Ever since the Trump administration announced that it was no longer recognizing the legitimacy of the elected government of Venezuela I’ve been arguing with people on social media about this president’s brazen coup attempt in that country. The people arguing with me in favor of Trump’s interventionism are almost exclusively Trump supporters, with leftists and antiwar libertarians more or less on my side with this issue and rank-and-file centrists mostly preferring to sit this one out except to periodically mumble something about it being a distraction from the Mueller investigation.
I engage in these arguments not because I enjoy fighting with strangers on the internet, but because it helps me get an idea of what propaganda narratives have been seeded throughout various political sectors. Take a stand online and you’ll quickly have people running up to you saying, in effect, “My media echo chamber told me I’m supposed to disagree with you about that,” and spelling out what they’ve been told to believe.
I have not received a single robust argument in favor of Trump’s Venezuela interventionism, but I have received a whole lot of really, really stupid ones. Here are the top five most common and most astonishingly idiotic of them:
1. “Socialism is bad!”
Me: US interventionism is always disastrous and it always lies about its reasons for targeting South American and oil-rich nations.
Tsunami of Trump supporters: SOCIALISM IS BAD THO
— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) January 25, 2019
This one is easily the most common and most stupid of all the arguments I’ve been receiving. I’m not familiar enough with pro-Trump punditry to be able to describe how the MAGA crowd got it into their heads that attacking…