living under an illegitimate president, in an undemocratic federal system. Worse, they know the powers-that-be see them as enemies, potential terrorists, entitled to no quarter.
So effective has this demonisation of the Right been that everyday Democrats, who presumably think they are good people and who love their families and don’t kick their dogs, are now OK with trampling over the free speech rights of millions of their fellow citizens, with silencing concerns over election integrity and with seeing the federal punishers come for anyone who sticks their head above the parapet.
Only by living in a partisan echo chamber can average citizens see their neighbours as sub-human, undeserving of normal freedoms and rights. Many seem ignorant of facts; a recent Skeptic Mag survey found that 44 per cent of self-described liberals thought police had killed 1,000 or more unarmed blacks in 2019, when the real number is thirteen. Debunked fantasies such as Trump Russia collusion, the Charlottesville ‘fine people’ hoax and the ‘drink bleach’ hoax live on intact in mainstream media and Democrat sensibilities.
As I write Twitter is airing claims that a conservative conference stage is actually a Nazi symbol called an Odal rune. And a Democrat senator, Chris Murphy, is being hounded for saying he is friendly with Republicans; actress Rosanna Arquette’s response is unfortunately typical: ‘There is no such thing as a Republican any more. They are all the white supremacists Nazi party …’. Who needs neural transmitters when you’ve got the media?
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