Kellyanne Conway, former counselor to President Trump, coined the term “alternative facts” while explaining how facts weren’t important when they didn’t support the president’s narrative. By continuing to berate everyone in their path, Trump loyalists insisted facts that went against them could be deflected by calling them “fake news” or coining phrases like “media mob,” “enemies of the state,” “witch hunts,” or anything condescending that could rile and solidify their base.

With Trump out of office, one would think society could move away from the hyperbole. Instead the loyalists criticize every Biden policy with “make America last” whines and talk about open borders while claiming Biden wants to take away everyone’s guns and freedom.

Is it because, even without evidence to support it, Trump supporters still believe the 2020 election was stolen and rigged when it wasn’t? Seventy lawsuits dismissed and the Supreme Court saying no credible evidence to support further investigation isn’t enough for the diehards. Last month, an angry Trump pundit asked, “So are you saying there were absolutely no illegal votes cast in the 2020 election?” The answer was “nothing that supports widespread election fraud claims” and not enough votes to come close to changing results.

How about the same question for 2016 election; the pundit did not want to talk about that. We should move off Trump bashing but that becomes difficult every time another Trump lie is perpetuated.

At CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) in late February, leading up to former President Trump’s first political speech since his defeat to President Biden, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was a headliner on day one, shortly after his ill-timed trip to Cancun while fellow Texans were under siege. Cruz used the stage for one of the fieriest speeches in his career. He downplayed recent apologies (after all he was just trying to be a good daddy taking his kids on vacation to escape what his constituents couldn’t), doubling down with a speech that was combination stand-up comic sketch and a fire-and-brimstone religious revival.

Cruz mocked wearing masks into restaurants and then taking them off as soon as you sit down, theorizing (jokingly) COVID must be spread only when you are vertical so sitting down must make you immune, adding we are destined to wear masks (one, two or more at a time) for the next 300 years. This, a year after Trump downplayed COVID saying it would go away in spring with warmer weather and was no more dangerous than the common flu. A year to the day from Sean Hannity of FOX News going on air with a monologue that zero Americans had died from COVID-19. It’s not funny Ted; 500,000-plus now dead in a year compared to around 20,000 from flu in 2019, even with mask wearing and precautions well above flu prevention policies.

Worse was Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, who made a name for himself as a Trump defender continuing the assault on election legitimacy despite no credible proof (including Mike Lindell, the pillow guy’s documentary headscratcher). He continued questioning the integrity of states like Georgia, where claims that machines were rigged and illegal votes counted were still being repeated after hand recounts and voter verification checks showed otherwise, showing how far some Republicans continue to go to mollify Trump supporters. This is still Trump’s party.

Mitch McConnell saying he’ll “absolutely support Trump for President in 2024” is beyond understandable weeks after his forceful speech condemning Trump, after Trump’s acquittal on impeachment, for creating an insurrection at our Capitol Building. Hard to understand how Trump still owns the Republican Party.

After a month of not getting Trump’s emails, one came the other day to “Friend” saying “Joe Biden threatens ALL President Trump was able to accomplish….” It was not from Trump himself anymore, but rather from “GOP Update.” It was obvious the same people helped write it because they continue to use CAPS to make sure their message is understandable and URGENT. The 1,000% match is gone, now down to 200% (who matches? they never mention that).

What it tells us is that not only will Biden not be given any chance to succeed by this group; they are hell bent on defining the Republican Party by Trump and what he stands for. Perhaps the rest of us should take note; while CPAC proclaimed Biden was taking away all liberties, including guns and the rights to protect ourselves, they also proclaimed freedom of speech was the central issue at stake. Cruz said “cancel culture” (Twitter canceling Trump’s account) was rampart and that the Republican Party believed you should be able to say anything, anywhere, no matter whether it is true or not. Just then, in the middle of his diatribe, if someone in the audience had yelled “fire” or “there’s a shooter in the house” would that have been OK?

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“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved — loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” — Victor Hugo, novelist (1802-1885)