A Breakdown of Time’s Biggest Lie

At about 5 AM on February 4th, 2021, Time magazine published an exposé entitled The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election. Today I am going to go through this article to identify the great quantity and nuance of lies this exposé presents, on the merit alone that they are gigantic lies that have had tremendous amounts of resources sunk into their façades. I do not care for partisanship at all, especially not of this kind. If anything, the truth being expressed these days is merely power for its own sake. But you know, the One Ring was crafted as a deception. That is the part I will dissect.

Before continuing, some background: in recent years, the incidence of self-deception in American politics has skyrocketed. This is not downstream or upstream per sé of any material goings on in politics, but it alone is pernicious enough to pose a big problem for everyone. Personally, I hate liars. I hate lying. I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s fairly simple. More positively, I owe virtually everything I have to my own integrity and honesty. Without that aspect of my character, my rough edges and heavy temperament would have left me dying in a ditch a long time ago. My house, my pets, my things, my work, my career, my hopes & dreams, everything is to credit for the trust others have been able to give me. I will never see a world in which it is even supposed that this can be foresaken. But that’s me.

This Time article is special for the breadth of content it has which has been uttered past the liar’s so-called point of no return: the moment when the concert of lies is so massive, and so absurd, that people are socially forced to either commit to the lies, or reject them outright. Most people are not committed to the lies, so most are going to find the article quite telling. Let’s get into it.

The scenario the shadow campaigners were desperate to stop was not a Trump victory. It was an election so calamitous that no result could be discerned at all, a failure of the central act of democratic self-governance that has been a hallmark of America since its founding.

This is the first great gem the article gives us: the author vocalising lying to themselves about the motive. As I said on Twitter, “lies always reveal themselves by their incongruence with reality. wherever you find missing sense, there is a lie. always.” A “lack of a result” kind of outcome does not fit the profile of all the activities the shadow campaigners engaged in. Actually, it makes no sense at all to engage in information controls, regulatory manipulation, and grassroots efforts to monitor and influence voters to avoid “no outcome at all”. There’s not even a serious discussion or history around such a suggestion! It’s obviously ridiculous, so ridiculous on its face it’s just daring to be questioned. The thing is, it’s important to them that they say this out loud. Lies don’t tell themselves.

They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. They executed national public-awareness campaigns that helped Americans understand how the vote count would unfold over days or weeks, preventing Trump’s conspiracy theories and false claims of victory from getting more traction.

This is a meat of great detail pointing to the reality that the outcome of this election was engineered, or massaged, or however it is to be put. Minds are changed by controlling all of the kinds of information people are permitted to hear. Legal battles are strategically extinguished by fucking with the rules and playing technicality’s advocate. It was all foretold, up to and including the Orange Man’s “conspiracy theories and false claims of victory.” According to Time and apparently everyone involved in these shadow campaigns, it was categorically impossible for the man to win. Doesn’t that sound like fraud?

“But it’s massively important for the country to understand that it didn’t happen accidentally. The system didn’t work magically. Democracy is not self-executing.” That’s why the participants want the secret history of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream–a well-funded cabal of powerful people […]

Nothing worth protecting is done so without taking great risks. This is the kernel of nuance that is crucially missing from this otherwise coherent retelling of the “heroes” swooping in and saving the day. This is the lie at the bedrock here. There was no risk. If anything, it is totally rooted in paranoia and fear. People did these things not because they were willing to lose their jobs or go hungry or homeless with their families on the street. People did these things to keep all of that stuff, and in that sense were quite selfish and greedy. The polar opposite of personal risk was the preferred path. Most people understand that such cowardly, slimy behaviour is normal for “well-funded cabals of powerful people” if not the general population.

The story finally kicks off from the chronological beginning with the AFL–CIO’s president’s adviser as the protagonist. The lie here is the AFL–CIO still being a “nonpartisan union federation for the white working-class”. No kidding, the article seriously conceptualises the AFL–CIO that way. It’s not 1960 anymore. After lying about that, they then move into lying about all of the motives in much the same way everything else is lied about – we as an audience are totally unwitting and naïve to what is happening and are hanging over their words earnestly, like high school students in a 1950s history class. We must really believe, contrary to so much recent history, that we are dealing with people of decent moral character. We even get a little anecdote about the guy’s idiosyncrasies of his little league practise in the beltway suburbs. Everything about this is eye-searingly constructed, and it’s disturbing for how unwittingly dated it all is. It’s 2021.

Another great lie peppered throughout this article is the notion of this “informal alliance” between various disparate groups who have no shared interests all coming to agree in hypnosis that Trump is even on page 1 of their biggest problems. See, a great thing for a liar to have is a scapegoat with which to wash their hands. This is the real value in the man’s name, and it’s why we’re still getting headlines in February of people trying to legally crucify him still. Unfortunately, the lie is spent now. So the lies will become clear to many, many people. This Time article is an absolute gem inasmuch as it is a spectacle of this catastrophic breakdown of American bureaucracies.

All things considered, probably the most obvious lie to anyone under the age of 45 is the tone and rhetoric of this article. It makes me wonder if Eisenhower isn’t puppetmastering this all from his 1950s cabinet in the grave. It just sounds absolutely stupid in a way only Americans can pull off with a straight face. After all, only Americans would take themselves so seriously that they lose the common sense to see how cartoonishly absurd this text really is.

Until next time,
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