Here’s a transcript, slightly edited, of something I heard on TV last night. It captures my own thinking pretty well.
“Here are the facts — actual, confirmed facts — that shape the perspective of Trump voters: The FBI spied on the 2016 Trump campaign using evidence manufactured by the Clinton campaign. We now know that all involved knew it was fake from Day One. The voters this was aimed at are Tea party people, the type who give their kids a pocket Constitution for their birthday and have Founding Fathers memes in their bios. The intel community spying on a presidential campaign using fake evidence, including forged documents, is a big deal to them.
“Trump supporters know the collusion case front and back. They went from worrying the collusion must be real, to suspecting it might be fake, to realizing it was a scam. And then watched as every institution — the intel agencies, the press, Congress, academia — gaslit them for another year.
“Worse, collusion was used to scare good people away from working in the Trump administration. They knew their entire lives would be investigated. Many quit because they were being bankrupted by legal fees. The DOJ, the press, and the government destroyed lives and actively subverted an elected administration. This is where people whose political identity was largely defined by a naive belief in what they learned in Civics class began to see the outline of a regime that had crossed all institutional boundaries. That regime stepped out of the shadows to unite against an interloper — Donald Trump.
“A lot of Trump supporters understand that this Regime is not partisan. They know that the same institutions would have taken opposite sides if it was a Tulsi Gabbard vs Jeb Bush election. It’s hard to describe to people on the left how shocking and disillusioning this was for conservatives — people who encourage their sons to enlist in the Army and hate those who don’t stand for the Anthem.
“They could have managed the shock if it only involved the government. But the behavior of the corporate press is really what radicalized them. They hate journalists more than they hate any politician or government official, because they feel most betrayed by them. The idea that the press is driven by ratings and sensationalism became untenable. If that were true, [the press would have been] all over the Epstein story. The corporate press is the propaganda arm of the Regime. Nothing anyone says will ever make [Trump supporters] unsee that, period.
“This is profoundly disorienting. Many Trump voters don’t know for certain whether ballots were faked in November 2020, but they know for absolute certain that the press, the FBI and the rest would lie to them if they were. They [had] watched the press behave like animals for four years.
“Tens of millions of people will always see Brett Kavanaugh as a gang rapist, based on nothing because of CNN. CNN seems proud of that. CNN led a lynch mob against a high school kid. They cheered on a summer of riots. Republicans always claimed the media had a liberal bias. But they still thought the press would admit the truth if they were cornered. It’s a very different thing to watch the media invent stories out of whole cloth in order to destroy regular people’s lives and spark mass violence.
“Time Magazine has told us that during the 2020 riots there were weekly conference calls involving, among others, leaders of the protests, the local officials who refused to stop them, and media people who framed [these meetings] for political effect. In Ukraine we call that a color revolution.
“Throughout the summer, Democratic governors took advantage of COVID to change voting procedures. It wasn’t just the mail-in ballots. They lowered signature matching standards, and a lot else.
“Then there was Hunter Biden’s laptop. Big Tech ran a full-on censorship campaign against a major newspaper to protect a political candidate. Period. Everyone knows it. All of the Tech companies now admit it was a “mistake.” Buy the election’s over, so who cares? It goes without saying that if the New York Times had Don Jr’s laptop, full of pictures of him smoking crack and engaging in group sex, with lots of lurid family drama, emails describing direct corruption, the Times would not have been banned.
“Think back: stories about Trump being urinated on by Russian prostitutes and blackmailed by Putin were promoted as fact, when the only evidence was a document paid for by his opposition and disavowed by its source. The NY Post was banned for reporting on true information.
“The reaction of Trump people to all of this was not, “not fair!” That’s how they felt about, say, Romney’s “binders of women” story in 2012. This is different. Now they see, correctly, that every institution is captured by people who will use any means to exclude them from the political process. And yet they still showed up in record numbers to vote. Trump got 13 million more votes than he did in 2016. He got 10 million more than Clinton got. As election night dragged on his voters allowed themselves some hope. But when the four critical swing states (and only those states) went dark at midnight, they knew. Over the ensuing weeks, they got shuffled around by grifters and media scam artists selling them conspiracy theories. They latched onto one, then another increasingly absurd theory as they tried to put a concrete name on something very real.
“Media and tech did everything to make things worse. Everything about the election was strange — the changes to procedure, unprecedented mail-in voting, the delays, etc — but rather than admit that and make everything transparent, [media and tech] banned discussion of it, even in direct messages.
“Everyone knows that, just as Don Jr’s laptop would’ve been the story of the century, if everything about the election dispute was the same, except the parties were reversed, suspicions about the outcome would’ve been Taken Very Seriously. See 2016 for proof.
“[Trump supporters] understand why courts refused to take the case. What judge will stick his neck out for Donald Trump knowing that he’ll be destroyed in the media as a violent mob burns down his house? It is a fact, according to Time Magazine, that mass riots were planned in cities across the country if Trump won. Sure, there were “protests,” but they were planned by the same people as during the summer, and everyone knows what it would have meant. Judges have families, too.
“Forget the ballot conspiracies. It’s a fact that governors used COVID to unconstitutionally alter election procedures — something the Constitution states that only legislatures can do — to help Biden make up for a massive enthusiasm gap by gaming the mail-in ballot system. They knew it was unconstitutional when they did it. It’s right there in plain English. But [the governors] knew the cases wouldn’t see court until after the election. What judge is going to toss millions of ballots because a governor broke the rules? The threat of mass riots wasn’t implied. It was direct.
“In the end, not every theory of election fraud is true, but Trump’s voters are absolutely right that their government is monopolized by a Regime that believes [the voters] are beneath representation, and will observe no limits to keep them getting it.”
The writer’s name is Darryl Cooper. The transcript is based on a series of his tweets. Given the nature of the material, I’m expecting some wildly irrational responses, even tribal reactions. To those I would preemptively recommend Martin Niemöller’s poem, “First They Came for the Jews.”