In all my years following and covering politics, my sanity has never been tested as much as it has been during the 2016 presidential election. During George W. Bush’s eight years in office I remember thinking to myself, “Well, at least it can’t really get any worse than watching this buffoon” — and I was so… so wrong. Now I long for the “sane” days when Republicans were just awful as opposed to batshit crazy like they’ve become over the last 8-10 years.
Now when I debate Republicans, especially Trump supporters, I often don’t even feel like I’m operating within the same realm of reality as these folks. We’ve seen conspiracies go from an underlying theme believed by many on the right, to becoming “legitimate news stories” for tens of millions of conservative voters. I really never thought I’d see the day where a site like InfoWars, a conspiracy organization that claimed Sandy Hook never happened, would become a go-to “news” site for a Republican presidential candidate and his followers.
It’s actually quite terrifying.
A great example of what I mean happened on Monday when I saw CNN contributor (and huge Trump supporter) Jeffrey Lord make an absolute fool out of himself when he literally advocated for letting Trump lie during the presidential debates.
“You know, some of these fact checking — quote, unquote — sites are basically liberal,” Lord said. “And they have a bias going into it. So, I really don’t count them much as fact checkers.”
Again, that’s rhetoric directly from the conspiracy theory handbook. If the truth debunks your lies, claim that the truth is “part of the conspiracy.”
After fellow CNN contributor Sally Kohn mocked that she really “can’t even believe we are debating this,” that’s when Lord suggested that fact checks should happen after the debate (you know, when the audience is a fraction of what it would be during the actual debate) and we should just “let it [Trump lying] happen” because “that’s part of American democracy.”
“That’s just the nature of the beast, that’s part of American democracy,” Lord stated. “And I think we should all just relax and, chill out and let it happen and go on from there.”
Keep in mind that Lord is also someone who Van Jones has frequently clashed with on the topic of racism. Lord loves bringing up how the Democratic party supported segregation, while always ignoring the reality of the “Southern strategy” and the GOP’s embrace of racism and bigotry in the 60’s as the Democratic party evolved away from its shameful and disgusting past. So, he’s not exactly someone whose opinion should be seen as credible. Other than “shock value,” I have no idea why CNN even allows him on their network as he’s an absolute hack.
But here we had a prominent supporter of Trump actually advocating for a moderator-less presidential debate to “just let” Trump lie — then, when most voters are no longer paying attention, let the post-debate coverage fact check the debate.
I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s clearly obvious that Trump and his supporters are terrified of him being exposed in front of a massive national audience. Not only are they taking preemptive steps to discredit these debates weeks before they occur, but they’re now advocating for debates without moderators because they know Trump is going to struggle in a one-on-one debate (something he never had to do during the GOP primary) where his ignorance and incompetence are going to be put on full display.
It’s a pathetically sad day for this nation when a candidate for a major political party and many of his supporters are so terrified of a presidential debate that they’re already attempting to de-legitimize it before it ever happens. You see, deep down, they know how awful their candidate really is.
Watch Lord’s comments below via CNN: