Regarding MartyrMade and the Trump conspiracists
I fought the swamp and the swamp won
Recently, a Twitter thread by a person who goes by “MartyrMade” has gone viral. It is an attempt to explain the point of view of Trump supporters who feel the election was “figuratively” stolen, but not “literally” stolen.
While some of the points are good, others are simply laundering misinformation, under the guise of stating that this is what others believe. As Twitter is almost as ill-suited for reasoned discussion as podcasts, we respond here in long-form.
FBI spying is a big deal - no, not really. There is a long and sordid history of the FBI spying on pretty much everybody. The complaints ring hollow; I suppose Trump supporters thought that FBI spying was fine as long as it happened to their enemies. Later, the author admits this is “hard to describe to people on the left” - I am not buying the simple caveman lawyer act. If nothing else, the impact of the FBI on the 2016 election was to benefit Trump; have you forgotten Comey’s stage performance regarding Hillary’s emails?
The Steele dossier was a joke - yes. A substantial portion of the public appears to have given it credibility simply because they don’t understand that dossier is just the French word for “folder”. It is a collection of documents. And some of them are laundered trash. If you watched Armando Iannucci’s In The Loop (which is satirical but accurate) regarding the Iraq War buildup, the exact same thing happens. The dossier was a joke, and Democrats and the press should feel bad for promoting it. But if you go to the underlying story, it is beyond dispute that Russian hackers released emails from various prominent Democrats (including John Podesta) with the express purpose of harming Hillary Clinton electorally. Trump need not have been involved, culpable, or even aware, but he did benefit.
“Trump supporters know the collusion case front and back.” - I think MartyrMade is lying for effect here. I don’t believe for a second that the average Trump supporter spent a substantial amount of time neutrally analyzing the case for “collusion”. Perhaps they remember what Rush Limbaugh said about it.
“The corporate press is the propaganda arm of the Regime” - For decades, Rush Limbaugh (a charter member of the press during the Trump presidency) spent hours every weekday on a nationally-syndicated radio show complaining about “the press”. Virtually every right-wing talk show host does the same. Somehow, they always ignore that they are also part of the press. If they define the press as excluding anyone who agrees with them, they cannot complain that the press is biased. The Washington Post and the New York Times may, on occasion, act in lockstep to protect “the Regime” (which MartyrMade correctly notes is less pro-Democrat and more anti-Trump). But if Sean Hannity spends hours discussing that on two nationally-broadcast shows, there is no room to complain of censorship.
“Time Mag told us …” - There are multiple claims referring to this February 2021 Time Magazine piece. That article says that some of the claims sound “like a paranoid fever dream”, and I largely agree with that assessment. I don’t believe many of the people quoted in that article were in the position to do what they claim they would have done. The liberal activist sphere is full of self-professed leaders who could not fill a school bus on their own volition.
“fake impeachment” - MartyrMade again appears to be relying more upon beliefs than facts. My own recollection of the Ukraine incident is that half the Democratic party was willing to impeach Trump for any reason, or indeed, no reason at all; the other half insisted on waiting until he committed some crime. Somehow, the FBI has become saintly; something being “pursued by the FBI” is claimed to be enough to exonerate Trump. At no point was there any sense that it was grave enough that Republicans might remove him from office, but there was cause for impeachment. I will concede that Biden’s actions regarding Ukraine may have been equally bad, but one crime does not excuse another.
Hunter Biden - Everything Hunter Biden says or does appears to be a scandal. Democrats largely want to turn their heads and hope he has the dignity to disappear. He has not; most recently he is selling “art” for a price that is almost certainly a form of legal money laundering. The story of Hunter Biden’s laptop (abandoned by him in a drug-fueled haze, according to the blind man who saw him) is too good to believe; so one must be skeptical of believing it. MartyrMade would probably note in response that, even if the data came from “a hack”, it is still damning and censored. And I do not want to know or care about the details. If there is anything truly shocking, I will find out in 2023.
“Everything about the election was strange” - yes. There was such a thing as the COVID-19 pandemic. Ever heard of it?
“governors used COVID to unconstitutionally alter election procedures” - This is a popular canard with a certain type of erudite Trump supporter, and for good reason: it is not entirely wrong. Many of the changes were in fact permitted; state legislatures are permitted to delegate authority (particularly for emergency responses) to the governor or secretary of state. There are probably a few cases where this was not done entirely properly. In particular, the argument that the government of Pennsylvania violated that state’s constitution regarding absentee ballots seems valid. Of course, the lawsuit claiming so was only filed after the election (by Republican politicians who had supported the change and used it in the state’s primary), and was quite properly rejected under the doctrine of laches.
MartyrMade concludes by saying “a) The entrenched bureaucracy & security state subverted Trump from Day 1, b) The press is part of the operation, c) Election rules were changed, d) Big Tech censors opposition, e) Political violence is legitimized & encouraged, f) Trump is banned from social media.”
It is obviously myopic to claim Democrats are supporting “political violence” while ignoring the events of January 6, and hyperbolic to say anything in the US today is political violence compared to other times and countries. The claim that the entrenched bureaucracy “subverted” Trump is misdirection. A more bold (and yet more fair) claim would be that it defeated Trump; he campaigned that he could “drain the swamp”, and yet after his term has ended it is clear that the swamp won. And, regarding claims of censorship: if you posit that there is an attempt at censorship, it is certainly the least successful attempt at censorship the world has ever known.