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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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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