BY DEFINITION, CHAOS

In the not-too-distant past, people like Tucker Carlson, Lindsey Graham, Ron Johnson, and the Republican party in general were in the habit of using disingenuous rhetoric to cover their prevarications. They assumed that there wasn’t a critical mass of their audience stupid enough to swallow their lies straight up.

These days, they just open their mouths and vomit, because they know that their supporters will bend over and lick up whatever splashes onto the floor.

It took me a long time to actually accept this. I thought that there simply couldn’t be that many stupid people in the world. But the other day, the Boss was talking to someone we both know very well, an educated, intelligent individual who, in simpler times, was perceived as relatively sane and sensible.

After the conversation the Boss hung up the phone and just sat back in the chair shaking his head. Since the phone had been on speaker, I had heard the conversation. My muzzle was on the floor between my front paws.

“That’s the last time,” he said. “I can’t do it anymore. It’s just gotten worse and worse. It’s like he’s living on another planet. No. More than that – another dimension, where all the laws of space and time and nature and physics and reality are different. We’re both using English words, but his dictionary doesn’t match any of the ones on my shelf.”

“He says he’s entitled to his own opinion, but I told him not to his own facts. But he can’t see the difference anymore.”

“Where does he get his information?” I asked.

“He said he doesn’t watch Fox. He said he reads The Atlantic and the New York Times and so on. Of course he doesn’t. Last I knew, none of the publications he listed were associated with the Brothers Grimm. He even lies about where he gets his information.”

I understood what the Boss was saying. Once you accept the Big Lie and cast your lot with the Father of Lies, you’re all in. You don’t think anymore. You just open your mouth and vomit. You don’t notice the mess on the floor and it doesn’t smell bad to you. You don’t even see it or pay attention to it. You just keep saying what you think will work for you for the current nanosecond.

So I have finally come to the following depressing conclusion:

The civil war that is raging in this country right now isn’t about points of view or competing ideas. It’s about objective truth. It’s about reality. This war is metaphysical. It’s epistemological. And it’s existential. And we may have lost it already.

I don’t know. I’m just a puzzled puppy.

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