Alex Jones is not really the problem
During the Sandy Hook civil trial, Alex Jones finally testified the truth that even the stinkbug on my windowsill already knew:
Jones admitted he’s a shameless, godless, despicable, irredeemable, sociopathic liar.
Best of all, he knows he’s lying as he gleefully cashes in from suckering his hundreds of thousands of fans who follow, love, believe, act on, or get a nasty hoot from his ugly lies.
Decent people don’t follow Jones.
But don’t cry for Alexander— he can easily pay the nearly $50 million in compensatory and punitive damages. It’s just the cost of doing Satan’s business for people who call themselves Christians.
Jones is far from alone. Disgraced former “president” Donald Trump, Trumpy candidates for governor and Congress, and the GOP that genuflects to Trump are cut from the same skid-marked Hanes cloth. So are Tucker Carlson and his Fox News and their Trumpy internet ilk.
They all spread vicious lies, sow hate and division, incite death threats against innocent people, and divert to knee-slapping claims that liberals are worse. (As if!) (I wish!)
Jones & Co. know they don’t care about making America greater. It’s all about leveraging poor angry misbegotten yokels for money and power. They’ll do anything for the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd, and the bucks that come with.
They know this. As SNL Kate McKinnon’s Dr. Wayne Wenowdis says, wenowdis.
Grubbing for millions obviously is why Jones repeatedly performed his execrably unspeakable Sandy Hook school mass shooting performance art that denied how real actual children were slaughtered and real actual parents are grieving.
Jones was merely responding to popular demand, giving his knuckle-dragging audience what they wanted to hear. His innocent victims who suffered even more from death threats he incited aren’t real people; they’re bit players in his repulsive narrative. Collateral damage in the war on truth.
But let’s face it: Jones and other enemies of truth, decency, democracy and America could never do what they do without their die-hard fans who happily gobble, swallow, and regurgitate whatever their media feeds them.
We celebrate voters who do the right thing for America.
Like the Kansas voters who overwhelmingly defeated the Trump Court Dobbs threat to our liberty, privacy and individual rights.
If we can cheer people who do the right thing, then why can’t we jeer people who do the wrong thing?
Such as Alex Jones followers who created and empower this monster and thrill in his monstrosities? Why do we let them off the hook for making Jones notorious, destructive and rich?
For that matter, why do we give Trump-suckered knuckleheads a pass for spreading deadly lies about the Covid pandemic and the 2020 election, loving or scoffing at the J6 insurrection, and denying the climate crisis?
Why do we let ourselves be guilted for holding our fellow citizens accountable for their destructive beliefs and actions? Especially in our citizen-run Constitutional republic? Especially when a minority of citizens are hurting all of us?
A recent Washington Post op-ed by a Kentucky writer complained, “The Kentucky flooding is horrific. So is some Democrats’ lack of sympathy.”
The writer was referring to online comments that Kentucky voters reaped what they sowed by electing climate-deniers starting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Such as, “Elect a turtle, learn to swim,” and, “Maybe it’s God’s punishment for being a bastion of ignorance and regression.”
I agree that while schadenfreude “I told you so” can feel sweetly righteous, it’s not right. Yet it’s not always completely wrong.
“I don’t wish the anger of the Fates on anyone,” a Washington Post reader responded. “However, I don’t see why citizens should not be held accountable for their actions.
“Kentucky has consistently sent representatives to Washington who have voted against all climate-change legislation, fair taxation and health care,” the writer said. “And they continue to do so. This accountability issue will affect the whole nation.”
The problem with Democrats is not what the Kentucky writer declared.
It’s not that we take pleasure in the misfortune of MAGAs. Quite the opposite.
We coddle and condescend the poor dears. Bless their hearts, they don’t know any better.
Just like there are no bad dogs, we say there are no bad people.
We say Alex Jones fans are innocent victims of his addictive, poisonous snake oil.
We empathize with their resentment against coastal “elites” as farm and factory communities are eviscerated by technology and globalization.
We explore their hate for fellow Americans who are not like them.
We explain the human tendency towards cognitive bias and motivated reasoning that makes Fox propaganda America’s #1 source of news.
We fret about the failure of our education system to teach critical thinking so that a steady diet of Fox News propaganda can addle even the steeliest mind that will deny it’s addled.
But we rarely call a spade a spade: Alex Jones fans are despicable people.
They’re undermining America and the fundamental values we declare of decency and honesty. Not to mention blaspheming everything Jesus stood for if they call themselves Christians.
During the 1950s Red Scare paranoia about communists under every bed, many innocent Americans were punished for unfounded accusations that they were “comsymp” fellow travelers bent on undermining our nation, democracy and values.
Alex Jones and his followers present a real and present danger. Why can’t we call them out? They firmly know what they know. They firmly believe what they believe. They have their InfoWars truth and internet “research” backing what they believe. Are they classic schoolyard bullies, too fragile to reap what they sow?
Even my windowsill stinkbug knows the answer.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.