Teri Kanefield+ Your Authors @Teri_Kanefield Author, lawyer (UC Berkeley) My threads are here: terikanefield-blog.com/ NBC News Opinion contributor Impeachment notes: impeachment-trump.com/ Sep. 08, 2019 5 min read + Your Authors

(Thread) Orwell's 1984 showed us why⤵️

“Without truth, we can’t speak truth to power, so there is only power” @jasonintrator

Shared truth makes rule of law—and democracy—possible.

This Rand Study explains how to fight Trump's effort to torpedo truth:

1/ The Firehose of Falsehood is a Russian technique that
builds on Soviet methods— but modern tools make it more effective: The Internet, social media, and amateur journalism outlets.

The Firehose of Falsehoods is “rapid and continuous” stream of lies.

2/ Here’s the part that’s key:
The liar has a “shameless willingness” to tell outrageous lies that everyone knows are lies.

The liar doesn’t care about consistency.
He doesn’t care if it’s obvious he’s lying.
In fact, that's the whole point.

3/ The more shameless the better.

@TimothyDSnyder tells how reporters were often so astonished by Putin's outrageous (and deliberate) lies, that they focused on the lies instead of Putin's latest atrocities.

The lies became the news.
The actual news gets pushed off the stage.

4/ The goal is the “disruption of truthful reporting and messaging.”

From Snyder: The 20th century method replaced the truth with myth.

Today Trump and Putin replace the truth with cynicism:
People eventually give up trying to sort out truth from lies.

5/ The method goes with “You’re the Puppet.”⤵️

Putin tells the people, “Yes, your leaders lie. But others also lie. So you may as well stay with your liar, instead of the enemy liar.”

Notice how this creates tribalism.
He's a liar, but he's OUR liar.

6/ How do I know Trump is doing it on purpose?

Because Steve Bannon has been in Brazil coaching Bolsonaro (the Brazilian Trump) to do the same thing.
They’re all buddies and learn from each other.

7/ Bannon explains it this way ⤵️

Trump is a natural at the Firehose of Falsehoods method.
He’s been lying all his life.

From the Rand study: The Firehose of Falsehood technique “entertains, confuses and overwhelms the audience.”

8/ Notice "entertains." Trump’s supporters cheer the constant chaos👇

By the way, I don’t believe the stories about how Trump is losing it and melting down and is heading for a breakdown.

We’ve been hearing that for years.

I think it’s part of the con.

9/ OK, so how to we combat this?

From the Rand study: While we must refute the falsehoods, “retractions and refutations are seldom effective.”

“Don’t expect to counter the Firehose of Falsehood with a squirt gun of truth.”(p.9)

Instead put on raincoats.

10/ If people expect to be drenched in lies, they can better withstand the effects.

The next step is to counter the effects of the lies.

The effect of Trump’s lies is to undermine and destroy democracy.

So we move quickly to strengthen democracy⤵️

11/ The worst thing we can do is become cynical—because Trump is trying to draw you in to cynicism.

“It’s too late!” Or “there’s nothing we can do” are the death knells of democracy.

The whole point of Active Measures is to get people to lose faith in democracy.

12/ Jeremy, I don’t think his outrageous lies this week will change anything.

I think by now people have made up their minds about Trump.

If you look at his approval rating over the past 2.5 years, it’s remained fairly constant. (Link in next tweet).

13/ 538’s aggregate keeps me from getting distracted by outlier polls. (@NateSilver538 explains his methods, if you're not familiar with his aggregate.)

The GOP leadership who haven’t jumped ship yet aren't likely to jump over a new set of lies.

14/ In the end, the only thing that will hurt Trump is a bloodbath in Nov. 2020.

The signs point toward a GOP drubbing in 2020.

The GOP demographics are shrinking. The GOP is splintering into conservatives v. reactionaries⤵️

15. So we need to:

💠fight the cynicism that can come from the NOAA staff altering the truth to suit the president,
💠expect more shameless and outrageous lies, and
💠get busy strengthening democracy⤵️
(the democracy is ours.)


He's been doing the same thing for years⤵️

Does he have some dementia?
Does dementia explain what we're seeing? No.

I think the discussion of Trump's declining mental state is a distraction, like playing an endless game of whack-a-lie . . .

. . I've suspected he drops misspelled words into his tweets on purpose to watch everyone go into a spin. When his critics mock him for misspelling words, it enrages his fans, who cast Trump's critics as elitist.

Also, remember, there's a lot of variation in dementia.

That's why, this next year, I'm not volunteering in detention centers, as important as that is.

I'm putting all my spare time into voter protection work.
Winning big in 2020 is the most effective way to end the nightmare.

Impeachment . . .

. . . which I believe will happen, won't end the nightmare.

It's possible, but unlikely, that the Senate will remove Trump from office.

If they do, meet President Pence.

A drubbing in 2020 is the only way to turn the ship around.

I suspect this is true, but in the end, we don't know.

I am a lawyer, so I like to follow rules.

Like the Goldwater Rule.

What's that?

I'll attach a link in the next tweet.

The Goldwater Rule:
American Psychiatric Association doesn't want armchair psych evaluations on public figures.
A true evaluation requires more.

That's why I say focus on solutions by seeing the behavior in the context of well known propaganda methods.

I see in that people misunderstand the point of the rule.

The point is that the public is not in a position to make an accurate psychiatric evaluation.

A psychiatrist can't make an evaluation without examining the patient.

Think of it this way:

The American Psychiatric Association is saying that offering medical diagnosis without properly examining the patient is pseudoscience.

There are guidelines for conducting psych evals, and it can't be done by watching the Trump Show.

You can follow @Teri_Kanefield.


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