Friday, October 8, 2021

People Notice When Elites Lie


I’m going to try to explain what’s going on in America right now by drawing a connection between two news stories. On the surface, they don’t seem to have much to do with each other, but when you really think about them, it’s obvious that there’s a common thread.

The first story comes from way back in November of 2018, when President Trump complained about an “Obama judge” on the 9th Circuit ruling against his asylum policy. Trump’s comments angered Chief Justice John Roberts, who gave a speech saying:

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”

To which Trump responded by tweeting: “Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have ‘Obama judges,’ and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country....”

For the Deep State and its sympathizers, Robert’s statement was a dignified and erudite defence of the institutions of liberal democracy, while Trump’s tweet was a crass attack on said institutions.

But ordinary Americans, who aren’t emotionally invested in keeping up the illusion that all is well on the banks of the Potomac, saw something different. They saw John Roberts telling a lie, and Donald Trump telling the truth.

Everybody knows that most of what the upper level of the judicial system does is politics by another name. They know that, most of the time, Obama judges, Trump judges, Bush judges, and Clinton judges rule differently on politically charged questions. And a large portion of the American people decide who to vote for in presidential elections based mainly on what kinds of judges they want the next president to appoint.

And yet John Roberts has the audacity to tell these people that none of this is true, and that all judges are really just doing their best to enforce the same laws in an impartial way.

And then, right after this creature of the Deep State (not even a Democrat, but a moderate Republican) has told his lie, Donald Trump does what most politicians won’t do (including Republicans) and tells the truth.

And then, over the next few years, when Trump’s base continues to believe Trump’s statements in preference to those of the media, the regulatory agencies, Anthony Fauci, the “moderates” in Congress, or whoever, the elite classes and the plutocrats and the mainstream press continue to act surprised, as if there is no reason for anybody to take Trump’s word over theirs about illegal immigration, or the origin of the coronavirus, or hydroxochloroquinine, or election fraud.

Except that there was a reason that the Deplorables listened to Trump instead of the mainstream voices. It is because the mainstream voices have been lying to them for a long, long, time, without even trying to be subtle. Eventually, the Deplorables noticed, and decided to trust someone else.

Now for the second, and more recent, news item, in which we see our self-appointed betters growing impatient with plain lying, and moving on to censorship, as exemplified by YouTube’s decision, about a week ago, to ban all content questioning the efficacy of covid vaccines.

You know who questions the efficacy of covid vaccines? Scientists. Anyone who’s been following the news for the last year or so knows that, while most scientists studying the vaccines believe that their efficacy is well above zero, there have been all sorts of disagreements about how well they actually work: do they prevent serious symptoms 90% of the time or only 70% of the time? Do they work at all against the Delta Variant? Do their effects fade with time? Is a third dose necessary? Will people who already have natural antibodies get any benefit from the vaccines?

All of these questions have been debated by the scientific community, and attentive news-watchers know that there isn’t a settled consensus. Which should surprise nobody, as the vaccines are new, and approved for experimental use only. At this point, it’s good that scientists aren’t all thinking the same thoughts, because that means that at least some of them are doing their jobs.

However, the people who run this country (and, let’s be honest, at this point the government agencies and the big corporations are all run by the same left-leaning plutocrat class) have decided that the Deplorables aren’t allowed to know any of this.

These people know that the Deplorables don’t trust them anymore. So they have to rely on censorship, because they can’t just make their case with logic, and say things like: ‘We all know that the science isn’t fully settled yet, but most of the evidence indicates that the vaccines work most of the time, and your chances of getting harmed by a vaccine are small compared to your chances of getting harmed by the virus, so we’re recommending that you get the shot. But if you don’t, we won’t try to punish you or shame you, because we still believe in liberty.’

That’s the sort of argument that might have worked fifteen years ago. It doesn’t work today, because the Deplorables know that the people saying it have their heads so far up their own rear ends that they either can’t see, or don’t care about, the obvious untruth of statements like “we do not have Obama judges or Trump judges.”

So instead they rely on coercion and censorship. Science takes a backseat to politics, just like it did way back in the spring of 2020, when scientists did a bunch of studies on the efficacy of cloth masks, most of which suggested that they didn’t work, and then dropped the whole topic like a hot rock once it became apparent that most of the people who didn’t want to wear masks were those nasty Trump voters.

So when upper-class liberals are left banging their heads on the wall and saying: ‘Why do these people keep on trusting Donald Trump, even after the events of January 6, and why won’t they believe the FDA when it tells them not to treat Covid with horse-deworming pills, and why are hospitals having to shut down because so many of their employees – medical professionals! – are willing to lose their jobs rather than get the vaccine?’

And the answer is that all this is happening because people notice when the elites lie. They notice when the elites engage in censorship. And they don’t un-notice. Also, once they’ve stopped trusting you, they won’t start again just because you want them to. Instead, they’ll trust somebody else, even if, in your (now-irrelevant) opinion, that somebody else is the worst person in the world for them to trust.

This article was originally published at American Thinker.


  1. This is a good analysis of a piece of the Great Puzzle, the latter being: "What is Happening to the USA? Why is its ruling class committing national suicide?"

    In part, the answer can be found by studying the same phenomenon in the West as a whole. Having effectively conquered the world by pioneering humanity's advance into modernity, it has now lost its self-confidence, and is turning one of its great achievements -- concern for all humans -- against itself.

    But the USA has its own characteristics, its own method of decline, and this essay illuminates one of them. A somewhat similar analysis can be found here, by one of the most astute British analysts of current political reality, Douglas Murray:

    It's behind a paywall, but here is a characteristic snippet:

    "... recent years have offered a stark example of what happens when the public see through their institutions. Even five years ago you would speak to conservative Americans and be able to predict with great ease which aspects of their nation they had faith in. They would be reliably pro-law enforcement, wildly in favour of the armed forces and the nation’s security apparatus. And while everybody was used to political figures letting them down, there were plenty of parts of the state that still produced a feeling of respect, indeed reverence.
    In the space of only a few years, all that has changed. Today the American right is openly contemptuous of institutions and individuals it revered only a few years ago. It still admires the soldiery, but it loathes the military top brass. The evening talk shows and conservative journalists do not only disagree with the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. They mock him. It is the same with the CIA, FBI and NSA. The nation’s intelligence and security agencies used to be regarded as the Rolls-Royces of America’s national security armoury. Today the American right says things about each of these agencies that was said over the past decade only by Assange-ist or Snowdenite bloggers of the far left. American conservatives now loathe these institutions, viewing them as corrupt and untrustworthy. It is the same with other branches of government, like the Internal Revenue Service, much of the judicial system, and then the real biggie, the system of voter registration (or lack thereof) and the way in which votes are counted after elections."

    1. Yes, it is true that there has been a great collapse of confidence in the American government on the part of the political Right over the last few years. And I've got to admit that in some ways, I don't really know yet what to make of this.

      To begin with, a lot of the things that the government is doing that the Right hates have been going on for at least half a century: i.e. the current military incompetence is in many ways a low-energy replay of the Vietnam War (or, as Marx said, “history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.”) The federal courts have been making obviously non-literal interpretations of the constitution since the 1960s. The schools have been indoctrinating children in leftism for at least two generations. The police have not cared about the Bill of Rights for just as long. Et cetera. While conservatives will complain about these things from time to time, they always seem to think the problem is smaller and more recent than it really is, i.e. “the Left is trying to destroy our institutions” and not “the Left has radically remade our institutions in its own image, and this happened before most people now living in America were born.”

      It appears that the Right is finally waking up - to some degree - to what is happening, but still, nobody has a coherent response. They are probably going to run Trump for president again, and even on the off-chance he wins, what can we expect him to do, policy-wise? He didn’t really do much the first time around. And the events of January 6 show that the Right has no idea how to make an insurrection, either. Nor do they know how to take control of the judiciary and civil service. Nor does America’s top military leadership show any indication of being ready for a coup. And that covers just about all the routes to power that there are, which is why my prediction for America is still a slow slide into 3rd world conditions over the next few decades, with only a few people really knowing what's going on or preparing rationally for the future.

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