Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Friday, October 05, 2018

Trump fires up the conspiranoids again

As the near-certain confirmation of chubby-cheeked faux-choirboy Brett Kavanaugh pushes the Supreme Court ever more dangerously to the right (and so much for conservative outrage over "judicial activism," ya know?), Kavanaugh's defenders and fans of #NotMyPresident Donald J. Trump continue to find ways to trivialize and vilify the opposition. Trump himself has been openly mocking Kavanaugh's accusers at his near-nightly Nazi rallies, and just ahead of the cloture vote on Friday morning, he fired up the base against every conspiranoid's favorite scapegoat, George Soros. Wrote Herr Twitler:
The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don't fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love! #Troublemakers.
Yep, it wouldn't be a right wingnut party without a rousing game of Pin the Tale on Soros. Trump really should know better, but he'll tweet or say anything to keep the ignoranti happy.

And Trump has a lot of room to talk about grass-roots or organic political expression, given that his Nazi rallies are carefully orchestrated and staged, with audience members -- especially those on camera behind Trump -- being coached on how to react and even what to wear.
Remember the tale of "Plaid Shirt Guy" at the rally in Montana last month? He got escorted out and "replaced" -- either because he made silly faces in response to some of Trump's spewing, or because he simply wasn't "excited enough."
The question I have to ask once again, as I've asked numerous times before, is this: why is it so difficult for some folks to believe that thousands, if not millions, of Americans are genuinely and sincerely displeased with Trump, and that they are protesting or otherwise politically expressing themselves of their own accord -- and not being paid for it? So what if some of them carry professionally designed/printed signs? Does anyone honestly think that all of those bright red MAGA caps and T-shirts and "Women for Trump" signs at the Trumpian pep rallies were "made in the basement from love?"

I have several dear friends who have actively participated in numerous anti-Trump, pro-progressive demonstrations -- sometimes making their own signs, and sometimes carrying signs that were printed in a print shop -- and they joke that they are "still waiting for that big paycheck from George Soros." Even as I am still waiting for that big paycheck from Big Pharma for writing all of those blog posts about cancer quack, fake doctor and neo-Nazi Leonard Coldwell.

Some truths about "paid protest"
None of the above is an attempt to deny that paid protesters exist. They do, of course, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
But they're just as likely to be paid-protesting for a right-wing cause as for a leftist one, and some would argue that the right is more likely to use paid protesters. Below are a few links that offer some perspective.

From Cracked.com, March 2017:
I Know Paid Protesters Are Real (Because I'm One Of Them)
As the author explains, not all grass-roots activism is completely spontaneous, and even the Civil Rights movement back in Rosa Parks' day had some behind-the-scenes handling.

A lot of people hold to the idea that grassroots activism has to be spontaneous. That thousands of people become so angry and so motivated by the same issue that they all simply happen to gather at the same place at the same time with thematically consistent signs to make their voice heard. But in reality, "spontaneous" protests are usually called riots. An actual protest needs organizers...

...Of course, there are real "paid protesters" (said with that hateful inflection). It's enthusiasm and faith that makes the difference between someone like Matt
[a paid protester whose story is told in this article] (who accepted the $20 stipend to make his activism possible) and the paid actors who attended Trump's
campaign announcement as his supporters. We spoke to Angelo Carusone, the journalist who broke that story, and he said that his first big clue that the event was (at least partially) staged was that "nobody was posting any selfies." Turns out $50 (the rate those actors were supposed to have been paid) isn't enough to motivate someone to get on social media. Only narcissism and video games can do that...

...The very same problems that call for protests also make it super hard for those most affected to protest, since protesting requires the kind of energy and time that the downtrodden don't have. Hence, the protesting.
From Salon.com, June 2017: There are real paid protesters, but they're all right wingers
Well, in all fairness, they're not all right-wingers, but a lot of 'em are, and that's something that the right doesn't seem any too keen to acknowledge. The author cites, as an example, an incident in New York City in mid-June 2017...

...when the right wing decided to aim its selective outrage at a free staging of Shakespeare’s play "Julius Caesar" held in New York City’s Central Park. Mike Cernovich, a self-described member of the alt-right who thinks the U.S. should give immigrants IQ tests, put up a YouTube video in which he offered cash to any protesters willing to disrupt the play for pay.

“I’ll give up to 10 people $1,000,” Cernovich says in the 
footage. “I need you to get up with either a ‘CNN is ISIS’ or ‘Bill Clinton’s a rapist’ or ‘The media is terrorism’ [sign]. And if you’re able to get up and be escorted out by security, then I will give you $1,000.”

In other words, Cernovich was actively and openly looking to recruit paid protesters. You know how conservatives made up that ridiculous myth about George Soros sending checks to liberals who march in protests? This is the real version of that, only sponsored by Cernovich.
And finally, bringing it back to the present...

From the Washington Post, October 2018: The irony of Trump's debasing allegation that Kavanaugh protesters are paid
The author makes some of the same points that the writer of the Cracked.com piece made, regarding the fact that protests require organization.

Large-scale protests on both sides require organizers to get permits, arrange timing and plan tactics. They often make signs to coordinate a central message. None of this suggests that the protesters themselves are not sincere. The Center for Popular Democracy has done a lot of organizing around Kavanaugh. (The group’s executive director was one of the women who confronted Flake, but there’s no evidence that the “elevator screamer” who confronted Hatch was linked to the organization.) Most stories about the group in the conservative media, though, include a pointed mention of Soros, highlighting an obvious subtext.

Trump’s inclusion of the billionaire in his sweeping indictment of the protesters who confronted Hatch is meant to stoke conservative anger and to dismiss his opponents as opportunists who don’t really oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination. Kavanaugh, meanwhile, has so far benefited from
$12 million in broadcast ads supporting his nomination, paid for by a group called the Judicial Crisis Network — and whose donors are shielded from the public.
But there are sharp ironies to Trump's criticisms of those who protested Kavanaugh's nomination.
The first is that Trump himself faces allegations of assault. In a news conference last month, he suggested that those women who had come forward to allege that he’d assaulted them had been discredited by having been paid to make the claims. This isn’t true.

Then there’s this: On June 16, 2015, he announced his candidacy for the presidency from the lower lobby of Trump Tower. As he began, he celebrated the people arrayed around the balconies above him showing their support.

Some — not all — of those people were there because they were paid to be, $50 a head. They had professionally printed signs and shirts, not signs crafted with love in their basements. Several of the actors posted photos of themselves online; the firm that organized their attendance created a video highlighting its work on the event.

The kicker? Trump’s campaign didn’t pay that firm, Gotham Government Relations, for months, leading to an FEC complaint. That was reported on
the day of Trump’s inauguration.
If you want more information on paid protest, that info is only a quick Google search away (just be sure to consider the source, of course). I'm not holding out much hope that any amount of facts will make much difference to those who are rabidly attached to the tired old narrative about the evils of Soros and lib'ruls and the left... but at least you'll be better informed.

If you are eligible to vote in the US midterm elections, and you're tired of this crap, please
make sure you're registered, and then please, please get out and vote on November 6. There may not be a blue tsunami or even a blue wave, but every little bit of blue will help in combating the toxic red tide that is threatening the very foundations of the republic.

Elsewhere on the conspiranoia front: martial law is okay as long as it's alt-right martial law
I'd intended to blog about this after Facebooking about it last month, but got sidetracked as I so often do. On a September 23, 2018 "Emergency Report," conspiracy-porn peddler, rabble-rouser and dedicated Trumpster Mike Adams of Natural News
continued to expand on his fascist wet dream of his idol Trump imposing martial law. Of course it will only be temporary martial law, because we Muricans would never consent to such a setup permanently. And it will only be imposed long enough to give Trump time to lock up all of his "deep-state" enemies. Mike assures us that Trump will only impose martial law long enough to really "drain the swamp," and then he'll step aside and go down in history as the Greatest US President of All Time, who saved Murica from communists and traitors. And besides, we're already under martial law, thanks to Obummer:
What most people fail to realize is that we’ve been living under many forms of “martial law” put in place by Obama that are still damaging America and its citizens to this very day. For example:
  • The tech giants’ deplatforming of InfoWars, Natural News and other pro-Trump channels is an extremely dangerous form of digital martial law, where citizens who say certain things are not allowed to exist in the online ecosystem.
  • The left-wing media, now fully complicit in deep state treason against America, is handed daily marching orders by Obama’s CIA factions that determine what “news” is allowed to be broadcast across America. The “media” is not the media. It is the anti-America propaganda arm of Obama’s CIA, which is still in power and still working to destroy this nation.
  • Deranged left-wing activists have placed all prominent conservatives under a form of de facto martial law where no prominent conservative can venture out in public without being harassed, threatened or violently attacked by hysterical anti-Trump lunatics.
  • The economic sabotage now being committed against InfoWars and other pro-Trump platforms (by PayPal, Citibank and others) is a form of financial martial law, where deep state-driven financial institutions commit selective economic sabotage against targets identified to them by Obama’s CIA.
  • Close associates of Trump now routinely find themselves indicted and prosecuted by Robert Mueller under a kind of prosecutorial martial law where only selected political targets are subjected to legal scrutiny while pro-Clinton operatives are granted universal immunity from all crimes (including those crimes committed by Hillary Clinton herself).
  • The Obama administration weaponized government agencies against targeted citizens’ groups, deploying the IRS to enforce a selective “taxation martial law” policy of denying tax exempt status against conservative non-profits.
And so on, and so forth... you've heard it all before.

Now go and cheer yourself up, and do
a Google image search for "idiot."

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