Let’s just acknowledge this reality: anybody who seriously uses the phrase ‘Russian hoax’ can be immediately disregarded. Doesn’t matter whether they’re referring to the Mueller investigation or just generally talking about Comrade Trump’s insidious machinations with Russia, if they say the terms Russia and hoax together and mean it, anything else they say can be dismissed.
I know, I know. That sounds extreme. And it is. Under normal circumstances, I’d argue against a policy like that. But the phrase has been in use long enough that anybody who offers it as a serious explanation for Trump’s various scandals has lost all credibility. In fact, the notion that there is such a thing as the Russia hoax is, itself, a hoax.
Okay, wait. We need a tangent here. A big meandering tangent taking us back to the 17th century and a guy named Thomas Ady. Ady was interested in witches and witchcraft. Not in the standard 17th century ‘How to Catch a Witch and Do Terrible Things to Her’ way, but in a more intellectually rigorous way. He wrote a couple of books to expose of the various bullshit techniques used in that time to identify and convict alleged witches. He also wrote that what passed for ‘magic’ or ‘witchcraft’ was mostly either natural phenomena or trickery.
In his book A Candle in the Dark he wrote about “common Juglars, who go up and down to play their Tricks at Fayrs and Markets.” He spoke about one such person:
[M]ore excelling in that craft than others, that went about in King James his time, and long since, who called himself, the Kings Majesties most excellent Hocus Pocus, and so was called, because that at the playing of every Trick, he used to say, Hocus pocus, tontus tabantus, vade celeriter jubeo, a dark composure of words, to blinde the eyes of the beholders, to make his Trick pass the more currantly without discovery.
A ‘juggler’ back then was an entertainer who performed tricks of dexterity and sleight of hand. Not just the sort of toss juggling we see now, but also ‘magic’ tricks. The name by which this one most excellent Juglar performed gave us the term hocus-pocus as a sort of ‘magical’ invocation. And hocus-pocus is where the term ‘hoax’ comes from. A hoax is deliberately creating a malicious fabrication and convincing people to believe it.
Comrade Trump’s entire career has been built on a foundation of hoaxes. The hoax that he was a good student, that he was a successful entrepreneur, that he was a financial genius, that he was a savvy businessman and a brilliant negotiator. His history suggests none of that is completely true, and much of it is a lie.
Perhaps his greatest hoax has been convincing his followers to believe that secretive Deep State government officials and career federal law enforcement officers (most of whom are lifelong Republicans) in conjunction with leaders of the Democratic Party collaborated to create a massive cabal designed to thwart the improbable presidential campaign of a failed businessman and reality television showman. He’s convinced his followers that these three groups, despite their long-standing ideological differences and hostility, came together in the short time after his nomination but before the election and agreed to impede his agenda by waiting until after the election to accuse him of colluding with Russian intelligence agents.
Now that is some serious hocus-pocus, right there. That’s a hoax on a galactic scale. Anybody who believes that — anybody who is capable of believing that — is somebody whose opinions can dismissed. Normally, I’m willing to entertain almost any argument if it forces me to support my position. That’s healthy, I think. But there comes a point at which you just have to accept that verifiable evidence doesn’t matter to Trump’s most faithful followers.
Let’s go back to Mr. Ady for a moment. He had to deal with the 17th century version of Trump supporters.
[T]hey ingage me to answer to a story, which they would compell me to beleeve, or else to goe see where it was done; but if it happeneth (as often it doth), that I make it appear by Scripture, that it is absurd or impossible…or that I shew them the story, in any of the afore said Authers, who have been the Authors of many vain fables, then they presently fly to another story, as vain and absurd as the former, and that being answered, they fly to another, saying, Sir, what do you answer to this? in which manner of disputes I have heard sometimes such monstrous impossibilities reported and affirmed to be true, (for they had it by credible report) as would make the Angells in Heaven blush to hear them.
This morning Comrade Trump is frantically trying to defend himself against the revelations in Bob Woodward’s soon-to-be-released book. His defense is full of ‘such monstrous impossibilities…as would make the Angells in Heaven blush.’ I don’t believe in angels or heaven, but I do believe in an open exchange of ideas and views. However, that sort of exchange is no longer possible with anybody who, at this point, believes in the ‘vain fable’ of a Russia hoax.
There is nothing to defend. Trump was right in not causing panic.
Everything that needed to be done in the background was being done.
I guess maybe more mayhem and chaos is something you guys seem to like so I can see why you are peeved at the fact Trump did not run around screaming the sky is falling.
More gasping at straws.
Who is ‘you guys’? ‘Everything that needed to be done in the background was being done.’ I call bullshit. This virus has claimed so many thousands of lives, with no divisions along party lines. Thousands of people are dead, many more thousands now health compromised. People have lost loved ones, jobs, businesses, homes… The US has among the highest death and infection rates in the entire world, despite being a wealthy country. If this pandemic had been handled better, even to a small amount, by the federal government, how many people would still be alive, working, with their families? You defend Trump to your last breath despite all evidence that he is corrupt, criminal and cares nothing for the people in this country. He doesn’t care if you die from this virus. He doesn’t care. I really don’t understand how you can continue defending his actions and presidency. You seem like a person who tries to stay informed, you think about right and wrong. You consistently come to Greg’s blog and attack him and his other readers for their views, you flatly call verified facts falsehoods, you keep coming back. Why? What do you hope to accomplish, aside from stirring up anger and greater division? Why do you hate people with different views from yours so much? How can you keep defending this presidency?
Sorry, Greg. It’s just too much.
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Sorry, Greg. It’s just too much.
It’s terribly frustrating, isn’t it. We’ve been raised to believe that logic, facts, and evidence matter. It turns out those things only matter to folks interested logic, facts, and evidence. They’re of no interest at all to folks who’ve seen a video PROVING that AOC is a Satan-worshiping lesbian who keeps her skin soft and radiant by injecting a serum made from the pituitary glands taken from the fresh corpses of tortured child sex slaves.
“hoc est corpus meum”
A great big hoax right there.