I'm so angry right now. A lot of good-hearted progressives are needlessly trembling with fear today, and it's all the fault of the despicable tactics run for a year and a half by the amoral Clinton campaign. There were many lies that were told to frighten Americans into voting in support of Hillary, concocted by the neoliberal think tank and reported as fact by the corporate media (with at least some modicum of moderation and accountability) and by paid internet shills (with absolutely none). They brutalized the American psyche with baseless fearmongering, and people are still suffering from it for no good reason.
And now rather than seizing this unprecedented moment of opportunity for the American people to begin demanding what they want from the political establishment on the left, progressive pundits are fanning the flames of fear about what Shaun King calls "a dangerous and nefarious foe" with cartoonish hyperbole.Everybody breathe. We've got this. There are things we need to watch out for in the coming years, but things are a lot safer than the tactics of the Clinton campaign and its accomplices have led us to believe. Here are eight lies they told us to trick us into supporting their warmongering anointed queen.
1. "The Supreme Court will be set back 30 years and Roe vs. Wade will be repealed if you don't support Hillary Clinton!"
No, it won't. People made this argument over and over again as though America has never had a Republican president before. As Commander-in-Chief, an American president has a lot more power over U.S. foreign policy than they do over domestic policy. Despite Trump's assurances to his Republican base that he will help make America the only major country to ban abortion, he simply doesn't have the ability to do this.
The only real sway that U.S. presidents have over these issues is their ability to nominate Supreme Court justices, who for some bizarre reason still serve lifetime terms, so this ability is dependent upon justices either dying or retiring. If Trump serves a single term, we can reasonably expect him to replace two, maybe three justices at the very most, as we've discussed before. Three replacements would bring us back to the same liberal-to-conservative SCOTUS ratio we had when Obama took office. Should the political left repeat its same idiotic blunders once again in 2020 and get Trump re-elected, we can perhaps expect a fourth, which would bring the liberal-to-conservative ratio back to what it was during the Reagan administration.
Do you remember when Roe v. Wade was repealed during the Bush administration? Me neither. Do you remember when it was repealed during the Reagan administration? Me neither. Supreme Court compositions fluctuate over time, they always have, and they're meant to. We're going to be okay.2. "Trump will start a nuclear war if you don't elect Hillary Clinton!"
This ridiculous notion was largely sparked by a baseless rumor that somebody heard through somebody else who once heard Trump ask an advisor three times regarding nuclear weapons, "If we have them, why can't we use them?" It was started by Joe Scarborough, whose show Morning Joe WikiLeaks reveals gets angry calls from their bosses at the DNC whenever they step outside the preferred narrative of the Democratic elite. As Snopes reports, Scarborough never substantiated the claim, Trump denied it, and that was the last we ever heard about it, but people started unquestionably repeating it as though it was a real thing that actually happened.
So we've got what is in effect an unsubstantiated rumor started by a man who is essentially an employee of the Democratic establishment being cited as evidence that Trump was somehow a greater nuclear threat than Hillary Clinton, which as we've discussed before, could not be further from the truth. Clinton was the one consistently pushing for a war with a nuclear superpower (a fact which she never even tried to hide, much less deny) after a career history of consistently pushing for disastrous acts of military aggression. As Time reports, Trump has demonstrated a clear understanding that the nuclear option is a weapon of absolute last resort and stated on more than one occasion that he'd be the last to use nukes. Hillary never gave us any such reassurance.
3. "Trump will start World War Three if you don't elect Hillary Clinton!"
Trump has, in fact, run the least hawkish presidential campaign in recent Republican history, pushing a platform of non-interventionism and diplomacy. Instead of going to war with Russia or starting a proxy war in Syria, he wants to collaborate with Russia to fight terrorism, and he's said North Korea is China's problem. He's surely said some gross things, and he's surely done some unethical things, but he's never killed anyone and seems to possess a normal human being's respect for the value of human life. That's a trait we haven't seen in a U.S. president for a long, long time. He wants to make deals and "get along with everybody," a position he reiterated in his victory speech last night.
4. "You'll bring fascism/Nazism to America if you don't elect Hillary Clinton!"
No. Just no.5. "Trump supporters will be out in the streets brutalizing gays and minorities if you don't elect Hillary Clinton!"
Seriously, no. Stop this nonsense. These are the people Bernie was trying to help, the victims of the Walmart/welfare trap with the same kinds of struggles you and I have. Bernie was right when he said the other day, "I do not believe that most of the people who are thinking about voting for Mr. Trump are racist or sexist. Some are, but I think most are people who are hurting, they're worried about their kids, they're working longer hours for lower wages."
The Project Veritas videos revealed that the perception that Trump supporters are violent was paid for by Clinton super PACs, who paid agitators to deliberately incite violence in front of news cameras. People lost their jobs when those videos came out, so we can be sure what they revealed was legit.
Contrary to the yarn the alarmists are trying to spin, your country has not been hijacked by Nazis and white supremacists. It has been hijacked, for the first time, by the will of the people over the will of the oligarchs. People who, just like you and I, are sick of the status quo and know something urgently needs to change, because what we've been doing is suicide. They don't agree with us progressives about what's the best political approach to those problems, but that won't matter until the Democratic party stops using its progressive base like toilet paper or we replace them with a viable new progressive party. For now, the important thing is that they're human beings just like you and me, and no amount of idiotic culture war is going to change that.
6. "Trump will immediately deport 11 million immigrants unless you vote for Hillary Clinton!"
Trump walked back on this promise months ago and now espouses a position much like that of Obama, who has deported more immigrants than any other president without any complaint from the Democrats. Donald Trump is a WWE Hall-of-Famer who knows how to work a crowd and get people on his side; he's not an idiot. Nobody's going to wage a war on 11 million people in a country of 319 million. Here's an article from The Atlantic about Trump's actual position now that he's got the Republicans on his side.7. "Trump will instate racist stop-and-frisk policies all over America if you don't vote for Hillary Clinton!"
Trump has indeed spoken in favor of these racist policies, which is disgusting, but the President of the United States has no capacity to make such changes. Be disgusted, be outraged, but don't be afraid.
8. "Trump will ban all Muslims from America if you don't vote for Hillary Clinton!"
International Business Times reports that Trump walked this one way back, too. Once he gained the support of the Republican base, he switched to a much more moderate position of wanting careful vetting of immigrants who come from countries with high rates of terrorist activity, which isn't much different from what we're already doing.
I could go on and on with these, but it would mostly devolve into me pointing out that Hillary is much more guilty of the things she tries to scare us about Trump doing, and that's not a worthwhile conversation to have. The important thing is that we shake off the fear, panic, and paralysis, and start mounting our progressive revolution. We now have more negotiating power than we've ever had before over the Democratic party, and if they won't join us in the progressive awakening, we will create a party that will.Remember how silly the conservatives sounded to us when they said Obama was going to open America's borders, give every illegal immigrant free welfare and take everyone's guns? See how wrong they were? Well, this is that.
2016 will forever serve as a severed head on a spike to warn officials of the political left what happens when you ignore the will of your base. There has never been a more exciting time to be a progressive in America.
So shake off the bought-and-paid-for fear, it didn't win her the election and it has no place in your body right now. Shake off the fear, shake hands with the nearest Trump supporter, congratulate them and say "Okay then, let's make America great. Listen, I have a few ideas..."
[Featured Image by Lawrence Jackson/AP Images]