Archive for February 1st, 2017

If you only read one article today…

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

… read this one, released early:

The Atlantic: How to Build an Autocracy. “The preconditions are present in the U.S. today. Here’s the playbook Donald Trump could use to set the country down a path toward illiberalism.” By David Frum.

“This outcome evidently gnawed at the president-elect. On November 27, Trump tweeted that he had in fact “won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” He followed up that astonishing, and unsubstantiated, statement with an escalating series of tweets and retweets.

It’s hard to do justice to the breathtaking audacity of such a claim. If true, it would be so serious as to demand a criminal investigation at a minimum, presumably spanning many states. But of course the claim was not true. Trump had not a smidgen of evidence beyond his own bruised feelings and internet flotsam from flagrantly unreliable sources. Yet once the president-elect lent his prestige to the crazy claim, it became fact for many people. A survey by YouGov found that by December 1, 43 percent of Republicans accepted the claim that millions of people had voted illegally in 2016.

A clear untruth had suddenly become a contested possibility.”