A right wing freak calls Michael Moore fat. Obviously there’s nothing new or original there.
But what is fascinating about this essay at eject! eject! eject! is it’s long explanation of the Big Lie as a case of magical irrationality.
The author Bill Whittle uses an example by Carl Sagan describing an invisible dragon that someone claims is in their garage, but it can’t be physically detected in any way. If that’s the case, how exactly is it a dragon? He repeats Sagan’s point about illogical thinking regarding things that cannot be detected in any way, but which some people simply choose to believe exist.
When a person wants to believe something, no amount of skeptical questioning, logical contradictions or contrary evidence will move them. Couple that with the example of the dragon – the constant moving of the goalposts of proof and verification, and you have the basis for modern magical thinking. And if UFO’s, Loch Ness Monsters and Bermuda Triangles can draw so many believers, how many more can we recruit with more nuanced sleight of hand?
And yet he still brings up Iraq.
When this essay was written a week ago, the first American dragon inspection team was already being pulled out of Iraq and the entire justification for war was proven a lie. The wonder of this ideological mode is that a point of utter logical disjunction becomes the jumping off point for a discussion of… misdirection!
Now, ask any professional magician how they pull off their illusions and every last one will tell you it’s all about misdirection. Sadly, those boring, insensitive, dead-white-male laws of physics don’t allow for quarters to disappear into thin air. So to make someone believe that precisely this has happened, we need to physically make that coin go someplace where it is not expected. And the way to do that is to make everyone look somewhere else for a moment.
Responding to a massive lie by discussing techniques of misdirection. The way that an utter lack of shame passes for valid argument in the special universe of right wing machismo — it really is magical.
Speaking of playing “hide the quarter,” the trillion dollar tax cuts a year and a half ago have already added millions of jobs!
The next set of tax cuts will now add millions of jobs!