I know that I’m stating the obvious here, but I’m going to state it anyway in case it isn’t obvious to everyone.
Today, Donald Trump will launch another campaign. This campaign will consist of both legal action and disinformation as he seeks to find a way to win the election that he has more than likely lost.
He needs this. His followers need this. They are betting against hope that some massive fraud will be uncovered and that the election win will be awarded to him.
Incidentally, and I believe also NOT coincidentally, right wing personalities have called for an exodus from Facebook to another platform. This other platform will likely serve as an echo chamber for right wing conspiracy theories and all other manner of nonsense. There are people who know what they are joining and are more than happy to be in such a space. However, there will also be a lot of unsuspecting people who will be caught up in it.
There is so much cognitive dissonance happening right now, and people are going to be grasping at straws to justify their thoughts and actions both in the past and now. A lot of people are saying that the antidote to this kind of thing is facts and information. I think that this is only partially correct.
We cannot convince people who do not believe that facts from certain sources are not fact. They will create conspiracy theory upon conspiracy theory and believe anything that supports their beliefs and reject everything else. We all do this to some extent or another, but what could happen–what IS happening right now–is as dangerous as it is scary.
As long as these people look to Trump as their leader, and as long as Trump refuses to accept reality, we have a situation that is scary. A lot of these folks have been waiting and preparing for a time when they think that the US government is going to “turn” on them. This is the perfect storm.
I am not going to prognosticate about what might happen, because I do not want to create anxiety or alarm. What I WILL say is that if you have a relationship with some of the folks that I’m discussing, you need to start speaking the truth to them. You need to keep sharing the facts. We need to disrupt disinformation.
We might not be able to eradicate certain views, but we certainly can make sure that the views remain on the ideological margins.
Also, I want to speak to white Christians for a moment here. A lot of your folks are the ones who will be out here believing this stuff and will be among the most committed to it. Some of you who are in or adjacent to the Charismatic movement have likely heard “prophecies” and “words” about this election, and there are people who have a strong cognitive belief that God wants Donald Trump to be president and that God will make it happen. I cannot emphasize how problematic and dangerous this can be for some people. Please check on your people.