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"It's a daily question - how did this happen?" (Photo: Screenshot)

"It's a daily question - how did this happen?" (Photo: Screenshot)

Soft Targets: The Muddled and Anti-Intellectual American Brains That Made Election Meddling Possible

Has the ability for critical thinking been drummed and drugged out of just enough of the American population?

Bill C. Davis

Putin asked an interviewer - “Do you think the Russian state could get into the minds of millions of Americans and affect how they will vote?” It’s brilliant he asked an "absurd" question he knew the answer to years ago. Yes. Trump voters were soft targets. Who knew there were so many of them? Someone did - and knew which states they were in and the point value of those states.

The covert campaign to confuse and stampede an adequate portion of the American voting population, in a cunningly chosen number of states, had its origin in strategic contempt for the people who have come to be known as, the base.

Whatever verb: meddle, attack; disrupt; insert; interfering; the covert campaign to confuse and stampede an adequate portion of the American voting population, in a cunningly chosen number of states, had its origin in strategic contempt for the people who have come to be known as, the base. (Which, by way, is the English translation of, Al-qaeda. The base.)

Trump voters were the target before they were Trump voters. The prerequisite for expending energy on such an initiative was an analysis of the fears, appetites and intellectual wattage of the targets. These are the people who could be seduced into bad mortgages, Jimmy Swaggart, Colonel Sanders, cabbage patch dolls, Mitch McConnell, the Kardashians, and styrofoam.

It's the soft, muddled collective anti-intellectual center that made success possible. Yes - something sinister did get into the minds of, if not millions, the smartly located thousands. The soft spasmodic brain is now at the head but it was put there by the soft spasmodic guts of the country being fed whoppers. Even the expression - red meat - speaks to this. Feeding his base, "red meat." Disgusting imagery for a metaphysical reality.

It's a daily question - how did this happen? How did someone so persistently referred to as moronic and imbecilic seize the reigns of power? It's what the Mueller investigation is meant to find out. How could this have happened? Is the country that self destructive? Has the ability for critical thinking been drummed and drugged out of just enough of the American population?

The current and feverish fight to protect the American voters from Russian or any manipulation is something that should have happened decades ago. Too late? Poor education, a pervasive vapid culture and a constant massage of the collective lower instincts has spawned a juicy target for whoever or whatever want to bring the classic columns down. A large part of the body politic has been depleted of immunity. It can’t resist. 

Perhaps this is why the one word which has emerged as a defensive weapon to protect an ever softening target is - resist.


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Bill C. Davis

Bill C. Davis

Bill C. Davis was a playwright, writer, actor, and political activist. He has been a contributor to Common Dreams since 2001. Bill died on February 26, 2021, at age 69, after a battle with COVID-19. Bill's Broadway debut — “Mass Appeal,” earned two Tony nominations and became a staple of community theater. Bill wrote the screenplay for the 1984 film adaptation of "Mass Appeal," starring Jack Lemmon and Zeljko Ivanek.

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