In another place and another time, The Donald would be just another bull shit spewing sub-human trying to get attention. He might draw a small crowd for a while, and some people might even buy his bull shit if he packaged it right. Soon, however, some in the crowd would begin to wonder if the guy was crazy. I mean, look at his hair; crazy right?
But we now live in a world where snake oil salespeople run corporations, work on Wall Street, and get elected to Congress. Facts no longer matter. If a lie is repeated often enough and long enough, many Americans will believe it is true. From Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction to Obama is a foreign-born socialist, lies spread across our televisions, radios, smart phones, and Internet connections. And this is why a well-known figure like the Donald is dangerous. His lunacy validates those who have from the get-go believed President Obama isn’t an American and now that every talking head is, well, talking about his wild claims, they may soon be repeated and believed as true.
But how the hell did we get here? I’ve been pondering that question for more than a year or so, and while I have lots of theories I haven’t had the time to pursue them. Enter Rick Perlstein. If you don’t read anything else today, read his article in the May/June issue of Mother Jones titled “Inside the GOP’s Fact-Free Nation.” Perlstein has spent the last 15 years, “researching three historic periods—the birth of the modern conservative movement around the Barry Goldwater campaign, the Nixon era, and the Reagan years—that together have shaped the modern political lie.” His article is thus far the best answer to “How the hell did we get here?”