If there’s one thing Democrats understand, it’s the science of propaganda. They’ve been using one of the basic propaganda tools for three years. Joseph Goebbels explained it like this: “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it…”
After years of relentlessly repeating those empty claims that Donald Trump is a racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, tyrant, half the country has bought in. They never needed supporting facts – the repeated allegations were enough.
Now they’re using another propaganda technique – testimonials.
The New York Times, Washington Post and other news outlets have been reporting that more than 1,100 former DOJ officials, serving under both Democratic and Republican administrations, recently signed a letter urging Attorney General William Barr to resign over his handling of the Roger Stone case. Though strenuously denied by the AG, the letter accuses him of, among other things, “doing the president’s personal bidding.”
It was intended to look like a stinging testimonial, a rebuke by a significant percentage of knowledgeable, well informed, and objective legal professionals. But just how large is that percentage, and are they all truly objective?
Within the DOJ, there are currently 93 U.S. Attorneys employed throughout the country. Each supervises a team of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, often numbering in the hundreds. Then there are Trial Attorneys and Patent Attorneys. There are Senior Counsels, Independent Counsels, and Legal Advisors. In short, the DOJ currently employs a small army of lawyers. The number of former or retired DOJ lawyers is incalculable. Finding a relative handful of Trump-haters among them couldn’t have been all that difficult. And having worked under a Republican administration in no way establishes objectivity. James Comey, Peter Strzok, and Andrew McCabe also worked under Republican and Democratic administrations. Their fervent political bias and their efforts to undermine Trump’s administration was only exposed in recent months.
But putting aside the small percentage of malcontents, what can we say about the group behind the letter? Its name, The Protect Democracy Project, drips with patriotism. It bills itself as a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with an urgent goal: “to hold the President and the Executive Branch accountable to the laws and longstanding practices that have protected our democracy through both Democratic and Republican Administrations.”
According to its website, Protect Democracy was formed in early 2017 “by a group of former high-level executive branch officials who served in the White House Counsel’s Office and upper-echelons of the Department of Justice.” Actually, its founder, Ian Bassin, and co-founder, Justin Florence, both held prominent positions in the Obama Administration, and both are contributors to the left-leaning Huffington Post.
The timing of its creation also suggests that it is less about protecting democracy and more about destroying Trump. The founders had no interest in protecting democracy when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton jeopardized our national security by using an unauthorized, highly vulnerable server, or when she destroyed 33,000 subpoenaed emails to conceal her actions. They saw no threat to our republic when an IRS director abused her position by blocking tax-exempt status for political opponents, or when Barack Obama smugly dismissed all of that. They felt no call to action when Obama announced that all he needed to get things done was a pen and a phone, or when he used that pen to re-write our immigration laws.
The fair-weather patriots responsible for this letter only see threats to our republic when voters elect a president they despise.
Sadly, we live in deeply polarizing times.
Donald Trump has his devoted supporters. Some of them may not approve of his impetuous, bombastic style, but they appreciate what he’s done for the country. They’re thankful for our strong economy, for the jobs, and for his determined efforts to control our borders. They want him to put America first. They overflow stadiums to hear him promise more of the same.
The president also has his enemies. They stand on street corners and bellow their hatred of him and of those associated with him. They endlessly spread their bitter propaganda and are outraged at those who don’t share their contempt. They harass innocent by-standers wearing MAGA hats and ram their vehicles into voter registration booths. They spitefully shred his written remarks during highly public and otherwise jubilant ceremonies.
And, under the banner of patriotism, they troll for like-minded dissidents who are more than willing to join in the condemnation of anyone connected to the Trump Administration.