The most dangerous implication of this election is that tens of millions accept a fictitious world created by an autocrat and marketed by Fox News.

The most dangerous implication of this election is that tens of millions accept a fictitious world created by an autocrat and marketed by Fox News.
This is going to be a scorched earth column, so buckle up.
Yes, former Vice President Joe Biden may squeak out a victory. But even if he does, weve been slapped with the heartbreaking reality that nearly half our country voted for President Donald Trump after spending four years watching him spew unbridled bigotry, engage in blatant corruption, and tell so many lies youd need a magnifying glass to read the Washington Post’s running list of false and misleading claims.
My best friend just called in disgust to say he did not recognize this country. Unfortunately, I do. Its the same country that built itself largely on the backs of slaves who had their most basic human rights stolen and whose descendants, more than 150 years after emancipation, still carry the weight of the chains that held them down.
Its the same country that closed its eyes to Matthew Shepard, beaten and broken and tied to a fence in rural Wyoming, where he was left to die because he was gay.
And its the same country where you can see countless cell phone videos of people telling Latino Americans to speak English or “stay in Mexico” or go back” to where they came from. 
Our better and worse angels
True, slightly more than half the country voted to repudiate Trump. But thats little consolation because those who chose Trump did not do so out of a simple difference of political opinion on which reasonable minds can differ. We can tease out each strand of the strangle knot, but in the end this election was a contest between our better and worse angels.
We were always imperfect but America was great, in part, because of what we aspired to be:  Land of the free, where hard work and equality meant everyone had a shot at earning a piece of the pie. We were born a mosaic of diversity and we celebrated it.
But thats not what Trumps America wants to see when they look through the window of history. They want to see their own reflection. And despite Trumps success in leading a 67-million-person chorus of Make America Great Again, its just a TV jingle. 
Protest in Philadelphia on Nov. 4, 2020.
None of the policies enacted under the Trump-branded theme song have done anything to actually make America great. Tax cuts for the wealthiest,fighting the promise of universal health care, lethal mismanagement of a pandemic, use of the Justice Department for political gain and a personal financial windfall these are the cornerstones of a presidency best characterized by golf and failure. While half of us were repelled, the other half voted for more.
Face up to it, Democrats: We’re a center left democracy hijacked by Trump and Republicans
People need to stop acting perplexed about how the polls could be so wrong. How they could show Biden up by 7 points in Michigan and still end up with a race that is almost evenly split. I never again want to hear the phrase margin of error. Trump knows what happened and most of us do too, if were willing to say it out loud. 
A lot of people are buying the bigotry and division that Trump is selling they just dont want their family, friends, and neighbors to know it, so they dont tell the pollsters. Theyre scarfing down a Big Mac in their car, in the dark corner of a McDonalds parking lot, before heading home and pretending to enjoy a plate of baked chicken and broccoli.
Fictitious world marketed by Fox News
Perhaps the most dangerous implication of this election is the willingness of tens of millions of Americans to reject unpleasant realities and accept a fictitious world created by an autocrat and marketed by co-conspirator Fox News. They dont want to believe that almost a quarter-million people just like them could be alive one minute and body bagged the next. And so, they choose to believe Trumps rounding the corner announcement claiming hes conquered the coronavirus pandemic even as the infection rate is hitting record highs even as my partner called me two hours ago to say hes got a fever, has been vomiting, and is too sick to stay at the hospital where he works.
Hard 2020 lessons: Democrats counted on money and Hispanic voters to deliver a blue wave. They didn’t.
If things were not bad enough, Trump pronounced Tuesday night that hed won the election and demanded an end to vote counting in states where he is ahead, while simultaneously insisting that the count continue in states where he is trailing. Trump then threatened to take his plan to steal the election to the Supreme Court, where he appointed a third of the judges and expects a warm reception. He’s already filed lawsuits in Michigan and Pennsylvania (to stop the vote count), demanded a recount in Wisconsin and “claimed” to have won several states before they were decided.
I cant believe were here again. I cant believe that nearly half my fellow Americans have embraced a man so singularly focused on satisfying himself, hed bite his mothers breast if sweeter milk caught his eye.
When all is said and done, Trump may be defeated in a close call. But I fear Trumpism, and the ugliness it reflects, are here to stay.
Michael J. Stern, a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors, was a federal prosecutor for 25 years in Detroit and Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter: @MichaelJStern1 
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