The defamation trial of Alex Jones reminds us that the sleazy conspiracy theorist and former president Donald Trump are two peas in the same gruesome pod—grifters, hucksters, charlatans, and above all, two irredeemable losers. They have so much in common that it reminds me of the old quip about Michael Jackson and Diana Ross: How do we know they’re not the same person?
We do know that Trump wanted to join his MAGA minions at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th but fortunately was prevented from doing so. But have no fear, there amid the combat was Alex Jones and his trusty megaphone doing his best to lead the troops to victory. Is there really much difference between Trump’s “Big Lie” and the conspiracy theories Jones spouted about Sandy Hook, the COVD vaccine, and other deluded right-wing fantasies? Neither one of them give a damn about reality or the consequences of their lies. Jones used slaughtered children to rile up his audience and sell products without any regard for the truth or the pain he caused the parents. (Can you imagine having your child killed and then having to endure death threats from crazed white nationalists?) Similarly, Trump’s egotistical narcissism is so great that he is happy to destroy the greatest democracy on earth for no purpose but to satisfy his bottomless grievance. (I ask you, was there ever a man as wronged as Trump?)
Neither Trump nor Jones cares about the consequence of their horrendous lies, but the question that remains is why so many people don’t care either. Even worse, their followers seem to rejoice in their heroes’ evil running rampant, just as long as their own perceived enemies are its target. How can anyone watch Jones’s blustery, hysterical tantrums on “Infowars” and not realize the man is seriously unhinged? It’s scary to think that his audience is as full of anger and hatred as he is, and so anxious to believe his lies. But as is the case of Trump’s MAGAs attacking the Capitol, I fear he is merely channeling their existing rage. While the object of their rage may be misplaced, that doesn’t make it any less real or dangerous. And since the rest of us don’t share their anger, and even find it difficult to understand, we’re helpless to pacify it.
How Many People Will Trump Shoot on Fifth Avenue Before America Says “No More!”?
Given recent events, however, I don’t see how America can afford to pacify them much longer; Lord knows, those people, both leaders and followers alike, have shown us who they are! Jones needs to be subjected to the rule of law (never mind his bogus bankruptcy claims, there’s not enough money on earth to pay for his irresponsible lies!) and Trump should be indicted for his attempted coup regardless of whether his MAGA minions go ballistic and attack every state capitol in the country. But that’s the rub, the sick game Jones and Trump play so well. It’s as if everything they do is rigged (Trump loves that word) to demonstrate that the enemy—the radical left, the deep state, some mysterious international cabal—is out to get them. Trump was right when he said he “could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and he wouldn’t lose any voters.” Back then the implication was that nobody would care, it would be okay, but that missed the ugly point; his followers have proven they would relish the kill—just as they did when he cajoled them into attacking the U.S. Capitol almost five years later.