Interest money

Meet the New Republican Hoax and Black Money Troll Group, “Citizens for Sanity”

One of the hallmarks of the Steve Bannon era and the Tucker Carlson era, the Rudy Giuliani era (and God help us all, we could go on with this for another hour if nobody held us back), was the The seemingly ubiquitous political question: Are American voters really dark enough to fall for it? “That” was your pick of some of the weirdest conspiracy theories and paranoias to ever put campaign money behind them, but the answer always seemed to be: yes.

Yeah, there’s literally no made-up paranoia too ridiculous for a segment of the juice-people Republican base to refuse to cling to. You say Central American drug cartels are working with al-Qaeda to ship dangerous sex toys to Walmart store basements? This requires immediate action! Why are the Democrats letting this happen? Why aren’t our national newspapers speaking out about this? Why yes I will be donate $20 to your campaign or interest group so you can bring us more information about the al-Qaeda sex toy caravan!

You may recall, for example, that Republicans in Texas – the kind of people who voluntarily elect Louie Gohmert to power, and more than once – were convinced during the Obama years that a multi-state military exercise was used to test and train our large-scale military operations capabilities, referred to by the Pentagon as Jade Helm, was secretly a federal government plot to take over Texas and make it, uh, part of America. Republicans ran for town halls bubbling about these things. Republican officials in the state issued stern warnings insisting they were on the lookout for this stuff, so if any Texas law enforcement officials saw a suspicious pro-Obama annexation produce, there would be problems.

Not really. State officials had to “fix” this and all.

So yeah, something we’ve learned over the years is that the more conservative an American is, the more willing they are to believe absolutely anything you throw at them. You say caravans, they believe caravans. You say “Obama is going to annex Texas”, they believe Obama is going to annex Texas. They might not know what a single fuckin’ word is meansbut they will make it a central part of their identity and howl loudly in indignation at anyone who doesn’t believe in it as much as they do.

Conservative black money groups have begun to weaponize this paranoia, and that brings us to the current moment. A Politico story reports that a group of black money calling themselves Citizens for Sanity – that’s a very Washington, D.C. thing, this naming convention of picking a name that openly throats the premise of the underlying thing being sold – will supposedly spend “millions of dollars” on what amounts to a trolling campaign.

A trolling campaign aimed as much at their own base as anyone else, mind you: the group targets a supposedly out-of-control “awakening” and the terrible “woke” radicals who threaten America with it. The first ad produced by John Brabender, reports Politico, envisions a terror-filled future in which a transgender athlete wins a sporting event.

Because yes, this is the kind of thing that will piss off Republican base voters. Republican voters are not smart. They are extremely unintelligent. They are to intelligence what yogurt is to building bridges. The Republican base literally doesn’t care about a million deaths from the pandemic. They believe climate change is a hoax perpetrated against them by nerd. They would rather live in a post-coup fascist dystopia than pay 20 cents more for gas, and they will tell you that to your face.

Tell ’em that transgender athletes come and win every sporting event, thus leading one way or another to America’s annexation of Texas, you’ll have those goons burping beer waving guns in front government buildings in three minutes flat. Conservative campaign groups to like these voters. They can be controlled with a piece of cheese on a string. Come up with even the most bizarre scenario in which a conservative radio listener or Fox News watcher might be expected to show a modicum of public decency and pull out the guns. Convince them that the mention of Fredrick Douglass in the history book on page 174 is a plot to “awaken” children and they will laugh at any politician who promises to defeat this evil plan.

Yogurt. Bridges.

So this is how unknown rich assholes will spend their money in the months leading up to midterms, and we don’t know which rich assholes because no one wants their name attached to what amounts to (another) group production of professional hoaxes without a cynical background. Maybe it’s the guy from MyPillow. Maybe it’s the guy from Uline. Maybe it’s a stadium owner, maybe it’s that same group of half a dozen wealthy fascists who’ve been trying to overthrow democracy since people started muttering that they should already pay their fucking taxes. It’s purely a trolling effort, with billboards – and, if Politico is to be believed, it’s actually real – with fake slogans plastered on them like “Protect pregnant men from climate discrimination” and “Open the prisons”. Open borders. Close the schools. Vote progressive in November.

It’s a multi-million dollar troll campaign, and those being hunted are not just the many supposed cultural enemies of conservatism, but Republican voters themselves. If you want a conspiracy theory to panic, here’s one: Republicans have spent the last five decades trying to sabotage both education and journalism, and now that a significant percentage of the American population has yogurt for the brain and can’t decipher a two-box flowchart if their lives depended on it, the party intends to capitalize on the effort by awakening the yogurt spirit as a driving force in electoral politics.

Forget the coup attempt and the deaths in the United States Capitol. Forget the Republican domestic terrorism, the new laws giving party lackeys the power to overturn election results, the million pandemic deaths, the two indictments, the national security documents found crammed into Mar-a’s bedrooms. -The girlfriend. Forget your abortion rights. If you give up on republicanism just because of this Things Republicans do, our dear gullible Republican voters, criminals will go crazy, men will demand pregnancy rights, and children will be allowed to participate in sporting events without local party officials look down their pants.

The premise of Citizens for Sanity: “Forget everything we’ve done, all you yogurt brains. Instead, here are 50 new conspiracy theories. Just pick the one you want and go for it, we really don’t care.

Again: Republicanism depends on hoaxes. This is now how they campaign, how they govern and how they try to escape accountability for even criminal acts. Not just black money groups, but individual campaigns are now centered around “The 2020 election was secretly rigged against Trump” or “The entire US education system is actually a ruse perpetrated against the country by woke anti-racist groomers”. Hoax-based gibberish is now the basis of all republicanism.

And we ask ourselves once again: Will it work? How much will it work? What percentage of conservative voters, after turning their own brains to absolute mush watching pro-fascist conspiracy programs backed by the Murdoch family for a little more wealth, will vote to ignore the abortion debate, future odds of Florida, the future livability of large parts of the Republican-controlled South, the return of polio, and an economy that no longer collapses, as they are absolutely convinced that a secret plot by “woke” people will destroy the country if they don’t continue to vote for the party that turns everything it governs into shit?


Written by Hunter staff from the Daily Kos. Position of Kos every day.

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