I unabashedly steal some words from Maureen Dowd’s column in the New York Times (but at least I give her credit). She was writing about the French elections but what she wrote applies to the state of politics in the U.S. where the so-called alt-right hijacked our presidential election:
…Populists like her realize that the best tool of propaganda isn’t accuracy, but the internet and the fake. Their focus isn’t truth, only effects. And it works: Voters today don’t read long analyses; they remember forceful assertions….
She was writing about far right and nationalist presidential candidate Marine Le Pen but she could have just as well have been writing about Trump and his supporters.
Yes, I realize lying has been a tactic in politics as long as there has been politics but it seems to me that it has gone way beyond that in this time of instant communication and unfiltered social media. We are in the post-truth era when politicos don’t just try to refashion facts to fit their message or propaganda, but rather just ignore the truth altogether, knowing that their audience either A. does not know any better or B. (just as likely) could not care less.
So anyway the word from the pundits is contradictory from what I read. Ms. Le Pen has little chance of winning but she must be defeated at all costs.
And yes, it could happen here, I mean there. Liberal France could go far right in the name of holding onto old values and reserving France for the French and fighting Islamic terrorism.
The U.S. elected Donald Trump for about the same reasons: just insert U.S. for France or visa versa.
I don’t really follow French politics but as I understand it, La Pen does not espouse women’s rights per se, but she is getting support of women who are afraid of the anti-women values of extreme Islam or of the terrorists. I don’t blame them.
Again, I know little of French politics, but just like here in the good ol’ USA, I think it is too bad we have to choose between ultra liberal and ultra right or in our case we actually wound up with someone who I believe no ideology (which has some advantages) but with little knowledge of government and world affairs. And he is being heavily influenced by the far rightists or the alt-right which has no tolerance for open-mindedness.
Admittedly most of the words in this post are just meant to be dressing around Dowd’s words. Could not have said it better myself.