The authoritarian right wing and their talking heads on radio, tv, and social media relentlessly stoke the anti-government, anti-semitic, anti-corporate, homo and transphobic, misogynist, and racist feelings of a frightenly large section of white people. In their spin, covid is no worse than the annual flu. Vaccines are a hoax. Invermectin is a proven cure. Masks and safety protocols are the stuff of fools and government overreach. Neither scientists nor science can be believed. The “deep state,” liberal think tanks, Big Pharma, and Anthony Fauci, a Jew, are plotting against America. And Trump is right and Biden – “Let’s go, Brandon!” – is wrong.

These messengers of lies, peddlers of death and conspiracies, and the front edge of a creeping tyranny are embedded in the country’s (dis)information ecosystem and won’t go away. Countering them is only one challenge, but big one at that for the diverse, majoritarian coaltion fighting for a future that upholds humankind’s most noble ideals.