It’s not overstating to say the Democrats have been trying to impeach President Donald Trump since Day One of his White House term — since before Day One even, when he was still taking laps in the winner’s circle and inauguration was just stepping into planning mode.
But there’s a growing, troubling anti-Trump hatchet trend in town and it’s called Anonymous.
Democrats may talk a big transparency-in-government talk. Yet they’re walking in secrecy. They’re cloaking their political designs in darkness.
First came the secret media sources, the secret op-ed writers. Newspapers that once scorned Anonymous and shied from citing unnamed sources suddenly starting publishing them with eyebrow-raising frequency — for the good of national security, for the safety of the American citizen, dontcha know.
Then came the secret whistleblowers, carting with them whole new definitions of what constitutes a whistleblower, and foisting onto the public entire new rules and regulations of just what protections these supposed whistleblowers are to receive, and by whom.
Now Democrats have a secret author, a so-called “senior Trump administration official” who, a year after penning a secret op-ed in The New York Times about the horrors of this White House, just wrote and released the longer version, “A Warning.” In it, the author described Trump’s leadership style as chaotic and crazy, and said that officials awaken each day in “full-blown panic,” wondering what troubles might come in the looming hours from the president’s Twitter account.
“It’s like showing up at the nursing home at daybreak to find your elderly uncle running pantsless across the courtyard and cursing loudly about the cafeteria food, as worried attendants tried to catch him,” the author wrote, The Washington Post reported, in an excerpt.
That’s just one glimpse of what’s sure to be pages upon pages of anti-Trumpisms — of stories sold as evidence of why Trump is terrible.
But let’s remember: The author is Anonymous.
We don’t know if this author is a friend or foe to Trump — or even, for that matter, to the American people. This is the dawn of open socialism in U.S. government, after all.
Yet Anonymous is already making a massive splash in the media.
On Friday, The Hill ran three stories, with these three headlines, in one tight grouping on its “Just In” page: First, “New book by anonymous op-ed author details the challenge of briefing the president.” Second, “Anonymous op-ed writer claims senior Trump officials considered resigning in ‘midnight self-massacre:’ book.” And third, “Maddow: Anonymous op-ed author details ‘steady state’ that kept ‘wheels from coming off the White House wagon.’”
Let the frenzy begin. The headlines, taken together, serve as a good teaching moment in how the left, with the help of the media, use Anonymous to push an impeachment message.
First comes Anonymous. Then come the Trump haters in the media to bring out the pundits and analysts to confirm and give credence to Anonymous. Then comes the wash, rinse and repeat. A few media cycles later, Anonymous has become Fact. Because, after all, nothing says fact like repetition, right?
Psychologists call it the “illusion of truth.” Joseph Goebbels called it the law of propaganda. Either way, it’s the principle that if a lie is repeated long enough and loud enough, it becomes truth.
Anonymous is not tantamount to truth. And this republic cannot survive in darkness.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.