A Wee Little Republican Story

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Here’s a little story. I had lunch a few days ago with a Republican friend. Not a tea party crank, just a normal, moderate Republican. We were talking about Donald Trump and he said, Well, at least you have to give him credit for Warp Speed. No Democrat would ever have done that.

I just looked at him. I barely knew what to say. Why wouldn’t a Democrat have done it?

Oh come on.

But Warp Speed was mainly about spending money. Democrats love to spend money. You’re always complaining about it.

Hmmm.

Any president would have done it.

This is an example of how we inhabit different sets of realities. Aside from the admittedly catchy name, which I give Trump credit for, Warp Speed was a program that Bill Gates and others had been talking about for months. It was funded by the CARES Act, which passed with unanimous Democratic support. Of course a Democratic president would have pushed for something like Warp Speed.

So what had convinced my friend that a Democrat never would have come up with something like that? It’s a mystery.

POSTSCRIPT: Why did I share this story? Because it struck me as different from the usual sort of thing: Benghazi, Hillary’s email, Trump won the election, etc. It’s not a dumb conspiracy theory, just a routine assumption about an opposition party that came out of nowhere and seems (to those of us in the opposition party) to be completely off base. How much more baggage like this is out there that never gets reported because it’s not crazytown stuff?

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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