“It’s not the way that you say it
When you do those things to me.
It’s more the way you really mean it
When you tell me what will be.”– Justin Hayward
As the Matt Gaetz tale seems to unravel before our very eyes, one point is coming more and more clear. Most people just don’t have that much depth in their imagination. As much as it might seem that some people are capable of lying on a grand scale, that’s really not the case. Make no mistake, they are capable of lying, but they can’t make it up out of whole cloth. The seeds of truth are there even in the lie.
Many of us are still dumbfounded by the Q stuff that gets circulated. One thing that is difficult to decipher is whether someone we know has just become a victim of the malarkey or if they are active distributors of the drivel. However, the Gaetz situation makes it very clear what the source of the drivel is. It is from their very lives. It isn’t so much that they are making all of this up out of whole cloth or based on some thread of nonsense they may have heard somewhere. They are doing it themselves.
I don’t know if all of us have family members that have succumbed to the Q phenomenon. Maybe some of us are lucky. However, for those that do, we know they aren’t involved in the child trafficking ring. So, if we can call them victims they have become victims of a plot of disinformation. It is simply a case of understanding that there is bullshit in the world and not being able to separate those shoveling it from those that give us good information. We can call that a failure in education.
I’m not sure what to do about those folks. All I try to do is continue to talk simply by appealing to their common sense and hope that something penetrates that barrier eventually. After all, if no one knows anyone personally that has been a victim of child trafficking then how big of a problem can it be? If you happen to know someone personally then you can usually trace that back to its source. Is it a vast liberal conspiracy? Usually quite the opposite.
Like the lie about voter fraud, a large part of the lie is not only reversing who is responsible but also amplifying the effects. Nothing in the news or current investigation indicates that the numbers are huge in Gaetz’s case. Naturally, even one is disgusting and hearing the stories of how he showed naked pictures of girls to his colleagues is disgusting. Still, the Q crowd paints the picture of hundreds of girls being transported for sex against their will. I don’t think that’s the case here.
So, what do we have? We have a case where someone is doing some of this on some level and then turns around and points the finger at the other side and says they are doing ten times as much as what they are currently doing. Sigmund Freud called this projection. Yet, I don’t think Freud could have ever imagined anything on this level of depravity.
As a teacher, I can’t help but feel like we failed. We tell our students about the difference between good and bad sources. We look at all kinds of factors including the trustworthiness of the source, how old the source is, and numerous other factors. Yet, somehow kids graduate and still go to YouTube and other dubious sources and get their “facts.” Maybe if we weren’t spending so much time teaching to a test we could do a better job. Maybe it’s just impossible to install an internal bullshit detector. Maybe it is just something you are born with.
Maybe more of us should have known better. One of the things psychologists tell us that most victims have an internal voice that tells them to beware when dangerous people are around. Most of us ignore that voice. We tell that voice that it’s wrong somehow. Most of us had that alarm going off in their head when Matt Gaetz came on screen. Some of us ignored it. Even most Republicans lawmakers knew something was amiss. Many refused to have their picture taken with him. They knew what was coming down the pike.
Of course, most of us already know these things. I imagine just about everyone reading this knows. The question is how we impart this knowledge to our friends and family that don’t seem to know. How do we impart this knowledge on to people that looked at Gaetz and liked the cut of his gib? That’s hard to say. Maybe it will never happen. Maybe common sense and bullshit detectors can’t be taught. Maybe you either have it or you don’t.