Democrats invented the threat of “disinformation” to cope with the psychological pain of their 2016 defeat by Donald Trump, says a liberal New York magazine.
“Disinformation’ was the liberal Establishment’s traumatic reaction to the psychic wound of 2016,” Sam Adler-Bell wrote in New York Magazine‘s “Intelligencer” column.
But that “disinformation” diagnosis is also a problem for Democrats because it prevents them from recognizing how their political views are seen by ordinary Americans, he wrote on May 20.
One problem with “Liberals’ fixation on ‘disinformation’ is that it allows them to lie to themselves” about public support for their policies, he wrote:
How could a man who appeared to them so transparently abhorrent and clownish be welcomed by others as a savior — or at least as a tolerable alternative to the status quo? …
[“Disinformation!”] provided an answer that evaded the question altogether, protecting them from the agony of self-reflection. It wasn’t that the country was riven by profound antinomies and resentments born of material realities that would need to be navigated by new kinds of politics. No, the problem was that large swaths of the country had been duped, brainwashed by nefarious forces both foreign and domestic. And if only the best minds, the most credentialed experts, could be given new authority to regulate the flow of “fake news,” the scales would fall from the eyes of the people and they would re-embrace the old order they had been tricked into despising. This fantasy turned a political problem into a scientific one. The rise of Trump called not for new politics but new technocrats.
— Intelligencer (@intelligencer) May 20, 2022
If the problem is “disinformation,” then the cure is more Harvard graduates, more public re-education, and more government, such as the so-called “Disinformation Board” created (and then canceled) by the Department of Homeland Security.
“By doubling down on elite technocracy — and condescension toward the uneducated rubes suffering from false consciousness — liberals have tended to exacerbate the sources of populist hostility,” he wrote.
Suitably, the critique of the disinformation diagnosis article was posted just as many other media outlets pushed their self-serving diagnosis about the public worries about migration.
Migration is the political issue that put Trump in the White House, but establishment media outlets have consistently refused to reckon with the public’s worry about the civic and economic impacts of mass migration.
Instead of that long-overdue reckoning, the public’s rational concerns are being diagnosed — and smeared — as a racist conspiracy theory, dubbed “Replacement Theory.” For example, a New York Times reporter wrote on May 16:
[Rep. Elise] Stefanik [R-NY] is under scrutiny for campaign advertisements she has circulated that play on themes of the white supremacist “great replacement” theory. That belief, espoused by the Buffalo gunman, holds that the elite class, sometimes manipulated by Jews, wants to “replace” and disempower white Americans.
Yet, only one day later, a New York Times columnist explained why many liberals support population replacement as good for the health of the state.
The first people to be replaced were the native Indians, and now it is the turn of America’s working class to get replaced, Bret Stephens wrote on May 17.
The fifth [replacement] is the most contentious but also the most routine and unexceptional: the alleged replacement of the native-born white working class with a foreign-born nonwhite working class …
This is both nothing new and nothing at all. The United States has, from its earliest days, repeatedly “replaced” its working class with migrants, not as an act of substitution, much less as a sinister conspiracy, but as the natural result of upward mobility, the demands of a growing economy and the benefits of a growing population.
“What all of this says is that the phenomenon of replacement, writ large, is America, and has been from the beginning, sometimes by force, mostly by choice. What the far right calls “replacement” is better described as renewal,” Stephens wrote.
The replacement term was coined in the 1990s by a gay French author, Renaud Camus. A May 21 profile in Compact magazine reported:
In the 1990s, Camus began asking, “Can you have the same Europe with a different people in it?” His answer was “No.” What others described as demographic change he dubbed the “Great Replacement”—a phrase that has since been invoked by mass murderers and the French president, influencing not only marginal figures but mainstream politics.
If the gunmen in Christchurch, New Zealand, and more recently in Buffalo, NY, had read Camus, they would have been disappointed. Camus categorically rejects violence. He mocks conspiracy theories. He abhors pseudo-scientific racism that reduces cultural and civilizational complexity to genetic factors. He criticizes rapid cultural change brought about by immigration of any kind, not Muslim immigration as such. And as a committed environmentalist who opposes population growth, he denounces efforts to boost the white birth rate.
Since at least 1990, the D.C. establishment has extracted tens of millions of migrants and visa workers from poor countries to serve as legal or illegal workers, temporary workers, consumers, and renters for various U.S. investors and CEOs.
This economic strategy of Extraction Migration has no stopping point. It is brutal to ordinary Americans because it cuts their career opportunities, shrinks their salaries and wages, raises their housing costs, and has shoved at least ten million American men out of the labor force.
Extraction migration also distorts the economy and curbs Americans’ productivity, partly because it allows employers to use stoop labor instead of machines. Migration also reduces voters’ political clout, undermines employees’ workplace rights, and widens the regional wealth gaps between the Democrats’ big coastal states and the Republicans’ heartland and southern states.
An economy built on extraction migration also alienates young people and radicalizes Americans’ democratic, compromise-promoting civic culture because it allows wealthy elites to ignore despairing Americans at the bottom of society.
Not surprisingly, the wealth-shifting extraction migration policy is very unpopular, according to a wide variety of polls. The polls show deep and broad public opposition to labor migration and the inflow of foreign contract workers into jobs sought by young U.S. graduates.