Hillary Clinton first warned us about a “vast right-wing conspiracy” during the Presidency of her husband, Bill Clinton. So did Larry Flynt. For decades the Right has spent (and made) billions creating its own media, think tanks and universities, as well as its own reality and facts. More insidiously, rightwingers have also bought up our publicly owned airwaves to dupe the masses.
Jen Senko’s World War II veteran father was a victim of such brainwashing. Frank Senko had been a lifelong Democrat who loved everyone. Then he began listening to Rush Limbaugh and forwarding all those emails about “card-carrying liberals” who want to take away our guns and hope to see the country overrun by “illegals” and African Americans. The “lefties” would commit voter fraud, criminalize Republicanism and force everyone into FEMA camps, where they’d be forced to have abortions and get gay-married. Hell, Frank was led to believe, these were the “real” stories that the “liberal media” was refusing to tell. And of course they were all true because, goddammit, Fox News said so!
Frank didn’t just suddenly disagree with his daughter’s politics; he became incensed whenever anything political came up. As Jen Senko details in her documentary The Brainwashing of My Dad, she first noticed her father’s transformation while home for a visit some years ago. They were driving past a Hooters restaurant, and Frank said “he was really pissed off that some Feminazis” were troubled by it. When Jen said she understood their concerns, Frank became even angrier. “He threatened to pull the car over and let me hitchhike home.”