The Widdershins

Dateline: 2092…

Posted on: May 19, 2017

May 19, 2092

It has finally happened. The last Trump supporter has died on the banks of the Licking River in the sleepy hamlet of Urethra Hollow, Kentucky. While he had long ago forgotten his name, town folk affectionately referred to him as Trumpameatus Johnson – TeeMeatus to his friends. TeeMeatus held the record for over 3 million interviews about his undying support of the 45th President. Mr. Johnson’s longevity is ironic given the relatively short tenure of the President who, next to William Henry Harrison at 31 days, served the shortest tenure.  

While the details will vary, I have little doubt some enterprising reporter will still be scouring the landscape for Trumpanzee supporters 75 years from now. The story will be the same as it is now, the support never wavered in the least.

Besides the fact that it bugs the crap out of me, why bring it up?  First, all the polling on this issue is worthless. The entire premise is wrong. As a pollster, you can’t ask someone, “Since you were stupid when you voted, do you now regret being stupid?” No one answers that question in the affirmative. There is great social desirability in seeing oneself as better than knuckle-draggingly ignorant.

The other reason I mention it is to introduce “motivated ignorance” – it is a real thing. It’s a process described as, “Avoiding facts inconvenient to our worldview isn’t just some passive, unconscious habit we engage in. We do it because we find these facts to be genuinely unpleasant.”

The studies conclude, “People on the left and right are motivated to avoid hearing from the other side for some of the same reasons: the anticipation of cognitive dissonance and the undermining of a fundamental need for a shared reality with other people.” This shared reality is tribal in nature and translates to a shared transactional truth.

This is true for about 60% of the people. It is true for both those on the right and left. It is just the way our brains work. Before you burn me at the stake for equivalency heresy, let me point out, as does the article, you can engage in confirmation bias and still be right. Better said, “You can feel like you are right before you have confirmed your righteousness with science.”

One reason I wanted to write about this was it seemed safe since it is impossible to stay ahead of the hourly “Breaking News” alerts on the latest Dolt-mania. The other reason was the death of Roger Ailes.

Roger Ailes was a loathsome creature. He terrorized not just the workplace for his atavistic hedonism, but he threatened the families and children of his perceived enemies.

Ailes did more to alienate, stagnate, and denigrate our political culture than any other individual in the last 75 years. He knew how to frighten, how to anger, and how to indict through innuendo left dangling for want of context. He had a talent and an appetite for destruction.

Ailes created a laboratory for “motivated ignorance” at Fox.  He perfected an atmosphere of what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin called, “inverted totalitarianism”:

Antidemocracy, executive predominance, and elite rule are basic elements of inverted totalitarianism. Antidemocracy does not take the form of overt attacks upon the idea of government by the people. Instead, politically it means conditioning an electorate to being aroused for a brief spell, controlling its attention span, and then encouraging distraction or apathy. Citizens are encouraged to distrust their government and politicians; to concentrate upon their own interests; to begrudge their taxes; and to exchange active involvement for symbolic gratifications of patriotism, collective self-righteousness, and military prowess. Above all, depoliticization is promoted through society’s being enveloped in an atmosphere of collective fear and of individual powerlessness: fear of terrorists, loss of jobs, the uncertainties of pension plans, soaring health costs, and rising educational expenses.

We are living through a period of inverted totalitarianism. We can be certain those who labor under motivated ignorance will not know or even care what it is called. People like Ailes who profited from it, would never admit it. There are a couple of bright sides.  One: The philosophy surrounding this negativity is one of destruction. Like all forms of destruction it cannibalizes itself — eventually there is nothing left upon which for it to feed.

The other bright side: Ailes is off the battlefield as a contagion of motivated ignorance. Living through the Trumpian mess he bequeathed us is our retribution.  Coming out better on the other side is our legacy.


On a completely unrelated note, I wanted to remind everyone that “lie” is part of Joe Lieberman’s name. Here’s a short clip of him explaining himself:


What’s on your mind today?



61 Responses to "Dateline: 2092…"

I haven’t the post yet Prolixious…

But did you all see Joe Biden has been talking again. He literally said he didn’t think Hillary was a good candidate. But he knew he was a good candidate.

That fucking guy.


@1, D, yeah, I saw what he said. Disgusting. Instead of focusing on the trainwreck at hand — the country going to hell in a FedEx pack — he made it all about himself. Some things never change.


Anthony Weiner pleads guilty to sending sexual material to an underage girl.

@6> Bush 1 also tweeted that he owed his Presidency to Ailes.

Mr. Rude has a definite take on the late Mr. Ailes.

Dead Pestilence: A Word or Two on Roger Ailes

Wonderful post Prolix, want a bumper sticker that says, ‘Mexico has agreed to pay for Impeachment.’ – A winner!

Karma for Ailes might have taken awhile, but in the end, he had no where to run and hide.

Not easy to avoid the unwanted Trump hug, sometimes it even takes practice…

This is such an awesome little tape. It goes right up there with our Hillary shimmy.

What a funny post! That little Mexico graphic is fabulous. It would be funny if it went viral and Mexico steps up and says, “yes, we will pay for the impeachment.”

“Motivated ignorance” is a good term. Helps the deplorables take pride in their prejudices.

@12> Next time I see Vicente Fox tweeting at Trump (his tweets are glorious attacks on Dump), I will ask him if Mexico will pay for the impeachment.

I saw that about Old Joe last night. He sounds like he’s getting dementia. I remember when Obama picked him for his veep back in ’08. At the time I was still posting on NQ and there was ah hysterically funny gay guy who called himself Jeremiah Goddamn Amerikkka Wright that would be up all night, making us insomniacs laugh our fool heads off. Anyway, fluffpo broke the news about Obama picking Joe and JGAW kept me stitches until dawn. I will never forget that. We were actually stunned that Obama picked him because it was obvious that that he had a drinking problem and wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Later I wondered if that’s why Obama picked him–no competition and he made him look good by comparison. Anyway, very childish of Old Joe to say those things about Hillary. He doesn’t come close to her when intelligence, stamina, and character are measured.

@13, Haha! Please do! It would be funny!

Oh dear…

@9, Good. Ailes deserves everything RP says and then some.

And WaPo. The speculation is that this is Kushner. And if it’s Kushner, then there’s no way Dump didn’t know. (Also, both Times and WaPo stories dropped right after Dump’s plane took off.)

Dolt 45 is barely out of U.S, air space and this sh!t show is off the rails. I can’t stress enough how emotionally fragile men like Dolt are. They are on the edge on the best of days. This kind of willy nilly out of control madness unhinge them. The WaPo article is huge.

Read this exchange between Warren and Mnuchin re: Glass-Steagal. Amazing.

@19 Prolix> I can’t even imagine what’s going through his brain. I may not want to. But I think one way all this ends is with Dump in a mental hospital. Not even joking, he’s going to get committed by someone.

All I know for sure is that Dump calling Comey “nut job” will cause Comey to start leaking like 2 Russian hookers in a St. Petersburg hotel.



@26> Wow, very powerful. Ailes was one of the main architects of breaking America.

@27> As the commenters there say, it looks like “The Hunger Games.”

@14 annie said: He doesn’t come close to her when intelligence, stamina, and character are measured.

True. But he has a dead son who served in the military. And I don’t think he would hesitate to use that.

I apologize for being M.I.A. but my eyes have been irritating the hell out of me. I don’t know if it’s allergies/pollen or what have you. But I can say that staring at the laptop screen, no matter how entertaining and interesting the topic, isn’t very much fun. So I may not be as involved as I usually am.

Did they did some sort of formal request for information? Why not just Google it?

Comey will speak in a public hearing after Memorial Day. (Senate investigation)

@33> Maybe they’ll ask him about hiding behind curtains at parties!

Now, I’m not sure I underrate what Patti Lupone is trying to say here:

@28, yes totally agree. Especially at breaking the middle class.

Fredster, I hope your poor eyes feel better soon. Hubs & I use this stuff:

Check out the comments. Awesome stuff, has really improved your eyes.

@34, that’s Patti Lupone, right? She rocks!

@36: Thanks annie. I’ll check them out. I was using some stuff called GenTeal that chat suggested but doesn’t seem to be helping now.

Wise words from Elijah Cummings


@37 socalannie> Yep, that’s Patti Lupone calmly expressing dismay at Trump and what is happening to our country! The expression on the host’s face is amazing.

Amazing post, Prolix!

I agree that Ailes was a hugely destructive force. Remember, though, that he wasn’t allowed into Great Britain, and they still fell for the Brexit manipulation. Most of the people voting for that were older and in a state of dread about immigrants taking their jobs, just like that poor man’s grandfather in the online comment you posted.

I firmly believe that the argument about how some Drumpf voters are good people who were just misled, is bull. He showed exactly who he was over and over again. No one who respects women, minorities, LGBTQ or immigration could possibly have voted for him. Yet, tens of millions “chose to ignore” this and did so.

People who voted for him have emotional buttons that Ailes, and with his advice, Drumpf, knew how to push. Fear of the Other, as Prolix noted so well, is one of them. If you don’t have Fear of the Other, Fox News can’t infect you. You are immune.

Fox News lovers are not immune, because they are not “good” people. They are bigoted and narcissistic and weak. And Ailes knew, sadly, how many of those people there are in America. He saw a market segment and took full advantage. A terrible legacy indeed.

I do agree that we will survive it, and would like to note, with a great deal of pleasure, that it was WIMMINZ who brought him down. I don’t think Fox News will ever recover. 😀

Fredster, see your eye doctor; maybe you have Dry Eye syndrome and need restasis.
Also, hot compresses might help.
I hope you’re comfortable very soon.

Also, Urethra Hollow–ha ha!

@43: Sue I may have to do that but honestly, I’ll postpone it as long as possible. I’m going to order some of the drops that annie mentioned.

In his opening monologue last night Maher talked about what DYB and Prolix have said – the fact you can’t keep up with the news on Trump.

Checking out the sword dance today, Tillerson sort of blending in, The Orange One has about as much rhythm as a pet rock. Melania looked terrified.

This was Maher’s closing last night about the newest of the super heroes, Orange Sphincter:

Fun Maher monologues. But do I want to see anything with that fucking idiot Cornell West on it?

@49: That’s why I was careful just to use the intro and part of the New Rules. (But I could still hear him chuckling in the background in the New Rules).

Oh geez…could it be a sign???

Anderson sez Trump could take a dump…on his desk and Jeffery Lord wouldn’t care.

Good for Cooper, finally let his true feeling go beyond the eye roll.

From Stephen Metcalf’s excellent piece on Roger Ailes. It is one of the better pieces in bringing some historical perspective to the horrid man.

I would distill Ailes’s genius down to the following formula: There is a person at a great distance from you who, simply by existing, insults your existence; therefore, that person does not have a right to exist. Ailes did more to degrade the tone of public life in America than anyone since Joseph McCarthy, and, even the day after his death, it is a struggle to write about him without borrowing from that tone.

@54: I liked this from that piece also:

I came to understand that Fox News, for all its outrageous excesses, is a low-level inflammation-delivery system, the real effects of which are felt only over time.


Dump is just clueless! He’s definitely curtseying!

And here there was Tillerson and Ross dancing, while brandishing swords.

This trip is gonna be the bestest most ever!

@57: If you go check out the original tweet, there are a ton of replies including someone with an Arabic type handle. That one first said no, no curtsy then came back and said yep, a curtsy. LOL

@54, that is an excellent article. What a vile, horrible human being.

And the dunce trump, curtsying like the imbecile he is. MB is right, the people who supported power-mad assholes like Ailes and Dump are not “good people.”

I like this tweet. Made it easier for me to understand the dump/putin/oil connection.

@59: If you look closely at the gif annie, it also looks like Trump is having to hold onto the arm of the guy giving him the medal. Ya know…like he’s fall over w/out the assistance perhaps? And what was it he kept saying on the campaign trail last year about his stamina and that Hillary didn’t have any? Hmmm…

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