In How I Learned The Facts of Life, I relate how I picked up on the Kremlin’s default smear of Putin’s opponents: pedophilia.
Since I’m not an investigative reporter, I was maybe a bit too impressed with my acuity in spotting it.
Possibly not impressed enough. Because charges of “pedophilia” have now metastasized into the political oratory of Republicans running for Congress.
The Times article linked above is entitled,”The QAnon Candidates Are Here. Trump Has Paved Their Way: The conspiracy theorists accuse Democrats and even fellow Republicans of being beholden to a cabal of bureaucrats, pedophiles and Satanists. President Trump has cheered them on.”
Here’s one telling paragraph:
More than two years after QAnon, which the F.B.I. has labeled a potential domestic terrorism threat, emerged from the troll-infested corners of the internet, the movement’s supporters are morphing from keyboard warriors into political candidates. They have been urged on by Mr. Trump, whose own espousal of conspiracy theories and continual railing against the political establishment have cleared a path for QAnon candidates.
The article gives links to Twitter posts by GOP candidates for elected office. I was going to stick them in here but, instead, sat here shaking my head over and over and over. And over.
We’ve seen it before, in the insane Comet Pizza case spewing just before the 2016 election.
And now it’s being used — along with “George Soros” and “Jews” — as a campaign vehicle by some really nutso and, uh, intellectually limited GOP candidates. (I was looking for another word other than “intellectually” but didn’t want to spend any more time with this.)
Why is the word “pedophilia” emerging from so many mouths now? Well, it’s one word, it’s fairly easy to say and as a political scam, it’s lazy. No oppo research required, no substantiation, no elaborate planting of evidence…nothing. Just fling out the word and there you are.
Of all criminal acts, the most repulsive concern the abuse of children. Even before any investigation, any facts or evidence, and no matter how rococo the embellishments, any whisper of such abuse is almost knee-jerk inflammatory. It can provoke a borderline lunatic to an armed assault upon a popular restaurant.
Flinging crazy, ugly accusations about child abuse at a politician is a pattern appropriated by Americans from Russian kompromat. Does it work, whatever that means in the context of accusing political opponents? Somehow I still believe most Americans are relatively sane and will not be voting for people who fling the word “pedophilia” at anyone and everyone Democratic.
But it’s pretty obvious to me that Putin’s M.O. of accusing his opponents of being pedophiles has been picked up by American politicians whose campaign briefings come from QAnon.
This particularly ugly fakery is meant to cause doubt and disorder.
I, on the other hand, am sticking with the facts and the pathology of projection. Who flings vile false accusations at an opponent? Someone who is himself guilty.
If there’s going to be an October Surprise, it may well come from Ghislaine Maxwell.