sun 17/12/2017

Conspiracy Files: The Trump Dossier, BBC Two | reviews, news & interviews

Conspiracy Files: The Trump Dossier, BBC Two

Conspiracy Files: The Trump Dossier, BBC Two

How American politics became a stranger to the truth

Trump was confused by the sudden appearance of Mrs Slocombe

So we’re less than a week away from America’s choice. Many in the States have presented it as a kind of Sophie’s Choice – an unbearable outcome no matter who they choose. On the one hand they have a racist, sexist, braggart bully who has been named in at least 169 federal lawsuits and is due to appear in court over allegations of child rape, while on the other, they have a professional politician who can’t use email properly. It must be agonising for them.

In The Conspiracy Files: The Trump Dossier, programme makers attempted to highlight how "The Donald" has managed to make a choice as stark as "shit sandwich or jelly and ice cream" look like an even match of horrific demagogues. How a white man who inherited millions and who has left a trail of unpaid workers and busted flushes while claiming that not paying any tax makes him smart could be seen as the victim of any "establishment" rather than its poster boy. And how the American people are on the verge of calming a vicious, tantruming toddler’s rage by offering to let him drive.

The new evidence presented was compelling and convincing, but will do little to quell the fury of keyboard warriors

The answer, as most people could work out without too much prompting, is through insinuation, muck-spreading and disingenuous suggestion. Addressing this in a neat, packaged summary was, I suppose, convenient, but was really just a retelling much of what we already knew. So, we relived the Obama birth conspiracy, where Trump fired the gun on his political career and willing conspiracy nutjobs forced the facts into the template they’d created and then challenged people to disprove their ludicrous nonsense, as if the laws of rational debate don’t apply when you’ve spent so long making something up.

The same applied to the defamation of Republican candidate Ted Cruz’s father, who had once been in a photo (maybe) with Lee Harvey Oswald; the suggestion that the suicide of the Clintons’ lawyer and friend, Vince Foster, was murder; and the recent, startling revelation that a career politician has a load of emails they’d rather we didn’t see.

What The Conspiracy Files did do well, was to challenge these beliefs with new, expert testimony. Obama’s birth certificate is thought by some to be a moody fake, created on a computer. I don’t know much about forgery, but I’d assume that using materials "of the time" was a fairly basic prerequisite for any forger worth his salt, but hey, perhaps all the top guys were busy, so Obama asked an intern with spreadsheet skills to knock one up. In fact, the reasons for this accusation are easily explained away by someone with experience in the field. Just like the handwriting on Vince Foster’s suicide note, the subsequent medical report, the wavy flag on the moon landings and the line of the horizon that gives flat Earth idiots cause for concern.

The new evidence presented was compelling and convincing, but will do little to quell the fury of keyboard warriors raging over the terrible choice they face. The point, surely, is that a terrible choice is still a choice. To those who have a say and are dithering because, “It’s the lesser of two evils,” I implore you – stop fucking deliberating and chose the lesser. Do the math(s).

@jahshabby

The American people are on the verge of calming a vicious, tantruming toddler’s rage by offering to let him drive

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