Jabberwocky is a nonsensical poem written by Lewis Carroll about the slaying of a strange creature known as “the Jabberwock.” In Through the Looking-Glass, Alice discovers a book filled with gibberish that, when held up against a mirror, reveals poetic verse. Though she can read the mirrored stanzas of Jabberwocky, she struggles to comprehend their absurd meaning.
In similar form, the presidency of Donald Trump has invited Americans to see their government “through the looking-glass,” as well. What we’ve found these first four years is a media that speaks in riddles and a political system that replaces truth with some reflected version of it. We were warned that Donald Trump’s personal eccentricities made him unsuitable to hold the highest office in the land; instead, his quirkiness has revealed government and media institutions as spinmeisters of the absurd. The American Jabberwock has done everything in its power to devour President Trump, but the American people finally see D.C.’s nonsense for what it is.
The media howled that Russian collusion was real, while mocking President Trump’s assertion that the Obama administration spied on his campaign. After years of partisan investigations, no evidence of mythical “collusion” ever materialized, but a mountain of evidence revealing the CIA and FBI’s coordinated efforts to spy on both the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team became impossible to ignore. Hillary Clinton lied about having paid for the creation of the “Russian dossier” used by the FBI to secure the FISA Court’s blessing to spy on Team Trump. Barack Obama and Joe Biden lied about having no knowledge of the spying operation against Trump associates and lied about their role in the malicious prosecution of General Flynn. Democrat Congressman Adam Schiff spent four years running with one unsubstantiated conspiracy theory after the next in an attempt to remove the president from office, and the national press enthusiastically supported his crusade, even though his lies proved outlandish time and time again.
Both President Trump and Republican Congressman Devin Nunes truthfully told Americans how Obama’s people had abused the intelligence system to leak to the media illegally obtained and out-of-context communications to create the appearance of wrongdoing by Trump associates. The more truth Trump and Nunes told, the more the national media called them both liars. The more lies spread by Adam Schiff and John Brennan and Jim Comey and Peter Strzok and other Obama loyalists, the more the media lavished them with praise.
The Russia story proved how little evidence goes into mainstream reporting. Government sources pushing false narratives are aided and abetted by journalists who can’t be troubled to verify facts or flesh out the motives of anonymous sources. With few exceptions, “investigative” journalism means nothing more than picking up a phone and scribbling down the latest rumor intended to deceive. Jabberwocky journalism insists on painting President Trump as a liar and his assertions as made “without evidence,” while journalists peddle intentional disinformation and call it news. The Russia collusion narrative is disproven, yet journalists won a slew of awards by pushing that fabrication. In contrast, not a single award has been given to those few journalists who followed the facts and slowly but methodically revealed the heart of the scandal to be the Obama administration’s unprecedented use of the intelligence apparatus first to spy on a competing political campaign and then to sabotage the peaceful transfer of power through selective leaking and targeted misdirection. Only journalists reward their own lies, while calling others liars.
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Nothing has surprised the American Jabberwock more than President Trump’s ability to survive the scandals created by Washington “insiders” against him. Russia collusion, the Mueller inquisition, the Biden Ukraine bribery scandal miraculously turned into a Trump impeachment, a Chinese pandemic maddeningly turned into a national economic shutdown, and local crime enforcement deaths in Democrat-run cities paradoxically turned into nationwide riots by Democrat-aligned shock troops fomenting revolution, have all been pushed by the national press corps as certain to “take the President down” once and for all.
“The walls have been closing in” for four years, except the more they close, the better President Trump’s overall voter approval has been. His approval with black Americans and Hispanic Americans is higher than ever. His approval with blue-collar workers is higher than it has been for a Republican president since Reagan. His approval with self-described Republicans is higher than the approval for any president of either political party since Eisenhower.
In this “through the looking-glass” Jabberwocky world pushed by Washington insiders in hot pursuit of President Trump, their unrelenting efforts to remove him have actually bolstered his support. How difficult this must be for the political class to understand, especially when any one of these Jabberwocky-created scandals would have succeeded in weakening past Republicans on the national stage beyond political survival.
But there’s the rub! Because President Trump is like no Republican ever elected to office, he seems uniquely made to take on the upside-down world Washington runs. How can you force a president’s removal if he refuses to play by the rules Washington writes? How can you intimidate him into surrender when he is happiest in the middle of a fight? How can you solemnly condemn him as “unfit for office,” when he succeeds in mocking Washington as unfit to govern? Political witch-hunts aren’t won by pretending the inquisitors deserve respect; they are won by reminding the American people that Washington has become Salem. Time and again, Washington builds giant bonfires meant for President Trump’s immolation, and each time, the president roasts his critics instead.
By refusing to respect the will of American voters, the Washington Jabberwock has unintentionally exposed itself as an un-American smear machine devoid of substance. It speaks in half-truths or outright lies; it starts fires and causes upheaval; it spews nonsense but demands respect. President Trump’s uncanny ability to see the monster for what it is and cut it down to size has altered American politics permanently. He may not yet have slain the beast for good, but everyone can now see it bleeding.
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