NYT's Journalist Admits Trump Russia Collusion Narrative Was A Hoax
Admits Trump's anti-establishment message rang true in 2016, but doesn't acknowledge the establishment is worse now than in 2016.
In an OpEd article that appeared in the New York Times this past Thursday, Bret Stephens said that the narrative that Trump was colluding with Russian was a “hoax.” Stephens also stated that he was wrong to criticize Trump supporters in a broad swatch. I mean they were upset with the elite - sure.
What Trump’s supporters saw was a candidate whose entire being was a proudly raised middle finger at a self-satisfied elite that had produced a failing status quo.
Stephens tried to come to terms with the fact that the majority who voted for Trump in 2016 were voting against something - the “self-satisfied elite” - and that it might not be “unfounded or illegitimate” anger. Stephens outlines three recent ways in which the nation’s elites had betrayed the masses - bearing the brunt of post 9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the financial crisis of 2008, and the low-interest rates pre-Trump that were a bonanza for those with assets but “brutal” for the majority without investable assets.
Anger can take dumb or dangerous turns, and with Trump they often took both. But that didn’t mean the anger was unfounded or illegitimate, or that it was aimed at the wrong target.
Trump voters had a powerful case to make that they had been thrice betrayed by the nation’s elites. First, after 9/11, when they had borne much of the brunt of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, only to see Washington fumble and then abandon the efforts. Second, after the financial crisis of 2008, when so many were being laid off, even as the financial class was being bailed out. Third, in the post-crisis recovery, in which years of ultralow interest rates were a bonanza for those with investable assets and brutal for those without.
Stephens claims he was wrong not to attempt to understand why people supported Trump - despite Trump’s flaws. He even comes out and says what many conservative thinkers and writers have been ostracized and censored for saying for years - the whole Trump Russia collusion narrative was an “elaborate hoax.”
Nor were they impressed by Trump critics who had their own penchant for hypocrisy and outright slander. To this day, precious few anti-Trumpers have been honest with themselves about the elaborate hoax — there’s just no other word for it — that was the Steele dossier and all the bogus allegations, credulously parroted in the mainstream media, that flowed from it.
While Stephens admits that he was part of the “protected” class that did not see why a majority of Americans were fed up with the protected, “elite” class in 2016, he quickly makes his apologies, and then he continues to ignore the reality - without any attempt at true understanding - that the majority of Americans today have little to no faith in our government. Biden’s approval rate has recently been below 30% to the mid-to-high 30% depending on the day of the week or the pollster.
So, Stephens says he’s sorry he was mean to Trump supporters and admits that the Trump Russia collusion story was a complete hoax - a fabrication. So what? Stephens does not call for any prosecution or accountability of those who invented and promoted this hoax. NO - an admission that it was all a hoax is apparently enough. Stephens - still part of the “protected” class - has spoken. He’s “apologized” for being so hard on the downtrodden, lower, “unprotected” classes who fought in or whose children fought in the post-9/11 wars that made the elites wealthier and governments more controlling and omnipotent. He’s acknowledged that the elites continue to become more economically powerful - that’s it. Move along.
A final question for myself: Would I be wrong to lambaste Trump’s current supporters, the ones who want him back in the White House despite his refusal to accept his electoral defeat and the historic outrage of Jan. 6?
Morally speaking, no. It’s one thing to take a gamble on a candidate who promises a break with business as usual. It’s another to do that with an ex-president with a record of trying to break the Republic itself.
I acknowledged you may have had a reason to listen to Trump in 2016, Stephens says. Now shut up and stop whining that the 2020 election was stolen seems to be his current refrain. Election fraud is a lie, a fabrication - it never happened - Stephens assures in his condemnation of Trump asserting election fraud in 2020.
Where did we hear that line before? Oh, when the DNC and Hillary’s campaign fabricated the whole Trump - Russia collusion story? It’s not fabricated. Trump colluded with Russia - it’s true. Oops, maybe not?
Like many who condemn the populist (anti-elite, anti-tyranny, anti-big government) movement today, Stephens misses the point. This is not about Trump - it is about the fact that leaders of our country (federal, state, and local) have not felt for a long time that they need be accountable to the citizens who elect them. Those ruling (the emperors) have no clothes and the public can plainly see that more clearly now.
This is where I typically find common ground when talking to the left. You have to bring them around to this is all of us against an elite who have lost sight of the fact that they’re job is to serve us. I had one woman at a carnival last week who was attacking the county GOP booth and telling us we were all insane. I used the same explanation of what we believe that this NYT guy did, and in the end she was crying and agreeing and hugging us. Truth sets people free, but we ruin a lot of opportunities by losing our patience and by fighting with them. We have the truth. They don’t. It’s our job to convey it in a way that compels them to join us.