Covid-19. Fauci. Trump. MSNBC. Fox News. Local News. WSJ. AP. OAN. 5G. Vaccines. Gates. Kushner. Deep State.
“Wake up America!” “Wake up sheeple!”
Believing what? —I hear you ask. What should I believe, with a world of information at my fingertips, and anyone with an agenda to push masquerading as an expert? Or, maybe the masquerade is no longer a masquerade. (“So violent a rudeness, untenanted by any tangible form.” “Unmask! Unmask!”)
Know this: if you believe anything hard enough, it can become your truth. Be wary.
Covid-19 changed life on scale not seen for decades. No matter what you believe or who your political hero is, that fact is undeniable. First came the virus, then came the treatment—economic shutdown via shelter in place directives. And with that: unemployment skyrocketing, shortages in stores, restrictions on consumer culture. As my three year old says, “uuuugh. Not goood!”
If you’re a responsible citizen, you’re following the news (maybe mostly on Facebook and Twitter). Hoping for hope, not finding much. If you’re a liberal, you’re following MSNBC. If you’re a conservative, you’re following Fox News. I liken it to Stephen King’s twin books, Desperation and The Regulators. The characters are the same, but the story plays out much differently. Of course there’s other players—CNN, OAN, etc. But the point is about the two stories being told, not necessarily who’s telling which parts.
I wanted to hear them both. To test my own bias. To find common ground somewhere, anywhere. I decided to go left (MSNBC), right (Fox News), and in-between (WSJ, AP, Reuters). I used Mediabias/Fact-check and Allsides—of course, these entities are owned by someone, and if I was a conspiracy theorist, I’d be wondering, “who watches the watchmen?”
When you do this (and I hesitate to call it a good idea) you’re willfully throwing yourself into the political divide. Divide? No, that’s too soft a word. It’s a political chasm. And it’s deep, dark, and smells like shit.
If the 2016 election taught liberals anything, it’s that the rest of the country is not like them. Really not like them. Trump was a joke, a sideshow not to be taken seriously.
Then he was the republican presidential nominee. The joke was still funny, but less people were laughing.
Then the election. And the joke wasn’t a joke, anymore, it was a horror story. And we’ve yet to reach the end.
…Unless you’re a conservative. In which case, thank god, finally, a champion has come to TAKE BACK THIS COUNTRY. Everything conservatives had to put up with under Obama—all the PC complexities of liberal culture, the threat to traditional views, the exacerbation of our country’s problems. The rage that simmered. Time to let it out!
Well, here we are, four years into Trump’s presidency, in the midst of a national pandemic, and the virus is politicized. Most neutral sources criticize or at least leave possibility that Trump’s handling of the crisis hasn’t been flawless. According to Fox News and most right-wing outlets, everything he’s done is perfect. This is of course more true the further right you go.
According to MSNBC, by and large every step Trump’s taken has been a disaster. Is there a possibility liberal media is using the pandemic to make Trump look incapable? Let me rephrase: Is there a possibility liberal media is using the pandemic to make Trump look more incapable then he is?
See, Trump is either Satan on earth or the second coming of Christ. There is no middle ground. Only a chasm echoing insults like “Keep drinking the kool-aid dumbocrat!” Or “Keep worshiping in the cult of His Orangeness!” (I’ve heard elementary school kids do better).
While falling into this cacophony of bitter one-upmanship about which party is more “blind,” I found The Preacher. A “man of god”. I noticed his first comment on an MSNBC story about an early vaccine trial. This was the beginning of March, before shit really started hitting the fan. The Preacher’s comment was something to the effect of: “If they tell me to take a covid vaccine, I’m going to tell them ‘my body my choice!’”
Yes, The Preacher is pro-life. And while a comment like that is crass and incredibly offensive, things like that don’t matter when you’ve got a point to prove in the name of the lord. I think it says somewhere in the Bible you can be as much of an asshole as you want so long as you’re trying to prove a point.
The Preacher comments on all the major news breaks. He’s on MSNBC, poking his brand of fun at liberals. He’s on Fox, congratulating them in their groundbreaking journalism. He’s on Reuters, positing his theories about why the virus is an overblown liberal attack on Trump.
And The Preacher’s got followers. They eat up every word he says, because it confirms what they’ve believed for years.
You see, the virus is part of a much larger conspiracy theory. Of course, to those that know the TRUTH, this is not a conspiracy theory, it’s a conspiracy FACT. (Paradox: no one who believes their conspiracy theory calls it a theory.)
Mind you, while I haven’t seen much liberal support for this conspiracy, it might be out there. But the movement has gained the most traction from Fox News supporters, the preacher’s followers, anti-vaxxers, the preacher himself, and many in the far-right .
As the preacher will tell you: Covid-19 did not originate in the wet market, but the Wuhan lab. The preacher doesn’t state it was released intentionally, but he insinuates it was. Why? That has to do with Bill Gates.
See, Bill Gates, through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, funds vaccine research. Gates contributes to the World Health Organization. He’s a philanthropist, and all this information is public anyway, so it checks. Here’s where it gets interesting. Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx (part of the coronavirus task force—you’ve seen them if you’ve seen the press conferences) have loose ties to Gates. Actually, Birx’s “connection” (besides being photographed with Gates at one point in her life) is false. It’s based on her daughter, Laura Birx, being part of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Laura Birx is indeed part of the foundation. Except she’s not Deborah Birx’s daughter. But whatever, that just an alternative fact.
Anyway, the theory goes, Fauci and Birx forced Trump to shut down the economy (I didn’t think anyone could “force” Trump to do anything…) so they could make him look bad, because Fauci and Birx are deep state socialists, who, in collusion with Gates, will get rich when the Gates funded vaccine is released. Their wealth will somehow be funneled into the deep state communist takeover of the world. Gates will become the first trillionaire. Gates also assists in funds for the W.H.O. and they’re in on it as well, because Tedros (Director General of W.H.O.) was part of a communist party once upon a time.
Here’s the politifact fact check article, with a link to The Preacher’s conspiracy: https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/apr/14/fact-checking-facebook-conspiracy-about-bill-gates/
(P.S. If you’ve come this far and start digging into The Preacher, you’ll most likely find him pretty appalling. Do not engage with him. He feeds off negative attention and uses it as fuel for self-righteousness.)
Depending on how deep you go, you’ll find this conspiracy somehow links up with 5G, and possibly the Bible as well.
What to make of all this? You can’t combat it with caution. The believers made up their minds long ago, and to speak any form of contradiction or criticism, any whatsoever, immediately pegs you as a “blind sheep” and “not a critical thinker,” or my personal favorite, because it was the label I was given by one of The Preacher’s followers, someone who “drinks from the tit of mainstream media.”
Which is fair, because I do like to follow a multitude of reputable sources across various forms of bias. I don’t follow unestablished far-right religious sources with bad fact check records, so yes, I am blind to the TRUTH. I’m also an English major, so I don’t know how to think critically, either. I’m just plain ol’ shit outa luck!
As of this writing, the Washington Post and Fox News have both started investigating, once more the connection between the Wuhan Lab and SARS-CoV-2. Fox News specifically is running stories questioning Gates funding choices. Trump has pulled funding to W.H.O. and retweeted #firefauci (ever tactful, our president). And the far-right is loving it, because this CONFIRMS EVERYTHING.
If you’re reading this and you think, wow, off the charts crazy, I’ve got another surprise: you have no idea how many people think all of this is true. We live in a fantasy land where someone on the internet can mix facts, falsehood, and theory with a few pictures of people shaking hands at different events and big circles drawn around their heads, and that’s TRUTH. It’s terrifying. To liberals.
Just as terrifying as a Bill Gates funded deep state communist takeover is to conservatives.
The ideological difference between these two political parties is mind blowing. Makes one despair at the prospect of unity. The virus is politicized. And the ugly truth is, no matter how this pandemic shakes out, nothing will change. We will not come together holding hands singing kumbaya.
If it all goes to shit because Trump screwed up, well, that’s the Democrats’ fault somehow. And if we make it back to some semblance of normalcy, well, Trump won politics. And if Trump did just one thing right, even a couple, well, that too was wrong, because of all the other asinine shit he’s pulled. Because of who he is.
The wheel goes round. We must stay informed. Stay critical. There’s a lot of information coming at us real fast. Even “the good guys” can get it wrong sometimes. And if that’s true, it means sometimes the bad guys get it right. Conspiratorial falsities may have shadows of truth, but that does not justify a sensationalized witch- hunt.
Until next time, be good.
“Have you no sense of decency, sir?”—Joseph Welch, 1954, Army-McCarthy hearing
“The information is laughing at us
The ticker tape feeds the night
Looking for a lost transmission
A heaven that we left behind”—Beck Hansen