As the cable news networks and Donald J. Trump continue onward together in their daily broadcasts for popular attention (and whatever corporate or political gain they hope to embrace), the issue remains, Why do they believe “The Big Lie”? The ammunition is directed at the Republicans for the most part and certainly at the mysterious pool of Trump supporters which allegedly prevails (though growingly with less and less authenticity). The reputed Trump insurrectionists are steadily cast as a blow-up rental version of Confederate militarists and white supremacists. The other reprise on the networks is the disgraceful conduct of Republican Congressmen and Senators who have with ignominy contradicted the truth for personal gain. The unfortunate Marjorie Taylor-Greene has in the process acquired the familiarity of Alfred E. Newman. I put her survival in the same arena.
Alfred E. Neuman is the fictitious mascot and cover boy of the American humor magazine Mad. The character’s distinct smiling face, parted red hair, gap-tooth smile, freckles, protruding nose, and scrawny body, actually first emerged in U.S. iconography decades prior to his association with the magazine, appearing in late nineteenth-century advertisements for painless dentistry—the origin of his “What, me worry?” motto. However, he actually first appeared in advertisements for an 1894 play, called “The New Boy”, which portrayed a variation of him with the quote, “What‘s the good of anything?—Nothing!”. He also appeared in the early 1930s, on a presidential campaign postcard with the caption “Sure I’m for Roosevelt”. The magazine’s editor Harvey Kurtzman claimed the character in 1954, and he was named “Alfred E. Neuman” by Mad‘s second editor, Al Feldstein, in 1956. Since his debut in Mad, Neuman’s likeness has appeared on the cover of all but a handful of the magazine’s over 550 issues. Rarely seen in profile, Neuman has almost always been recognizable in front view, silhouette, or directly from behind.
Why it is that Americans – and the public generally – are so seemingly confused by the current posture of the Republican GOP is extraordinary considering the accepted mantra of opposing claimants generally; namely, victory at all costs. Nonetheless it is as offensive as hearing a Roman Catholic priest level indignity upon an unwed mother. Some things just don’t wash.
I suspect it astonishes people that there is apparently no mechanism to contradict what for most of us is an outright lie – a fiction supported by no credible evidence. It should be a no-brainer yet it has at the behest of some vague authority prevailed. Such is the discourtesy of humanity that the matter has descended to a dog fight.
“Yet the intellect of Guildford was clear, his industry great, his proficiency in letters and science respectable, and his legal learning more than respectable. His faults were selfishness, cowardice, and meanness. He was not insensible to the power of female beauty, nor averse from excess in wine. Yet neither wine nor beauty could ever seduce the cautious and frugal libertine, even in his earliest youth, into one fit of indiscreet generosity. Though of noble descent, he rose in his profession by paying ignominious homage to all who possessed influence in the courts. He became Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and as such was party to some of the foulest judicial murders recorded in our history. He had sense enough to perceive from the first that Oates and Bedloe were impostors: but the Parliament and the country were greatly excited: the government had yielded to the pressure; and North was not a man to risk a good place for the sake of justice and humanity. Accordingly, while he was in secret drawing up a refutation of the whole romance of the Popish plot, he declared in public that the truth of the story was as plain as the sun as plain as the sun in heaven, and was not ashamed to browbeat, from the seat of judgment, the unfortunate Roman Catholics who were arraigned before him for their lives. He had at length reached the highest post in the law. But a lawyer, who, after many years devoted to professional labour, engages in politics for the first time at an advanced period of life, seldom distinguishes himself as a statesman; and Guildford was no exception to the general rule. He was indeed so sensible of his deficiencies that he never attended the meetings of his colleagues on foreign affairs. Even on questions relating to his own profession his opinion had less weight at the Council board than that of any man who has ever held the Great Seal. Such as his influence was, however, he used it, as far as he dared, on the side of the laws.”
Excerpt From: Thomas Babington Macaulay. “The History of England, from the Accession of James II — Volume 1.”