Blowing Smoke

THE COHEN COLUMN-- Thanks to you and all participants in CA and other valiant activist groups, the full CA Senate just passed SB 562, The Healthy CA Act, which would bring money saving single payer health care to our largest state.

But, let’s keep our focus on the strategic prize, which is real progressive policy change. We will win the elections of the future, to put in place the strong politicians who will bring about this and all other good things, BECAUSE we stood strong on the issues, WITH the majority of our fellow citizens, much more than because we properly noted the glaring incompetence and corruption of people like Trump.

It is easy enough to be against Trump, who makes a liar and a fool of himself daily. But what matters most is for us to be FOR the things we believe in, and to demonstrate and proclaim and advocate for these in every way.

Yes, CA is now leading the charge in a major way. But we still need participants in all other states to keep the pressure on Congress to finally get real about one simple fact:

The only way to actually reduce costs to the American people is to use the bargaining leverage of all of us together to get a better deal from the health care industry.

This one sentence is a complete, self-contained, winning argument for single payer.

OK, today we're going to share our insight on something that is apparently mystifying every other political commentator . . . why won't Trump, or any of his surrogates, answer the straight forward
question of whether Trump still believes that climate change is a hoax, as he claimed repeatedly during his campaign. Why?

In single press conferences multiple reporters ask this same question over and over. All they get is evasion, that Spicer or whoever hasn't talked to Trump about it.

So then the reporters say, "Well, why don't you ask him, and tell us NEXT time?" Then next time, it's still the same non-answer, still hasn’t talked to him about it, and finally as a last dodge, "Hey,
you'll have to get the answer from Trump himself." Good luck with that.

When CBS News chief Washington correspondent John Dickerson tried to press Trump on whether he still believed that President Obama had wire-tapped him personally, a contention as bogus as the “climate change is a hoax” delusion; Trump arrogantly walked away and pretended that Dickerson was not even there anymore.

"But we want to know what YOU think," protested Dickerson. Stone cold wall of silence ensued; a better border wall than Trump could ever hope to build.

Our insight is that the entire Trump phenomenon is based on his cultivation and preservation of ignorance and exploiting that ignorance in the uninformed and/or bitterly partisan.

After pushing for 5 years the absurd lie that President Obama was not born in America, claiming he had hired investigators who had turned up solid evidence, when Trump finally "ADMITTED" that this was not true it was done in such a curt, dismissive way, refusing to elaborate,  justify or take any questions about it, it would have been easy for a Trump supporter to believe that Trump HIMSELF did not really mean it, that he was just being forced to mouth these few insincere words.

This is the key.

If you ask the average Trump supporter today they will tell you they STILL believe the original lie. This is why Trump uses the expression "everybody knows" so much. The subtext is just keep believing whatever sick thing you want to believe.

Trump manufactures lies for a living, and not just any lies, in particular malicious lies that will make people think ill of his political opponents. He depends on people believing these lies, for if people voted based on the truth he could never have succeeded.

No matter how many times you prove them wrong in no matter how many ways, the pathological core of his self-deceived base will CONTINUE to believe these lies, as long as dear leader Trump does not admit the truth in a way that the admission ITSELF is believable. Indeed, Trump in the same breath that day launched another outrageous lie that actually it was Hillary who was behind birtherism.

So returning to the climate change crisis, we hear ourselves regularly from the same handful of people with broken records for brains insisting that climate change is a hoax, the Trump line, based
on one flimsy contention or another. It's just a natural cycle they blather on and on, while temperatures continue to soar.

If Trump were to finally admit that no, climate change is actually not a hoax, if he were to take questions about it that would really nail it down; his base would collapse like a house of greased cards. It would break the evil spell. And he knows it. And now you know it too.

So instead, his surrogates will go on and on about every other tangential thing that Trump believes, he believes this, and he believes some other thing.

Yeah, well what about human industrial activity that CAUSES climate change? They don't know what Trump believes about that?

Whoa, whoa, whoa. If they don't know, how can they stand there as an authority on ANYTHING he believes?

They've got a big blast of pre-loaded smoke ready to blow up your butt. They're going to keep reciting their glib talking points, whether it's an answer to your question, which it won't be, or not.

It's all a great big criminal corrupt fraud.

This is the larger truth.

(Michael N. Cohen is a former board member of the Reseda Neighborhood Council, founding member of the LADWP Neighborhood Council Oversight Committee, founding member of LA Clean Sweep and occasional contributor to CityWatch.)