I rue that day Kellyanne Conway coined the term, “alternative facts” – because those fake facts have taken on a mantle of credibility and “good as the real thing” for the tens of millions of the conspiracy-minded folks who love absolutes and shy from the more difficult analysis and thinking.
Despite what was obvious and what you’ve seen with your very own eyes, and heard with your ears, you’re being told:
• Real Donald Trump supporters didn’t riot and trash the Capitol. Rather, those were fringe groups, or “Antifa,” or Joe Biden supporters dressed like Trump supporters, or (pick whatever excuse soothes your mind) who did the damage. And some Trump fans were kissing and hugging police in an “only looked like a riot” lovefest.
• That Derek Chauvin didn’t kill George Floyd. That it was drugs, or a heart problem, or a preexisting condition – and that nine-minute video of Floyd’s slow execution and the quick verdict by six white and six Black jurors was somehow biased against the police.
• That the presidential election was indeed stolen from Donald Trump. Despite the poll results validated by each individual state, and despite the loss of 70-plus lawsuits, somehow, magically orchestrated fraud stole the presidential election and maybe two Georgia senate seats, too.
• Somewhere, we know, there really is a pizza parlor basement where Hillary runs a child sex trafficking ring…
All of this stuff is bunk and belongs in the “alternative facts” file. And there’s tons of stuff just like this.
“Alternative facts” of our preference allow our bigotry and biases to continue. They patch over the hard truths of reality. They allow us unsee what we’ve seen and believe what’s not seen nor proven.
Repeated enough, alternative facts take on their own lives and secure themselves in our minds. And our views are reinforced and difficult self-analysis and critical thought is forestalled.
And our community division remains and even grows further asunder.
This essay is a simple plea to trust your own eyes. Listen closely with your own ears. Use your senses. Things usually are as they appear.
Watch the 9.5-minute video of Derek Chauvin’s murder of George Floyd. Watch it without bias and accept your eyes for what they tell you.
Listen to the testimony and read the verdict and accept the conclusion of six white and six Black jurors that Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd, and this, despite so many urging him to stop.
Things are as they appeared.
Watch the coverage of speakers at the Jan. 6 Trump rally to “stop the steal.” Watch the crowd get worked up by Trump and others. Hear the inferences to violence. Watch the crowd subsequently bust out windows, injure and kill cops, raid our sacred Capitol. Defile the building and offices. All of it, felonious. Watch our leaders literally run for their lives.
Check the time between the riot and when Trump ultimately responded. It is as it appears.
What we saw happen, happened. Saying otherwise now, no matter how many times, won’t change reality when you play back the original tape.
There was a pro-Trump riot and Trump and his team fomented it and incited it.
Look at the certified election tallies. While it’s tempting to believe seven or eight states could coordinate such a complex plan of election rigging, every state did validate their elections and suspend fanciful thinking.
Candidates win, candidates lose, and this time Trump lost. Last time, he won by nearly as slim a margin. Modern elections aren’t rigged. Rather, now Fox, Rudy Giuliani and others are facing billion-dollar defamation suits.
The “steal” was all made up. Trust the tallies. Trump just lost.
But no, you haven’t seen Hillary’s kidnapping pizza basement. But yes, you did literally see the check for $125,000 Trump used to pay off and shut up Stormy Daniels. And yes, Trump did straight up lie about it. On film.
And yes, a ton of folks are going to jail for the Capitol riot we’re now told didn’t really happen. You haven’t actually seen this yet, but it’s something you can look forward to actually seeing soon. You’ll be told these trials are “rigged.”
So, trust your own eyes and ears — and not some talking heads, paid to hypnotize your eyes and clicks. Draw your own conclusions based on verifiable facts – not faith, not hearsay, and for sure, not conspiracies, which almost always prove false.
Accepting facts for truth’s sake will heal America and narrow the gaps of distrust between us.
Gary Horton’s “Full Speed to Port!” has appeared in The Signal since 2006. The opinions expressed in his column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Signal or its editorial board.