Monday, November 5, 2018

Can anybody play the fake news game? Donald Trump's secret Russian childhood

By Sergey Sudeykin (Metropolitan Museum)
     Donald Trump was born Dimitri Brataslav on Nov. 12, 1941 in the Soviet city of Smolensk. His parents died during the brutal winter of 1942, and he was raised in a state orphanage, where his proclivity for English and his ability to shape shift at will caught the attention of the NKVD, or secret police, which spent five years training him as a sleeper agent until, at age 15, he was smuggled into the United States, landed on Long Island from Soviet submarine and placed under the care of Brooklyn developer Fred Trump who, in return for $50,000 a year in US dollars, agreed to raise the boy as his own son, the idea being the lad would eventually help the Russians gain access to the New York real estate market and the New Jersey porn industry...
     Oh, none of that is true. But I was considering the farrago of conspiracy theories and the daily blunderbuss blast of falsehoods—the president publicly lies, on average, 10 times a day, according to the Washington Post's count—and I got to wondering: Why do Republicans get to have all the fun?      
     To continually fabricate any nonsense they feel props up their otherwise unsupported and unsupportable causes? Why can't Democrats, facing an entrenched movement of growing white nationalism and anti-minority hysteria, avail ourselves to similar tactics?
     Sure, it's dishonest, and wrong. But how tempting. We could simply make stuff up. Join the party, so to speak. From the vast troll farms of their Russian pals, manufacturing Facebook pages and tweets by the thousands. Up through Fox pundits tossing out any fear as a possibility: George Soros, funding the Central American caravan! To every GOP leader saying whatever they like: we'll protect health care for those with pre-existing conditions! Secure in the knowledge that whatever Fox nodding head they're talking to is never going to reply: "What? The caravan might be infected with smallpox! That's insane! The disease entirely eradicated decades ago."
   I mean, how would Republicans reply if Democrats started also conjuring delusions? That the press is lying? That the news is fake?
     Ah, ahahahahaha. See, that's the problem with their boy-who-cried-wolf strategy. It's predicated on Democrats being honest, generally. And that is something the definition of a Democrat. Exist in the living world, try to help real people other than yourself with their actual problems. Works for me.
     Some say our honesty and decency ties one hand behind our backs, skews the playing field. It is unfair. If you're up against a skilled cheater, you can either cheat or lose.

To continue reading, click here.



  1. Donald trump and the Republican Party have gained power through the democratic process. democracy has its flaws. though fortunately we have a system of checks and balances that keeps power from becoming concentrated in the hands of a few or even one person. thankfully we have a non partisan judiciary.
    wait , what am I saying? never mind .

    1. No they didn't win through a democratic process!
      They have gerrymandered numerous Southern mostly rural states.
      They have managed to deny the right to vote first by having most of the Voting Rights Act declared unconstitutional, by the current, rotten Supreme Court & then used numerous state laws to deny poor & black people the right to vote.
      Then Trump & his minions collaborated with the Russians to steal more votes.

  2. There was a marvelous discussion of apologies by Freakonomics Radio on WBEZ yesterday. I'd really like to hear Donald Trump's version of "I'm sorry, but it wasn't my fault" on Wednesday, but that's not in the cards regardless of the outcome of the voting tomorrow.


    1. The Trump apology--" Maybe I was wrong, but no, I would never say that."

  3. Why am I more afraid today than I was on Trumps inauguration day? Because after 21 months of constant prevarication and demagoguery his popularity hasn't tanked. If there are that many hateful bigots in America we may not survive to see the global warming apocalypse. I want to believe that a large percentage of traditional republicans have just been holding their noses, thinking policies on their agenda will be enacted and they can then kick the Donald to a New York curb. Unfortunately Trump doesn't care if they suffocate, being an amoral narcissist, he's too busy counting his windfall and dreaming up ways to keep his hellhound train running. Polls today might indicate voters seeing through the lies. The blatant ads by many Republican candidates claiming to protect coverage for pre-existing conditions, when they have actually voted multiple times to end it, might have awakened voters to the peril that would be to their very lives. But I won't hold my breath.

  4. It is so, so frustrating to be with folks you’ve known for maybe 20-30 years or more and see their eyes go blank and have them suddenly begin spouting Fox News talking points as if they came down a mountain chiseled on stone tablets in Moses’ hands! You tend to think that maybe you’ve fallen asleep and awakened to a world totally upended by some fear of anyone that doesn’t look like you is going to take away even the ground you walk on as well as everything you hold precious. I’m sure it’s not that bad, and I certainly hope tomorrow’s election gives us hope instead of more hate.

  5. Putting political posturing aside, after spending way too much time trying to rationalize what keeps Trump’s cult thriving, I’ve become convinced that human brains are just hard-wired to stick to their initial beliefs no matter what contrary evidence is presented to them.

    I can hear the voices clearly in my mind some time in the not-too-distant future: “Well, dad-gum-it; he tried so hard to make our country great again; it’s not his fault things just didn’t work out.”


Comments are vetted and posted at the discretion of the proprietor.