Global trumpism: how India's brutal leader manufactures reality wit...

Let's begin to examine the tactics of post-truth politics in our bizzaro-veering world. Obviously controlling mass media, buying politicians, turning people against one another, and fake news are foundational. I particularly loathe misleading polls. I include manipulative polls in begging letters from left wing organizations which arrive daily.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ... is part of the worldwide surge of trumpist leaders and hopefuls, including Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte; Hungary's Viktor Orbán; Russia's Vladimir Putin; South Korea's Park Geun-hye; France's Marine Le Pen; the UK's Nigel Farage, Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and others -- bound together by

  • xenophobia,
  • a lack of transparency,
  • violent suppression of opposition, and
  • savvy use of the internet.

We don't yet have a name for these powers yet, in the same way that the early 1930s didn't have a name for the "Axis powers"...

But they are starting to cohere into a movement whose shared characteristics are increasingly visible. One element of this is "post-truth,"...

... the autocratic version of post-truth doesn't really make a pretense to being truthful: when Trump says there were millions of fraudulent votes, he is really saying two things: first, for the lowest of low-information voters, he's saying "hey, there are millions of fraudulent voters"; but for everyone else who knows, on some level, that this isn't true, he is saying, "I can say whatever the fuck I want and you egghead liberal pussies can't do shit about it,"...

When Brexiteer Michael Gove said that "people in this country have had enough of experts," he was acting out this playbook, asserting his faction's right to manufacture a new reality to counter the well-known liberal bias of reality.

To reassert his trumpian reality, Modi used his app to "poll" the Indian public on demonetisation (like Trump, Modi uses online tools to communicate directly with his base, bypassing the press).

The demonetisation poll is a literal national joke in India, as it is so fantastically biased in its use of leading questions ... and its obvious sampling deficits ...

But as important as it is to understand the statistical incoherence of using your followers' answers to leading questions as a proxy for the entire country's opinion, it's even more important to put this move into its wider context as a post-truth, Rovean, trumpist tactic used to create "new reality."

Reality is real. As Peter Watts points out, there is no negotiating with the climate,... [emphasis mine, bullet points mine]

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Replies to This Discussion

Amy Siskind on shaping "truth":

Thoughts on how @KellyannePolls [Kellyanne Conway] is employing cognitive dissonance, as a strategy, to enable Donald Trump.

I've really come to understand Kellyanne Conway's role as the director of cognitive dissonance. She throws out just enough uncertainty to allow Trump supporters to stay in line, even after things that are unquestionably morally wrong. He wasn't really mocking the disabled reporter, he didn't really mean this or that when he said it - it's telling us not to believe our own eyes, ears and minds: or giving some permission not to. It's an extreme version of gaslighting, but once you get it, you can see how she uses it as a strategy. Sick stuff!

(via Twitter today, quoting her Facebook post; bolding is mine. If you agree, and you use either of those platforms, please "like", quote, retweet, and spread!)

Here's a fascinating analysis of the tricks KellyAnne Conway uses to gaslight us all. You'll find the video educational.

... who explained how Conway masterfully redirects key terms and concepts, preys on interviewers’ politeness, and displays an almost “postmodern” ability to recreate reality in order to trip up her interviewer and paint Trump in the best possible light.

That's the sort of thing I've been saying for a while now.  Interviewers need to grow some freaking balls and ask the question again and again and again, until they get a satisfactory answer.  Say that she hasn't answered the question, and ask it again.  Then repeat it until she's either broken off of message or storms out of the interview, making her look bad.

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