We are living in a post-truth age. People, I got nothing better than that. I have no articulate words. How does one even attempt to describe the stimulation called life we experienced last few years but especially last year? Better wordsmiths than me have done it. There are thousands of think pieces published about it. It’s way too much noise and I’m trying to swim through it to just come up with one thematic, one main point, one main thesis about all of this, which culminated on January 6th.

We can talk about Trump, we can talk about the lunacy of his followers, we can talk about the partisanship and party sides, we can commit ourselves to the asylum trying to comprehend the level of the inhumanity we witnessed; its overwhelming, I know. But every time I counter something overwhelming in life, I try to simplify it down to one main, clean thread. And that is, in this case – media. More specifically: misinformation. And a dire need for its reform.

Media, or news if you like it, reached a level of being life-threatening. And deadly. Hey, I’m not naive to think media wasn’t always wagging the dog, it’s always been the apparatus pushing the narrative, but I do feel the humanity never dipped in the crisis of truth, like today.

Prince Harry is on top of this subject for a while now. He wrote a brilliant article for Fast Company last year, saying:

“The digital landscape is unwell and companies have the chance to reconsider its role in funding and supporting online platforms that have contributed to, stoked, and created the conditions for a crisis of hate, a crisis of health, and a crisis of truth.”

“From conversations with experts in this space, we believe we have to remodel the architecture of our online community in a way defined more by compassion than hate; by truth instead of misinformation; by equity and inclusiveness instead of injustice and fear-mongering; by free, rather than weaponized, speech.”

What we saw on January 6th was nothing but solely this – the crisis of truth. Misinformation spread purposely, manipulation of news coverage manufacturing fear, in order to gain power and make a buck. Fake news, created by the side that often likes to call it on the other side, defined the political landscape and its the biggest reason we are so divided right now. This was planned all along. Division and hatred. When there’s hatred, the one that’s doing the hating can easily be controlled.

Timothy Snyder wrote the following for the NY Times:

“Post-truth is pre-fascism, and Trump has been our post-truth president. When we give up on truth, we concede power to those with the wealth and charisma to create spectacle in its place. Without agreement about some basic facts, citizens cannot form the civil society that would allow them to defend themselves. If we lose the institutions that produce facts that are pertinent to us, then we tend to wallow in attractive abstractions and fictions. Truth defends itself particularly poorly when there is not very much of it around, and the era of Trump — like the era of Vladimir Putin in Russia — is one of the decline of local news. Social media is no substitute: It supercharges the mental habits by which we seek emotional stimulation and comfort, which means losing the distinction between what feels true and what actually is true.”

John Pavlovitz wrote actual poetry about Jan 6th:

“Most did not make an attempt to conceal their identities: a product of how emboldened they felt in this aggression, how unafraid of accountability they were, and the story they’d told themselves about how righteous they imagined their cause, as they committed a deadly act of collective terrorism against the very heart of our democracy.”

“This was a nothing revolution: an empty display of cheap anger formed in staggering privilege, made of fake oppression, inflamed by a massive lie—and directed toward a man who fully embodies them: one who has had everything in this life handed to him and is perpetually outraged when  he cannot have more.”

“They were people wealthy enough to travel across the country on a whim after a year of economic disaster: people with businesses and government jobs and private planes and huge sponsored social media platforms. These were not the downtrodden and misrepresented and vulnerable of our nation finally rising up to fight the powers that be: they are the powers that be who can’t recognize that by attacking the system they were assaulting themselves.”

“Martin Luther King Jr famously said that “a riot is the language of the unheard.”” This, is not that.”

“These people have been the most heard since they were born—since this nation was first founded on genocide, erected on colonialism, built upon slavery, and maintained by racism. They have always had a voice, always been catered to, and never been marginalized in any true measure—which is why losing an election now feels like some horrible systemic wrong that is that last straw in a fictional pile of injustices they have had to carry and could no longer. Their violence was not a desperate cry for justice, it was a spoiled toddler’s tantrum with deadly consequences.”

“I can’t help but think that these fairy tale white patriots’ great season of personal loss began when a black man was elected president 12 years ago; that the mere reality of that man’s existence fully accelerated it all: their rabid gun lust, their toxic religious apocalypse visions, their irrational fear of immigrants, and every defense mechanism, against America doing to them what they had been doing to America since they were born.” 

“It was a marvel to see the absolute most privileged humans walking the planet still manage to convince themselves that they’re oppressed—to be culpable for a murderous act of terrorism and to somehow be even more defiant after it.”

“History will record and quantify the events of January 6th, but it will tell a very different story than the one playing in the heads of the perpetrators and of their disgraced, emotionally bankrupt white messiah.”

“I feel deep sorrow for these people, because I see the scalding fear that they mistake for spiritual passion; the perverted narrative that plays in their heads that tells them danger lurks around every corner; the paradox of a God who protects them and yet compels them to strap a weapon to themselves because that God likely won’t.”

Brilliant read, but personally, I think John gave them too much credit.

The breakdown of fascist regimes:

1. Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of PATRIOTIC motos, slogans (MAGA), symbols (his dumb ass hats), and other paraphernalia.

2. “Identification” but actually the invention of enemies/scapegoats as the unifying cause so you can rally people into the unifying patriotic FRENZY over a need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe, usually falsely calling them RACIAL, ETHNIC MINORITIES, LIBERALS, COMMUNISTS, SOCIALISTS (Deep State).

3. Obsession over National Security. Using FEAR over the government as a motivational tool over the masses.

4. Calling Election FRAUDULENT when you lose.

This is so lazy, it’s actually painful.

Media reform. Misinformation laws. End attack-style politics. Stay vigilant. VOTE. Not just presidential elections but every runoff.