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(17,461 posts)
Sun Apr 24, 2022, 02:00 PM Apr 2022

LA Times - People's Convoy of truckers shows nation divided by reality

I think a mistake among progressives and the left is expecting a top down, Democratic leadership "media strategy" to counter right wing misinformation and reach out to the right. This misses the problem, which is the need for progressives and the left to develop a grass roots approach that begins at the local government / state level, which is where a lot of right wing rhetoric is focused. Complaints about efforts to fight the pandemic or "critical race theory" or "grooming" are raised in local school boards and city council meetings.

Democrats and progressives need to rediscover and adapt to grass roots organizing. Its not all about a once in a year march or rally. Instead, it is about a stead and organized effort targeted at local governments and school boards, because people are like the person described in the article are tuning out any media that does not confirm or reinforce their existing biases. To the contrary, you have both domestic and foreign actors happily pushing out content that further radicalizes the right.


I let it go with that because, well, Donny isn’t the first Donny I’ve spoken to. I’ve met lots of people with his misguided conviction and determination these past two years. What I’ve learned is that there is no common ground to find when it comes to the big issues. We may agree on community gardens, but ultimately, Thomas believes he’s been freed from the “Matrix,” as he puts it, and sees truths I can’t.

I believe he’s been lied to and manipulated by those seeking political and financial gain. It’s not that I think he’s a bad person, or has ill intent. I liked Donny. I just think he’s not functioning in reality, the same way he thinks I’m not.

But I don’t think there’s anything I can say that will make him reconsider these false “truths” he now holds dear. I’ve spoken to families desperate to pull their loved ones out of conspiracies such as QAnon, and reported on the intricacies and extremes that have taken ordinary people like Thomas and made them feel as if they are in an extraordinary moment.

It’s the energy of that alternative belief system that should concern us all. Trump isn’t the center holding these believers together anymore. As much as many still love Trump and will rally to a 2024 campaign, their focus is also on school boards and election offices and health departments, even as the rest of us pay little attention to the institutions of everyday life they are trying to transform.
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