I feel like I’ve seen this movie before

Like an addict returning to his dealer to get his fix, I, a political junkie, find myself returning to Twitter again and again and again to get the latest in the ongoing election drama. 

What I’ve found over the last few week was some variation of the same stories every day.  The President’s team lost in court.  New, previously uncounted ballots have been found.  Eye witnesses sign affidavits alleging irregularities.  The voting machines have been hacked.  And always, hanging over all of this, is the single word fraud.  Fraud, fraud, FRAUD!

The word seems to be everywhere and is being used in multiple contexts.  Like everyone else, I’ve been hearing about the mounting evidence.  I’ve been hearing about the rigged voting machines. I’ve been hearing about the observers being denied access.  I’ve been hearing about the force ghosts of the deceased casting ballots for Biden.  I’ve been hearing about the precincts with a 125% voter turnout.   And I’ve been hearing about the immanent release of the Kraken. 

And all of this drama is starting to remind me of something I’ve felt before, several times before, actually.  At first, I couldn’t place my finger on it.  But this morning, as I scrolled through the latest news stories on my phone, I finally figured it out when I ran across a story about the latest Star Wars project. 

There was an instant click in my brain and I realized that this election drama reminds me of the latest Star Wars movies. 

No, I’m not referring to the movies themselves.  I’m referring to the massive publicity campaigns that went into the latest sequel trilogy.

I remember 2015 when episode seven came out.  Then episode eight in 2017.  And, of course, episode nine a little under a year ago.  And I remember the massive amount of hype and publicity that preceded each of these movies.

I remember toys coming with every happy meal and I remember commercials everywhere you looked.   You couldn’t turn around without tripping over something that had a Star Wars advertisement stapled to it.  When it came time to get new tooth brushes for the kids, they wanted the ones with the Star Wars droids on them. When it came time to go grocery shopping, we had to get the Star Wars gummies. It was all encompassing.  

I remember thinking just how unnecessary this was.  I mean, they were the long awaited Star Wars sequels.  They were the story of Luke and Leia and Han and what happened to them after the Death Star blew up and they did their happy dance with the Ewoks on Endor.  Who wasn’t going to see these movies?  Some of us had literally waited our entire lives for this.  Was all of this advertising really necessary? 

Well, as it turns out, there was a good reason for it.

The reason these movies were so hyped before hand was simple: the end product, the movies themselves, were pretty mundane.  They weren’t terrible (well, OK, one of them was, in fact, pretty terrible), but they weren’t that great either.  Truth be told, if these movies had been in a position where they had to stand on their own without the Star Wars name attached, if they’d had to stand on their own without the months long carpet-bombing campaign of advertisements telling us how great they were going to be, then they probably wouldn’t have made it.  The hype was greater than the end result.

That’s the feeling I get lately when I scroll through Twitter and see story after story telling me about how massive and undeniable and shocking the evidence of voter fraud is.  This is the feeling I get when they tell me that I’ll be blown away when I see it and I just need to wait.  I get the feeling that the hype is going to be greater than the end result.

I could be wrong.  I hope I’m wrong.  I voted for President Trump and believe he would be better for our country by far than Mr. Biden.  I also believe that there was some voter fraud that went on this election.  Whether that will change the results is something I’m not so sure about.  The real question is: Will Team Trump be able to convince the judges who look at the evidence?

In the end, people are going to believe what they want to believe.  Those who want to believe the president rightfully won the election are going to find massive evidence for fraud everywhere they look.  Those on the opposite side, are going to fail to see any evidence at all, even if it’s right in front of their face.  And when it’s over, one of those two sides will remain absolutely convinced that they were cheated.

We all have our bias in this regard, including the judges who will be looking at the case.  We can’t get rid of these biases but we can do the next best thing; that is be aware of them. 

When I keep my own bias in mind and remember that it may be coloring my view of the situation in a way that distorts reality, I come away with the unshakable feeling that all of this evidence for fraud is turning into a really bad movie with a really great publicity campaign.

You can follow this author on Twitter @SearlTom or on Parler @SearlTom.

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