James Belchamber

Trump is winning

On "Good Morning Britain" yesterday morning we listened to Nigel Farage (the British Ambassador for Donald Trump) explicitly deny that Trump talked about injecting disinfectant, and then continue to deny it after they played the video of Trump talking about injecting disinfectant.

As Liberals we can easily mock this. How could anyone listen to a word this idiot has to say?

Well, 68 million Americans (and counting) watched this kind of thing play out for the four years (four years!) of Trump's presidency. They couldn't escape it - every news channel, every Facebook feed and every Twitter stream. Pervasive, nationwide coverage.

And then they went "that's my guy" - and they went out and voted for him.

What Farage and Trump are very effective at are making reality flexible. By dissenting to clear and inarguable facts they are creating controversies on what have long been considered settled - that bleach is a disinfectant (and you shouldn't inject it), that mail-in ballots are legitimate, that all votes must be counted. Through this they can invent "truths" that people feel innately are probably right - and connect those things, through a narrative, to get them to support what they want to. It doesn't matter if it's true, because people aren't going to spend the time and effort to find out. It just becomes part of the spectrum of "truths" everyone can choose from.

British politicians on the right have slowly come to terms with this new politics - they cannot win by dealing with reality, but they can win by inventing reality. Some have not accepted it - they've stuck to their principles, and they have lost their seats to younger politicians that have been willing to play the game. Others have, with varying levels of enthusiasm, embraced the new politics: Admit nothing. Deny everything. Project fear, uncertainty and doubt.

This is working - even in the UK, many people are now convinced that Trump has won the election - and Democrats are stealing it from him, with vote-rigging and ballot-stuffing. It doesn't matter what the truth is - they believe that's the truth, and that's what matters. It feels right.

Infuriatingly, many Liberals are still not waking up to this. Many of us still believe that there are rules to this game, and that simply laying out the facts will win out on the night. Liberals will defend people's "right" to a fair hearing, even when they aren't willing to respect reality - like if we trust in the system, it will reward us. This mistaken belief has led us to tonight, and will lead us to many nights like tonight.

Biden will probably enter the White House next year - but he hasn't won. Trump has made some mistakes, and suffered some bad fortune - some bugs to be ironed out next time. He's lost this election - just. But he's winning the fight.

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