More Important Is What James Comey Didn’t Say In His ABC Interview
In his first major TV interview since being fired, former FBI Director James Comey slammed President Donald Trump as a “mob boss” and serial liar who tells “baffling, unnecessary” falsehoods. “Sometimes he’s lying in ways that are obvious,” Comey said. “Sometimes he’s saying things that we may not know are true or false, and then there’s a spectrum in between.”
Comey didn’t stutter. But he took wide berth of the F-word that accurately defines the stench emanating from the Trump White House: FASCISM.
Cue the political pundits who will provide straight-faced analyses purporting to deconstruct what Comey said. Chances are, though, they will be exercises in circumlocution, which is unfortunate. Because words matter. And because we need to move on in our collective grief from denial toward acceptance. Only then will we stop floundering about removing this imminent threat to our Republic.
Trump’s bold-faced lies and the “spectrum in between” are merely tactics in fascist propaganda strategy. Used consistently, such tactics desensitize people to lies and jam (clog) legitimate truth-telling channels in media. The end game is to convert people into repeaters of propaganda and for the lies of the fascist state to become “truth.” Trump and his minions possess a guerrilla mindset, which, left unchallenged, will have us believing they are empowered beyond the dictates of our Constitution.
The destabilizing chaos evident in American politics today is characteristic of emergent fascist regimes. Trump himself has told us that the chaos is not random; that he thrives in this subversive atmosphere. Long before Trump pronounced the media the “enemy of the people” or the specter of state-endorsed media began to manifest in America, Trump’s ex-wife Ivana warned about his bedtime reading of prized Hitler speeches. This, regarding a man notoriously known not to read. Therefore, why are we not grasping the ramifications of a GOP more aligned with Trump’s authoritarian vision than the GOP of old? Why are we not educating people that the fascist barbarians are closer to the gate than we think? Why are we still caught up describing the problem and not naming it?
Trump is a fascist. The Cabinet that publicly provides the kind of fawning flattery that feeds Trump’s dictatorial aspirations is fascist. And the enabling GOP, increasingly overtaken by white supremacists as moderate conservatives like Paul Ryan abandon ship, could rightly be viewed as an incipient Fascist Republican Party.
When 41 incumbents of a prevailing political party choose not to seek re-election in an upcoming mid-term election, as their Thug-in-Chief strategizes how to fire the special counsel appointed to uncover his political misdeeds and possible collusion with fascist enemies of the state, it is time to cut through the noise.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders delivers a master class on fascist propaganda at her daily press briefings. Most people understand that if her lips are moving, Huckabee-Sanders is lying. What they do not always decipher is that they are witnessing fascist propaganda strategy:
1. DENY or DISMISS provable facts with such aplomb that the simple-minded will not question your veracity;
2. DISTRACT from factual accounts with obfuscations that shift or shut down the conversation;
3. DISTORT the facts with “alternative facts” — lies and exaggerations that are often indiscernible, as Oscar-winning filmmaker Jordan Peele recently demonstrated;
4. DISMAY your audience with irrational explanations and justifications, which disavow notions of civility, such as when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired via Twitter.
Commentators and pundits need to take us past the shock and awe at the effrontery on display and the false notions that Trump is a complete moron, or insane. With each White House press briefing report, name the strategy in play. Tell us why Huckabee-Sanders handles the press corps the way she does, why Trump tweets provable lies, why Trump and his cohorts perpetuate this type of “crazy.” Tell us that this is how alternative facts take root.
Trump’s mischaracterization of the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in our 2016 elections — as a “witch hunt” by Democrats — and assertions that the FBI “broke into” his attorney Michael Cohen’s office, are precisely about this. The search warrant for Cohen was sought by the interim U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey S. Berman — a Republican, personally interviewed by Trump and appointed by the Republican, Trump-appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The warrant, approved by a Manhattan judge, was likely sought with the full knowledge and approval of FBI Director Christopher Wray, another Republican personally interviewed and nominated by Trump. And lest we forget, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is a Republican, appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, also a Republican, who was confirmed by a Republican Congress.
It is critical to articulate that America’s rule of law is not part of some “Deep State” plot — a lie that Trump continually perpetuates to his base. Such conspiracy theories defy critical thought and constitute fascist propaganda to DISTORT and DISMISS the facts.
Sen. Chuck Schumer calling bullsh*t on Trump’s assertion that the FBI raid on his attorney’s office was an “attack on our country” is priceless. “Pearl Harbor was an attack on our country…9/11 was an attack on our country,” Schumer reiterated. But Trump doesn’t need a history lesson. Trump’s campaign paid big money to Cambridge Analytica to learn how to “motivate” his base. And while liberal America responds with DISMAY at Trump’s utter gall, his cult-following laps up such dispensations of “truth” from their anointed one.
Orators like Malcolm X understood how important it was to “make it plain” in clear, unambiguous language. With less than seven months until the November mid-term elections, the last thing America needs is more appeals to intellectual liberal thinkers and PhDs. They long understand America’s political plight. What we need is messaging for the 123.1 million disenfranchised voters out in no-man’s land from the 2016 election — those divorced from political history who cannot foresee how a fascist takeover would directly impact their lives. Many are lost in intellectual nuances; others to political fatigue from the reality show transmitting daily from Trump’s renegade White House. Inquiring minds want to know, is America on her way to hell in a hand-basket? Where are we on the fascist scale? And how do we stop the slide?
We can no longer afford the political politesse that provides Trump and his cronies further breeding ground. Essentially, we are at the mercy of our still-free, Constitutionally-protected press. And if their pundits cannot educate because of ignorance, ill-advised political correctness, or cognitive dissonance, it really is time to pass the mic.
RELATED VIDEO: The language Comey uses in his first live interview to promote his new book, “A Higher Loyalty,” confirms fascist propaganda strategies in play. But not the name.