Donald Trump thinks millions of foreigners voted illegally for his rival. Nicolás Maduro believes inflation is unrelated to monetary aggregates and is instead induced by business interests arrayed against him.

Both claims are false. That almost goes without saying. What’s more interesting is that they’re false in a specific kind of way. They’re transparently false. They’re false in a way that anyone with a minimal capacity to evaluate evidence and think critically can spot within seconds. Both claims are put forward not just in the absence of evidence to support them, but revelling in that absence. Both claims wear their own baselessness as a badge of pride, a statement of identity, a principio de vida.

Donald Trump believes millions of foreigners voted illegally for his rival because Alex Jones told him so. Nicolás Maduro believes inflation is unrelated to monetary aggregates and is instead by business interests arrayed against him because Alfredo Serrano told him so.

Alex Jones and Alfredo Serrano are straight-up charlatans — snake oil salesmen with long track records of making barely coherent, demonstrably false statements on complex matters they plainly haven’t begun to grasp.

Believing — and being seen to believe — Alex Jones is a statement of identity for Donald Trump.

The most notable thing we learn when we find out Donald Trump thinks millions of people voted illegally for his rival is that he lacks the minimal, rock-bottom capacity for critical thought it takes to spot Alex Jones as a charlatan.

The most notable thing we learn when we find out Nicolás Maduro thinks inflation is induced by business interests arrayed against him is that he lacks the minimal, rock-bottom capacity for critical thought it takes to spot Alfredo Serrano as a charlatan.

Believing — and being seen to believe — Alex Jones is a statement of identity for Donald Trump. Because Donald Trump has constructed his political identity in opposition to the kinds of people who evaluate Alex Jones claims, note the galloping absence of evidence to back them, roll their eyes and pronounce him a transparent fraud. You know who they are…the coastal elites, the globalists, the latté-sipping, NYT-reading smug assholes who turn out to moonlight as the people who have some semblance of an idea WTF they’re talking about.

Believing — and being seen to believe — Alfredo Serrano is a statement of identity for Nicolás Maduro. Because Nicolás Maduro has constructed his political identity in opposition to the kinds of people who evaluate Alfredo Serrano’s claims, note the galloping absence of evidence to back them, roll their eyes and pronounce him a transparent fraud. You know who they are…the vacas sagradas, the pelucones, the scotch-sipping, Caracas Chronicles-reading smug assholes who turn out to moonlight as the people who have some semblance of an idea WTF they’re talking about.

The point of believing them is annoying us. That’s the purpose of the exercise: declaring independence from — hell, contempt for — anyone with a minimal capacity for critical thought, for evaluating evidence with a modicum of sophistication, for thinking, coño.

It’s a fantastically dangerous game the gringos are playing now. We should know.

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