I’ve often thought that politics is a lot like marketing but without the hindrance of truth-in-advertising regulations. If someone gets hit by a bus while drinking a Pepsi, the people at Coke—no matter how much they might like to—aren’t going to put their money into an ad campaign that says “Don’t drink Pepsi or else maniacal bus drivers will try to run you down.” In politics this sort of absurdity is fairly commonplace though.

I’ve written about this sort of thing before. Treating politics as a serious endeavor requires a certain suspension of disbelief because no matter what side you’re on, a great many of your supposed allies are shoveling wagon loads of horse-hockey. I suppose it has always been that way but I like to think that, at sometime somewhere, leaders tried to persuade voters by showing how their ideas were the better ones rather than concocting fabulous lies about how their opponents’ plans would bring about the downfall of western civilization and the resurgence of disco.

The continuing fake controversy over President Trump’s use of the word “animals” to describe MS-13 gang members is one of the recent examples of this. Democrats have seized upon this and are telling people (read: lying) that Trump called literally every immigrant, legal or otherwise, an “animal.” Nancy Pelosi even resorted to asking in a hushed tone whether the President truly does not recognize the spark of divinity in every human being.

Let’s face facts here: she is not concerned about that for one second. This should be evident from her stance on abortion, but she is very intent on making the gullible people in her base concerned about it.

And remember it was only recently that Pelosi used her own “animal” metaphor to smear religious Republicans. It’s tempting to call politicians like her “two-faced” but I think that’s selling the short. Many of them can keep at least three different faces going at any one time.

In short, she is lying through her teeth. In politics lying doesn’t count against you though. It’s a numbers game. In any given situation, politicians calculate the probable results of all the various ways they might try to spin a particular event or subject and they choose the one that they estimate to be most politically advantageous. Their supporters ignore obvious untruths in order to carry their tribe’s flag into battle. Trump says Mexicans are animals! Mike Brown put his hands up and said “Don’t shoot!” George W. Bush stole the 2000 election.

Facts don’t matter. Ignorance is strength.

Rather than simply calling her out on obvious dishonesty, the Republican side resorts to their own retaliatory dishonesty. Trump suggests that Democrats are intentionally sticking up for a violent drug gang.

“These are vicious killers and they shouldn’t be allowed into the country,” he added.

The President made similar remarks about the top House Democrat at an event on Tuesday, saying that “Pelosi came out in favor of MS-13. … She wants them to be treated with respect.” And on Wednesday, speaking at a roundtable on immigration, he said Democrats, including Pelosi, are “trying to defend MS-13 gang members.”

Trump’s supporters picked up that absurdity and ran with it.

I can appreciate the snark behind these memes, but I believe for many they’re not satirical at all. I’m convinced many of Trump’s true believers think this MS-13/Democrat love fest is a literal reality just as those on the left believe Trump openly stated that all immigrants are less than human.

By design, the illegal immigration debate has been turned into a fight over whether it’s worse for Trump to call illegal aliens “animals” or for Democrats to cozy up to MS-13, all of which is total bullish*t that does nothing but guarantee that the real issues won’t get resolved. The only ones who benefit are those in positions of power in Washington who have used an inconsequential metaphor as a means of rallying the support of their respective tribes, thus strengthening their hold on their political power.

Washington wins.

America loses but still cheers.


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