Art of the Psychodrama.
Parts 4 & 5
By: Victor Davis Hanson
December 6 & 7, 2022
For every pre-election October surprise, there is always a post-election November psychodramatic “bombshell.”
This year, right after the vote, there was the sudden announcement that a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate Donald Trump—on grounds of purported complicity in the January 6 riot and the hysterias arising over his presidential papers.
But that was not all. Also, strangely after the election, we learned from government leaks that those “nuclear secrets”that Trump supposedly stole from the White House and which in his Mar-a-Lago hands endangered the very lives of 330 million Americans were, well, also a lie. The “secrets,” or so we were leaked to, were all along mostly mementos and correspondence that Trump, in the fashion of many ex-presidents, rightly or wrongly claimed were his personal rather than government property.
Assume that had Merrick Garland announced on the eve of the election that he was going after Roadrunner Trump for a fourth time—after two failed impeachment trials, and a failed special counsel’s 22-month investigation—some swing voters might have decided that the Left was now simply going full Stasi.
But that was not all. Mysteriously, no sooner had the ballot counting nearly finished than we learned that the $30-40 billion “empire” of one of the largest Democrat leftwing funders, the slovenly 30-year Sam Bankman-Fried, had exploded.
His “riches” abruptly vanished, also strangely, right under the noses of clueless federal regulators. The progressive saint robbed perhaps a million people of their investments, as Bankman siphoned off billions from his investors’ accounts, in one of the sloppiest but most effective Ponzi schemes in memory. (We enjoyed the various Democratic recipients’ forced promises of repayment—but to charities rather than to the investors whose money they had illegally received. How is passing along other people’s money to tax-exempt charities rather than back to the owners a sign of morality?)
Before November 7th, Bankman-Fried and his Stanford Law School professor parents (his mother ran a PAC funneling rather dark Silicon Valley money into 2022 leftwing candidates) were beatified by the media as putting dirty capitalist dollars to work for their own comfort and progressive causes—and all from luxury, tax-free Bahamas digs.
The locus classicus for the psychodramatic, pre-election omission is the Hunter Biden laptop suppression farce. On the eve of the November 2020 election, Hunter’s laptop, with hard proof of his own and his family’s felonious behaviors, turned up abandoned at a computer repair store.
Within hours of the discovery, the fusion DNC/media came up with the spin that the laptop’s photos were not really of Hunter engaged in raunchy sex and drug use. But, also, we were told that Joe Biden was not really the same as Hunter’s mentioned and cited “Big Guy” or “Mr. Ten Percent” of the Biden syndicate shakedown operations. Yet who cared that those laptop references were in fact also confirmed independently by Tony Bobulinksi, a former (and cheated) partner of Hunter’s?
Instead, we were assured by fifty “experts” and former “intelligence officials” that the laptop was likely “Russian disinformation”—a last vestigial effort of Putin and the Russians to collude with Trumpian interests after the implosion of the Fusion GPS/Steele dossier/collusion hoax.
A majority of voters later polled that had they known that the incriminating Biden laptop was authentic, it might have affected their vote. Note the one-two punch of the psychodrama: not only was a lie spread that the authentic incriminating laptop was fake, given that it more or less showed that Hunter was a probable felon many times over, and an-about-to-be elected Joe Biden and members of his family were quid pro quo grifters, if not likely criminally exposed. But in addition, the defensive lie went back onto the offensive, by implying that the Russians had created the laptop. Apparently, we were to believe the experts that formerly Clinton-“reset” Russians had delivered a fake device to Hunter’s repairman after fabricating the pictures and contents—all with such accuracy that even poor hoodwinked and addled Hunter could not deny that the laptop was his.
The result was we went from proof of Biden skullduggery to once again Trump colluding with the Russians to take out Biden in the manner he and his Moscow partners had taken out poor Hillary. And both times, our FBI was involved in either spreading lies or suppressing truth or both, all to aid their progressive overlords.
Of the hundreds of psychodramas of the last decade, perhaps three have changed the course of history. All were either outright misinformation, half-truths, or remained obfuscated with the full details suppressed.
The entire COVID narrative of early 2020 ended up all but destroying the Trump administration, ruining a robust economy, and likely electing Joe Biden. Remember the ingredients of the DNC/media-led narrative. We were asked to believe by Dr. Fauci and friends that the Wuhan lab played no role in the birth of Covid. (Nor supposedly did the NIH/NIAID/CDC complex have any knowledge of, or role in, gain-of-function research in China.) Indeed, Trump’s assertions that the virus was birthed in the lab—and with some U.S. subsidies for such outlawed research in the U.S.‚ like his “racist” travel ban—was offered as proof of his anti-Chinese hatred.
Furthermore, Trump fell for the government-mandated notion that for the first time in U.S. history, the only recourse for saving America from a pandemic was to shut down the entire economy. We were to mask up the population, cancel schooling, and social distance our way to a nationwide quarantine. This unconstitutional fiat was sold on “flatten the curve” for three weeks logic, to allow the overwhelmed medical establishment to catch up with the pandemic.
In fact, the aggrandizement of power over the individual proved a strong narcotic for the Left. It got high on its newly found authority and power to pick and choose which business was to be destroyed, which to be saved, and so never let go.
The rest is history. We destroyed the formative years of millions of school-age children while upping the cancer rate through neglected screenings, spiking spousal and family abuse, prompting more suicides and drug abuse, wrecking the supply-chain system, stoking ruinous inflation, and all without any data that such lockdowns had ever significantly reduced the death rate, much less so in a cost-to-benefit analysis.
Indeed, we later had ample reason to believe that such a blanket, scatter-shot approach may have taken the focus off and resources away from properly isolating and protecting the vulnerable in long-term facilities and with comorbidities, who then died in droves. In the end, we likely also injured our collective immunity to other pathogens through two years of self-enforced sterility.
The progressive paranoia soon absorbed the entire country. Anyone not two-three-four-five times vaccinated was deemed a veritable public enemy, despite the disturbing news that by late 2022 more had died vaccinated than not vaccinated.
By 2021 any who did not wear a mask were reduced to right-wing criminal yahoos. Those who believed the vaccine might be more dangerous for teens and young men than the infections, or that the shots did not protect against infection or infectiousness, were slandered as public enemies. Thousands of “vaccine deniers” were fired from their jobs.
The Left politicized the hysteria and associated red states with murderous license. They ignored data showing less restrictive policies in, say, Texas or Florida, led to far more robust economies and less collateral damage, while incurring not much, if any, more deaths per capita than a blue state, locked-down New York, Illinois, or New Jersey.
In the end, Trump’s Operation Warp Speed vaccination program was absorbed by the Left as its own pet project, while he was blamed for both shutting down the economy and not shutting it down enough and developing vaccines that did not work as advertised while spreading anti-vax ignorance. Some narrative. But to paraphrase Harry Reid, “Trump didn’t win, did he?”