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Postmodernism used to be safely contained in petri dishes at places like Yale and Duke, where craggy old leftists like Stanley Fish postulated that objective truth is a myth. All truth is relative.

Then the fungus grew and grew and grew. It burst out of the laboratory, into the study halls and smashed through the ivied windows. Soon “The Blob” of relative truth was lurching into American culture and oozing from the eye sockets of American political activists and politicians. Mostly on the left.

Life once again was imitating art.

The Blob is “indescribable … indestructable, nothing can stop it!” the movie posters once screamed in 1958.

Today The Blob is firmly ensconced in American life, and in the nature of untamed organic matter it is moving in the most unpredictable ways – up and down, to and fro, and, most inexplicably, left to right.

If Kari Lake says it’s reality, it is. Period

On Saturday, the Trump darling, Kari Lake, became the nation’s most prominent mouthpiece of postmodernism as she strutted across the CPAC stage like a Roman gladiator.

“I won an epic battle in Arizona. We drove a stake through the heart of the McCain machine,” she said with a stabbing motion.

The “McCain machine,” you ask? What is she talking about?

5 things to watch:In Arizona governor’s race between Katie Hobbs and Kari Lake

Well, that is the completely authentic, don’t-you-dare-reject-it reality of Kari Lake, winner of the Arizona GOP primary for governor.

If she feels it, it is.

You may stand back and puzzle, is that the McCain machine that so captured the Arizona Republican Party that in 2014 it censured him by a vote of 1,150 to 351? The party so controlled by McCain it declared him “disastrous and harmful” to the state and nation?

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Some of the more impertinent among you might ask, “Has Kari Lake noticed that John McCain is dead?”

Never mind that there is no ‘McCain machine’

Who are his heirs? Who succeeded him in “the arena,” as his hero Teddy Roosevelt once described the public realm?

It wasn’t Martha McSally. She, among Arizonans, most reflected his school of American exceptionalism, but the McCain family disliked her. Intensely.

It’s not Cindy McCain. The McCain machine may have been all powerful, but even John couldn’t stop Cindy’s lurch to the left in 2008 when she opposed, with mouth taped shut, California’s Proposition 8 to ban gay marriage. Bully for her, she thinks for herself.

It’s not the McCain kids. They’ve stayed out of the “the arena.”

So comes the question, meekly asked, exactly what was Kari Lake stabbing?

Well, shut up.

Your critical thinking is a diversion and sooo yesterday. Postmodernism is now. It’s current. It’s cool. It’s Kari.

Lake sees fraud where others see none

There may have been real election audits performed by election officials, and there may have been a Republican governor, Republican members of the Board of Supervisors, a Republican Speaker of the House who affirmed the 2020 Arizona election was valid and honest. There may have been Republican judges, governors and election officials all across the country who said the 2020 national election was on the up-and-up.

But here’s what Thoroughly Postmodern Kari told the CPAC audience in Dallas:

“Rigged elections have consequences.”

“Stolen elections have consequences.”

“None of this would be happening if the man who truly won the election was sitting in the Oval Office.”

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“I can tell you right now without a doubt that this vote is more secure than the 2020 vote in Arizona. We know there’s no dead people voting.”

It’s all part of the same losing playbook

Donald Trump may have been masterful at winning people to his cause. But he was more masterful at turning others against it. Republicans have reminded him over and over that politics is a game of addition not subtraction, but to no avail.

Kari Lake is using his same strategy.

“We have to be willing to be attacked,” Lake told the CPAC audience. “And we’ve got to be willing to lose a friend or two. Or 50.”

“I think I’ve lost about 150.”

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The only time Donald Trump and John McCain were on a statewide Arizona ballot together was in 2016. And Trump left a lot of friends – a lot of voters – on the table.

Trump won his race by 3.5 points. McCain won his by 13 points.

If you’re searching for a McCain machine, there it is. Right there.

And Kari Lake hasn’t driven a stake through it.

Phil Boas is an editorial columnist for The Arizona Republic. Email him at [email protected].

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