Freedom News

Notes from the US: Post truth

Nearly 15 years ago, the acronym ‘BYOD’: ‘Bring Your Own Device’ entered common usage; it applied to employees using their own hardware – such as an iPhone – for work rather than one supplied by their employers.

Over the same period, the ‘post-truth’ world – especially in politics in the United States – has advanced to the extent that many people believe in ‘multiple truths’ and ‘alternative facts‘. Now, for tens of millions, anything goes – regardless of what really happens.

Early in this New Year, a poll was published by the Washington Post and the University of Maryland suggesting that over one-third of adults (80 million people) in the US will bring their own ‘truths’ to the voting booths next November. They will believe what they want to believe about the election results from the 2020 election rather than what really happened. They genuinely think that Trump won last time; he is essentially a ‘great man’ and a great president who is being made the victim of political intrigue, and he is the only person who can ‘save America’. Save it from “communists” like Joe Biden and from people with darker skins than theirs, who are invading the US. And, of course, that Covid is a hoax and that the climate catastrophe is a left-wing plot to deprive people of their ‘freedoms’.

The United States is now entering what is certainly the most important election cycle since the Second World War. Arguably, it is one of the most crucial in its history because one likely outcome could effectively end two-party ‘democracy’. No, anarchists don’t believe such a system can ever really be what it says it is in terms of government by and for the people. But if a virtual fascist dictatorship is being put in place this time next year, it will surely be worse than what obtains now.

That one-third of the electorate believes in nonsensical lies is an alarmingly high proportion.


A few days before this last Christmas, a federal judge in California took steps to ensure that more people will die in 2024 and beyond. Judge Cormac Carney blocked a state law that bans people from carrying firearms in public spaces such as parks, playgrounds, medical buildings, places of worship, banks, and public transportation. The reason? That the new law aimed to keep people safer is “…repugnant to the Second Amendment…”. That is the part of the US constitution from roughly 250 years ago when bears, wolves and other wild animals threatened newcomers to the continent, newcomers who were also intent on slaughtering the indigenous population which they found when they invaded it. Essentially, the new ruling asserts that citizens must – at all costs – have their ‘freedom’ to injure and kill one another.

Last week, the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas went further than any legal body until now in arranging for another opportunity to ensure killings. It pushed ahead the (male) élite’s attack on women and women’s health. Ignoring federal health guidelines and putting misogynist dogma ahead of life, the Court ruled that doctors working in hospitals and accident departments can legally refuse to perform abortions – even when doing so would save the life of a patient. The Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents healthcare providers, issued this statement in response: “The state’s strategy has been to circumvent the court system and the constitution itself to push abortion out of reach for as many Texans as possible.” Several of those healthcare providers who also oppose the ruling (as is their duty under the Hippocratic oath they take) pointed out again that black women, in particular, are disproportionately disadvantaged by (such) reduced access to healthcare.

A few days later, the Supreme Court of the United States ordered the reinstatement of a near-total ban on abortion in Idaho, with up to five years in prison for doctors who perform the procedure except in very narrowly defined circumstances. Senator Patty Murray from the neighbouring state of Washington put it bluntly when she wrote, “This is a chilling reminder that the anti-abortion movement doesn’t care if women live or die – as long as they’re forced to give birth.” What Murray didn’t add was that the same far right constituency is quite happy to see millions die – bombed and burnt alive by weaponry supplied by the United States. And die because of widespread denial of the strength of an infectious virus and the calamity of an overheating planet… 2023 is now officially the hottest year on record.

The extraordinarily mendacious, unqualified and callous Surgeon General of Florida, Joseph Ladapo, who that state’s Fascist governor appointed, Ron DeSantis, is no stranger to readers of ‘Notes from the US’. He was at it again this month as the number of cases of Covid again rose and hospitalisations again increased. This time, Ladapo actually issued a bulletin to stop the distribution and deployment of mRNA booster vaccines for Covid – despite the overwhelming evidence that they save lives. DeSantis appeared to endorse and support the move.


‘Notes from the US’ reported last month on attempts by far right pressure groups to remove and/or threaten, vilify, discredit and otherwise disempower black and progressive managers in (higher) education. The latest of these disgraces came early in the New Year when Claudine Gay, the black President of one of the United States’ most respected Universities, Harvard, was forced to resign after a barrage of death threats, racist insults and false accusations of plagiarism. Looking more closely at the latter (apparent failure completely to attribute her sources), it was quickly accepted by her fellow academics that these few instances were of ‘minor’ significance. Rather, Gay has become the first senior manager at her level to be forced out of office for her pursuit of policies respecting all attending students’ contributions under the DEI rubric (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion). This area of life is the latest object of supremacist hate onto which an alarming number of (white) public figures has latched. Gay later wrote in the ‘New York Times’ that those who hounded her “…recycled tired racial stereotypes about Black talent and temperament. They pushed a false narrative of indifference and incompetence…” adding, “…This was merely a single skirmish in a broader war to unravel public faith in pillars of American society.”

Oklahoma has two dozen or so public (non-profit and government-funded) colleges and universities. Thanks to an executive order signed last month by Republican governor Kevin Stitt, it is now illegal for those bodies to use state resources (funds or property) for activities which promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion—racism at work, pure and simple. Courses and projects explicitly designed to respect and promote equitable treatment of, and to foster the participation of, all students regardless of race, gender and sexual orientation must now stop. Those involved in them must be dismissed. Effectively, all publicly-funded institutions of higher education in Oklahoma (which has a population of nearly three million and about two-thirds of whose residents voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020) are now effectively obliged by law to accentuate a white supremacist agenda.

Trump, meanwhile, has pretty much abandoned all pretensions of decency by repeatedly quoting phraseology and sentiments first included in the diatribes of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. On the likely Republican nominee for President, this year went in early January with a campaign video that managed to shock some otherwise unshockable commentators. His claims (not new, but not so far stated so explicitly) were that God has placed him on Earth – amongst other things – to “save the United States” and root out Marxism.

Then, a few days later, Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., came to the defence of Douglass Mackey, a former social media ‘influencer’ who both has been convicted of election interference and has an appalling history of posting deeply offensive racist, antisemitic, anti-Muslim and homophobic content online. Trump used his own platform to criticise moves against Mackey and praised that same Twitter/X feed, saying that it was perhaps his (Trump’s) “… favourite Twitter account of all time”.

Just before Christmas, the season of goodwill to all, the fascist governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, signed a bill that gives all police in his state the right to arrest migrants, who are probably entering the US as a result of exploitation, oppression and violence by the United States in their countries in the first place. There will almost certainly be a challenge in the courts to the racist act because legal experts say that it violates federal law. But it is open advocacy for racist violence, nevertheless.

Later that week, Abbott also pulled another one of his human trafficking stunts by making 120 guest workers travel to Chicago – presumably because that city is a Democrat stronghold. The mayor of Chicago, Brandon Johnson, responded by asking for more resources in the light of what must be seen as a fascistic act to try and make ‘weapons’ of non-white asylum-seekers coming to the US.

~ Louis Further

Image: Rod Webber

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