World Turned Upside Down

I saw a photo of a middle aged White guy standing outside Mar-a-Lago next to a flag that bore the likeness of Donald Trump’s mug shot. Emblazoned on the back of his shirt were the words, “Alvin Bragg is a Racist Pig.”

This message encapsulates what is destroying this country, not the struggle between Whites and people people of color, liberals and conservatives, Christians and non-Christians, Republicans and Democrats, rural and urban, but between truth and falsehood.

Long before anyone conceived of the internet, Mark Twain said, “A lie will fly around the whole world while the truth is still putting its boots on.”

The power of lies has never been so great as it is today. In this age of AI and deep fakes, it’s so easy to fool most of the people most of the time. While the average person continues to trust their eyes when they see something and suspend their power of critical thinking when they hear something false that they agree with, the ease with which bad actors can mislead them grows exponentially.

Conservatives take their lead from the guy who seemingly told more lies during his four years in the White House than the rest of the world population has uttered since the dawn of creation. They consistently use his pet ploy, one so boldfaced and blatant anyone should be able to easily detect it. Namely, attributing whatever evils they promulgate to the ones against whom they are promulgating.

Nowhere is this so evident than in that photo. Hard as it is to believe, Republicans, and probably many Independents, don’t blink an eye at the message on that shirt, one that turns reality on its head. Bragg is a member of the race that has endured the most hateful abuse throughout the history of this nation. A race that continues to be the object of hate at the hands of so many Americans.

And Bragg is the racist?

In fact, he would have every reason to be and to act prejudicially against the former Racist in Chief, but instead he has been circumspect in his investigation, a model of professionalism, prudence and impartiality as he uses the legal system as it was intended to be used in a well justified case.

What I have experienced in most of my dealings with Blacks is that, amazingly, despite the ongoing abuse they receive at the hands of so many Whites, they have treated me fairly despite my pale complexion. They have judged me by my behavior toward them, not some preconceived notions of who I am or what my values are.

What they desire, as far as I can tell, is to get equal, not even.

If America were to embark on a second civil war, it would be incited by AR-15 toting White conservatives who turn the world upside down by defining themselves as victims of those they have always victimized.

The underlying issue that drives the current Republican agenda is racism. Their racism. In an ever more multi-ethnic, multi-colored society, they know their days of hegemony are numbered. They are terrified. The irony is, they have no reason to be, because if history is any guide, much as they deserve it, their evils will not be visited upon them .

Turning truth around to its opposite is, of course, not limited to the race issue, but prevails in almost everything the Republicans say and do. Look at their laws that deprive trans children and women of life saving medical treatment in the name of “protecting” them, the books they ban to provide students with an “accurate” portrayal of the nation’s history, the resistance to gun laws justified by the absurd claim that the burgeoning number of gun massacres has nothing to do with the ubiquity of weapons of war, and the even more absurd assertion that the answer to gun violence is more guns. As I heard a news commentator say, “if more guns were the answer to the problem, America would be the safest place on Earth.”

Republican upside-downism places them at the level of such dictators as Vladimir Putin who claims Ukraine is the aggressor and his war is not a war but a “special military operation,” with the intent to “liberate” citizens of that frail democracy from “fascism.” Absurd? Yes. Believed by multitudes. You bet.

There’s no need for me to cite the countless examples of this tactic, the “I’m rubber, you’re glue” defense employed consistently by right wing demagogues and their followers.

As it becomes increasingly difficult to discern truth from lies, our nation’s fate is at a tipping point. Which way it will fall is uncertain, but if we are to have any hope of righting this upside down world, one thing is true.

The truth had better get those boots laced up fast.


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