dear auntie – updated
this chapter gets complicated.
this begins on another family member’s wall,
other family members chime in from time to time.
contributors are given pseudonyms.
my box is black, auntie is blue.
images are abridged. full text follows.
Amanda [pseudonym] Posted: “Now don’t you feel stupid?” [Article Link: Here’s How Fake Election News Outperformed Real Election News on Facebook via Buzzfeed]
Bandon Replied: “The truth doesn’t matter. Only the ‘truth’ that aligns with your beliefs is important these days.”
Carter Replied: “Unfortunately, the ends always justify the means. So, sadly, truth and facts really do not matter.”
I Reply: “The truth matters to me and the people around me, and so I’m shocked to so commonly hear this ‘truth doesn’t matter’ refrain from my elders.”
Bandon Replies (to me): “Iris my point is not that the truth doesn’t matter, it does. I’m disappointed in so many people who blindly accept the spins applied to posts or articles in order to intentionally mislead the masses.”
Bandon Replies (to me): “So in spite of actual facts many people make decisions based on their beliefs that are sometimes created by false information that they WANT to believe.”
Auntie Replies: “I still believe weapons did make it into the hands of isis that Hillary Clinton was responsible for distributing . It may have been a big blunder she didn’t intend to have happen. Yet when her right hand assistant is Huma Abedin who has s mother that works with women that support Sharia law who Huma admires and a family with history of supporting people involved in 911 Attack s , well let’s just say things may have happened. I still believe the men that died in Benghazi knew the details and that’s why the stand down orders were given . They had too much information that would be detrimental to Hillary. [Amanda] if you wish to continue to name call and label people stupid , you have no social skills
I Reply (to Auntie): “To suggest, though, that these men died because they ‘knew too much’ without evidence of what they knew is the definition of a conspiracy theory. I think the issue here is a question of how conspiracy theories are used to justify how a person votes, and where these conspiracy theories come from—regardless of whether or not they are true.
The election was not a judicial hearing on Clinton’s political tenure—clearly it was not a judicial hearing for Trump’s many crimes either. To treat it like one is to behave like a mob who wants to skip or suspend judicial due process. Furthermore, it’s not fair to only treat the election like a judicial hearing for one candidate and not the other. I believe the difference between Trump and Clinton, in this regard, is that many Trump-voters were willing to let the courts decide what to do with the prosecution of Trump, and they wanted to use the election as a way of punishing Clinton. They wanted to punish Clinton because they were unhappy with the way the judicial system had already worked to prosecute her to the fullest extent of the law that could be done.”
I Reply (to Auntie): “Over on Twitter people are trying to organize around #AuditTheVote and it’s something you might be interested in: [Link]”
Auntie Replies (to me): “Who is Andrea chapels?”
I Reply (to Auntie): “This is something you can easily Google, but here: ‘Andrea Chalupa is a journalist and the author of Orwell and The Refugees: The Untold Story of Animal Farm. She has written for TIME, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, and Forbes. Some of the institutions where she has spoken include Columbia University, McGill University, and the National Press Club in Washington, DC. She is a founder of DigitalMaidan, an online movement that made the Ukrainian protests the #1 trending topic on Twitter worldwide at a time when the mainstream media was obsessing over Justin Bieber’s arrest in Miami. Her first screenplay, about the intrepid, young Welsh journalist Gareth Jones helping inspire George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the book that made him famous, is in development in Europe.'”
Auntie Replies: “Yes , I don’t believe anyone posting in this thread actually knows the facts , I have stated my beliefs due to the fact that a liar is a liar is a liar unless they take responsibility. Mrs Clinton thinks hours of being questioned is taking responsibility and even with the election results it’s not her fault . We the people have spent millions trying to get the truth out of her and she’s not at fault for anything”
I Reply (to Auntie): “I don’t think we’re talking about facts. We’re talking about evaluating information fairly. If you feel so strongly about lying, how can you valorize a candidate who everyday throughout his campaign, and who continues to lie to this present day? And, how can you take anything seriously that comes from these websites that dramatize conspiracy theories—that knowingly lie about people and events for the purposes of making money through advertising?
Furthermore, when we’re talking about how Clinton should take responsibility for whatever people think she did, it seems very unfair to talk about what ‘taking responsibility’ looks like without thinking about the failings and mistakes that people before have made in the same position. Why don’t we talk about the gravity of what she did in the context of political blunders made on the part of Secretaries of State who came before her? Making mistakes in office—making decisions that get people killed—is not unusual. It happens all the time, and most of the time the American People do not shell out millions of dollars trying to adjudicate the consequences.
You’re right that it seems unfair and bizarre that Clinton seems to have come out unscathed from such a coordinated and long-standing assault on her character. But there are other ways of thinking about why this must be the case. I’m going to dismiss the conspiracy theory that suggests she paid her way out of the litigation process—there’s no evidence that she tampered with the investigation in anyway.
Suppose this conspiracy theory is just as likely, if not more so: that people with the right political motive have been coordinating this assault on her to strategically direct the conversation about who she is or what she’s done on terms that they can control. Many people within the government and outside of it benefit from attacks on her character that manipulate people into thinking that her mistakes are *exceptionally* egregious.
Either way, can we agree that conspiracy theories should not be the basis on which people determine who is the most appropriate person to vote for in an election? Can we agree that the basis for that strategy makes it incredibly difficult to build consensus?”
Auntie Replies: “I believe Trump wants to help our Country. I don’t think he is an angel by any means. I don’t think he is the same Trump that he was 20 years ago or even 11 years ago with his thinking he had rock star status because he was on tv and had s successful show . I think bringing the childish conversation about girls throwing themselves at him for being s star had to be a character builder for him as the American public clearly were not ok with it as his family. At least he said he was wrong , ms Hillie says things never happened. When people ask her her views about things like LGBT she states they are putting words in her mouth, yet the documentaries show that her views did change. It would be better if she just admitted the change instead of lying , National security is really the issue and she has s track record ., not all the other indiscretions . Who in their right mind would let her continue in the highest position of the land. The unknown risk of Trump is better than the known ways of the Clinton machine. The drama on both sides has been tremendous . These sites often have things dramatized but they also have details in real time . They speak out about the terrorist attacks while the news media changes the narrative. You only here the truth for the first day until redactions , amendments and changes are made to satisfy the narrative they think the ignorant American people will believe or need to speak of so others are not offended”
Amanda Replies (to Auntie): “[Censored]- Trump has the same agenda he has always had – to get money and respect. He is not respected amongst the rich because his daddy set him up. A lot of us would be billionaires by now if someone had given us a million to start with, if we didn’t pay income tax, and if stiffed our contractors, and declared bankruptcy every time we got in trouble. Time will only tell which one ultimately becomes more important and if he is savy enough to realize his only real wealth is how history views him. Right now history has nothing good to say about his moral character. Please show me evidence of one altruistic thing he has ever done. You have let Hillary hatred cloud your reason and Christians aren’t supposed to hate – but you Christian conservative Right-wingers hate better than anyone I know. It doesn’t even matter if she is a crook because so is he. Your thinking that he wants to help the little guy in America is based on what- campaign promises? He PT Barnhamed you my dear.
Bandon Replies: “Respect is the biggest problem I have with Trump. I have none. Zero. And I have no basis to start gaining any respect until I see his actions – to date it’s not happening. I know just a little bit about being a public CEO and I can tell you that when you are in that position you are just the head public servant, and nothing more. The position of US President is never greater than the people he or she serves. I have not seen that he has any humility, which is absolutely necessary if he will have any real success at all. And as he goes, we go.”
Auntie Replies: “I have no desire to argue . You get to believe what you believe. You always have been determined . Good for you , and I hope it works for you , I’m not signing up for name calling. Not seeing clearly in the past 8 years tells me no persuasion will make a difference today, i see Trumps children as an indicator of his abilities to lead. While their mother had a huge roll in making them successful they also have come together in unity. Adult children can more than ever be a reason to do good , to help leave to them A world that has a chance to thrive. So far he has been asking for help from all of us and seeking out a balance in his appointees .Who isn’t for draining the swamp? He isn’t going all knee jerking with healthcare and so many other things that the fearful and name calling hateful anti Trump supporters have been so scared about. Altruist thing challenge- he is feeding the police officers that are protecting Trump Tower where mobs are holding up rape Melania signs. He brought toys and food to flood victims when HRC and Obama did nothing . He is not accepting a salary . He made an apology about his behavior. From 11 years ago.. He has talked about what great citizens the protestors will be with their passion . He is not president yet , He has shown compassion to mothers of murdered children. While this may all be for show , it’s the right thing to do too.”
Dillard Replies: “An interview with one of the creators of many fake news sites, he did it for the AdSense money, and is shocked by the outcome: [Link: “Facebook fake-news writer: ‘I think Donald Trump is in the White House because of me’” via the Washington Post]”
Etha Replies: “If you want to know a person’s character, look at who they surround themselves with. What a person says will tell you what is in their heart. Trump had false media on his side and it played right into the fears and biases of his supporters. The rich will continue to get richer and the poor, well, you know. We are not Trump’s concern. As average white citizens, we may be okay for the next four years. I am most concerned about our minorities. It seems that hatred and prejudice have been unleashed, if anything, it affirms what I have been hearing from my black, LGBTQ friends and family. As for Trump and his kind, “You will know them by their fruits” And the environment! We were making steps forward and now it will be an ever steeper up hill battle to protect Mother Earth from those with oil interests. How will our grandchildren ever forgive us? Iris, you are a rock star! Good job [Censored] and [Censored]!!”
Auntie Responds: “There has been a coup with the media. A civil war without the use of weapons for majority of it , excluding the terrorism and cop killing, land grabbing. A lot of tongue lashing. Fake news on both sides.”
I Reply (to Auntie): “What do you mean by ‘a coup with the media’?”
Etha Replies: “There most certainly was fake news that influenced both sides.”
Etha Replies: “This election has been the most polarizing I can remember. I think now we have to find ways to talk to each other with kindness and listen with open hearts. We don’t have to agree.”
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