By Judy Gordon, DPSC Secretary
“During the dog days, politicians are in the Maine woods fishing and boozing, burglars are too tired to burgle, and wives think it over and decide not to decapitate their husbands.” Thus begins “The Silly Season,” a science fiction story by C. M. Kornbluth written in 1950.
The silly season is the summer when nothing newsworthy happens. So every year, to fill space and capture eyeballs, the nation’s newspapers publish stories of UFO sightings. But with the media treating these sightings as a hoax year after year, readers inevitably lose interest. The few people reporting UFO sightings are considered hysterical.
Until . . . the summer the Martians invaded, catching us earthlings off guard and “. . .under whose yoke and lash we now endure our miserable existences.”
The Silly Season is a boy-who-cried-wolf cautionary tale about normalizing the unthinkable. Today, countless undemocratic MAGA behaviors are becoming normalized—among them, political threats and violence, racism, homophobia and transphobia, misogyny, book banning, censoring our history, claiming elections were stolen, and voter suppression.
The public, especially young people, increasingly rely on social media for their news, exposing them to even more lies and unproven claims. The ability to choose media that conform to one’s ideology has made right-wing outlets human foie gras farms where MAGA adherents are force fed, albeit voluntarily, misinformation and hate. Exposed to the hype and repetition of the 24-hour news cycles, even well-meaning people become numb and tune out, leaving them unaware that assaults on democracy are real, not hoaxes, hysteria, or the fever dreams of Democrats.
We must ensure voters know that Democrats are fighting for a brighter, more equal future for everyone; that we will continue to deliver on the economy, education, healthcare, and the environment; and that we will protect civil rights, freedom, and democracy itself. The day when our country toils under the yoke of MAGA or the lash of fascism must never arrive.