Plato’s enigmatic observation that knowledge is ἀνάμνησις (“recollection”) has pedestrian as well as esoteric applications.
One pedestrian application is to reanimate condign anger that has been worn smooth by guile or numbing repetition.
Remember the debacle at our consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012? Four Americans, including our ambassador to Libya, were killed by Muslim terrorists that night.
If it all seems murky, you can thank the assiduous efforts of team Obama, which swung into action to dissemble, obfuscate, and outright lie in the aftermath of that disaster. The culmination of those efforts came with Hillary Clinton’s testimony before Congress.
“What difference at this point does it make?” she angrily demanded.
Did anyone have the gumption to challenge her?
A little recollection might have come in handy on that occasion.
That’s often the case.
Another instance: André Gide was right when he wrote that “Toutes choses sont dites déjà, mais comme personne n’écoute, il faut toujours recommencer.” “Everything has already been said, but as no one was listening, it is always necessary to start again.”
Everyone who pays attention to politics knows what happened in the administration of Donald Trump.
Trump and his circle were accused of colluding with the Russians (not to mention consorting with micturating Russian prostitutes).
That lasted—the accusations—for nearly four years.
Then came the 2020 election, oddness incarnate.
The denouement of that entertainment came with the protests at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
But what do people think about that whole chronicle, from the surprising (many said “impossible”) election of Donald Trump in 2016 to the rumble at the Capitol and certification of Biden–Harris in January?
Approximately 75 million people, if not more, have misgivings about that entire story—the Robert Mueller “investigation,” the impeachments—note the plural—of Trump, the cloud of unknowing that surrounds the 2020 election, and the many, many questions that have emerged not only from the protest at the Capitol but, even more, from the government response to those protests.
An accurate recollection of those events isn’t easy to come by.
Which is why we must be grateful to Darryl Cooper, who, writing under the soubriquet @martyrmade, put together a remarkable aide mémoire in the form of a lengthy Twitter thread on July 8.
I wasn’t the only one to notice this public service bulletin.
The website The American Mind provided a transcription of the thread and then substituted an essay by Cooper, adding some fabric and body to the thread.
Tucker Carlson read most of the thread aloud on his television program, bringing enlightening recollection to millions.
Cooper succeeds brilliantly in his aim to sketch a “general theory” about the suspicion of “Boomer-tier Trump supporters” that the 2020 election was fraudulent.
It’s the same perspective, he notes, of “most of the people at the Capitol on 1/6” and, quite possibly, of Trump himself.
It begins in 2015, when the resources of the federal government were mobilized to spy on the Trump campaign, and then to frame various people close to candidate, then President Trump, and eventually to launch a full-throated criminal investigation of the Trump administration.
Cooper gets it exactly right: “The FBI/etc spied on the 2016 Trump campaign using evidence manufactured by the Clinton campaign. We now know that all involved knew it was fake from Day 1.”
Remember the Steele dossier, the fantastical document confected by the “well-regarded” British spook Christopher Steele?
It was the only relevant predicate for ordering FISA warrants against Carter Page and other U.S. citizens.
But the dossier was opposition research covertly paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign. It was a tissue of lies and fabrications.
Everyone involved (but not the media, which gleefully circulated and commented on it) knew all along it was garbage. But it was nonetheless used to deploy the awesome coercive power of the state against a presidential candidate of whom the ruling bureaucracy disapproved.
It was OK to subject Page and others to secret FBI investigations, to mount dawn raids (carefully coordinated with CNN so they could televise them) against the president’s colleagues.
Cooper limns the evolution of the story.
“We only learned the DNC paid for the manufactured evidence because of a court order. [James] Comey [disgraced former director of the FBI] denied on TV knowing the DNC paid for it, when we have emails from a year earlier proving that he knew.”
Penalty for that? Comey gets a huge book deal and tours the country denouncing Trump, to the gleeful satisfaction of his anti-Trump audiences.
Cooper is right: What was true of Comey was true of “everyone, from CIA Dir[ector John] Brennan & Adam Schiff—who were on TV saying they’d seen clear evidence of collusion w/Russia, while admitting under oath behind closed doors that they hadn’t—all the way down the line. In the end, we learned that it was ALL fake.”
It was all fake. Recollect that.
For a brief moment, it seemed almost OK because—we were assured—justice would be done.
Inspectors general were on the case, a new attorney general would clean house, John Durham (remember him?) was a tough, no-nonsense U.S. attorney who would get to the bottom of all the rottenness and make sure the people who had broken the law and trampled on the Constitution would be brought to justice.
Ha, ha, ha, ha.
“At first, many Trump ppl were worried there must be some collusion, because every media & intel agency wouldn’t make it up out of nothing. When it was clear that they had made it up, people expected a reckoning, and shed many illusions about their gov’t when it didn’t happen.”
You can say that again, especially the bit about shedding “many illusions about their government” when there was no reckoning.
Mike Flynn has his career ruined, and is bankrupted—for what? Meanwhile, Comey, Brennan, Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, and all the rest of the crew at the FBI, the CIA, and other intel agencies: what happened to them?
Nothing. They caught one FBI lawyer who altered an email in order to help get a FISA warrant. What happened to him? Probation. Probation!
So, Trump supporters “went from worrying the collusion must be real, to suspecting it might be fake, to realizing it was a scam, then watched as every institution—agencies, the press, Congress, academia—gaslit them for another year.”
That’s bad. But this from Cooper is worse: “collusion was used to scare people away from working in the administration. They knew their entire lives would be investigated. Many quit because they were being bankrupted by legal fees. The DoJ, press, & gov’t destroyed lives and actively subverted an elected admin.”
Emphasis mine, but justified by the reality the sentence describes.
And here is where we come to the turning point, the payload, the illumination of the recollection: “People whose political identity was largely defined by a naive belief in what they learned in Civics class began to see the outline of a Regime that crossed all institutional boundaries. Because it had stepped out of the shadows to unite against an interloper.”
This realization had, and is having, consequences. The disillusionment among conservatives was immense.
And it wasn’t directed only at the government.
Yes, the behavior of the government was terrible.
But its effect on the conservative populace—all 75 million voters—was compounded by the behavior of what Cooper calls “the corporate press,” which went all in trying to destroy Trump.
That’s what really radicalized the pro-Trump Right.
“They hate journalists more than they hate any politician or gov’t official, because they feel most betrayed by them.”
They see that the media is “the propaganda arm of the Regime they now see in outline. Nothing anyone says will ever make them unsee that, period. Now they see, correctly, that every institution is captured by ppl who will use any means to exclude them from the political process.”
Then, the Election
That’s where we were in the fall of 2020. Still, some residual faith in the system persisted, as people showed up in record numbers to vote for Trump.
Thirteen million more people voted for Trump in 2020 than voted for him in 2016.
Wow. But then, in the dead of night, odd things began to happen in four critical wing states, and only there.
Again, Cooper gets it exactly right: “Everything about the election was strange—the changes to procedure, unprecedented mail-in voting, the delays, etc.—but rather than admit that and make everything transparent, they [the media] banned discussion of it (even in DMs!).”
It wasn’t only the media, of course. It was also the governors and the regime apparat in the key states.
“It’s a fact that governors used COVID to unconstitutionally alter election procedures (the Constitution states that only legislatures can do so) to help Biden to make up for a massive enthusiasm gap by gaming the mail-in ballot system.”
Italics furnished free and for nothing on the word “unconstitutionally” in case you think acting in an unconstitutional way to alter elections results is a problem.
Apparently, the judges who heard complaints about election procedures in those states are not among those who think it is a big deal if governors violate the Constitution, not when the regime apparat is threatening riots across the country if the wrong person is elected.
It has six parts: “a) The entrenched bureaucracy & security state subverted Trump from Day 1, b) The press is part of the operation, c) Election rules were changed, d) Big Tech censors opposition, e) Political violence is legitimized & encouraged, f) Trump is banned from social media.”
Yes, there were many “rabbit holes” in the saga that began when Trump glided down the elevator in Trump Tower to announce his candidacy.
But the stinging reality is that the 75 million people who voted for Trump know that they were right: their government is “monopolized by a Regime that believes they [the 75 million] are beneath representation, and will observe no limits to keep them [from] getting it.”
Pathetic hacks in the anti-Trump media keep skirling about “the Big Lie,” whenever anyone has the temerity to point out these “inconvenient truths.”
But Darryl Cooper has done us all a service by providing a compact, fact-based summary of the salient points in the anti-Trump crusade of the past four years.
It’s useful to recollect the mountain peaks of this story.
Plato might be right that knowledge is recollection. But he was also onto something when, in another dialogue, he described knowledge as “justified true belief.”
Cooper has telegraphed the facts of this labyrinthine tale of deception and political malfeasance in a way that makes recollection easy.
He has also provided the elements out of which we may justify and argue for our belief in the deception and malfeasance.
Trump got it in one: “They’re after you. I’m just in the way.”
Don’t ever forget it.
Roger Kimball is the editor and publisher of The New Criterion and the publisher of Encounter Books. His most recent book is “Who Rules? Sovereignty, Nationalism, and the Fate of Freedom in the 21st Century.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.