The dangers of disinformation in a compelling novel

By Ande Jacobson

Teri Kanefield is many things. She’s a former appellate defense lawyer who helped those who couldn’t afford representation. She’s an educator who taught at the high school and college level. She’s an author who has published informative works of nonfiction as well as compelling novels. And most recently, she’s tirelessly working to educate the public in hopes of helping people understand the political and legal minefield that has been thrust upon us by the rising authoritarian threat. She’s paraphrased Max Weber in numerous blog posts and social media commentary regarding the three types of political authority. Those include:

  1. Traditional authority: Defined by long-held cultural patterns. These vary depending on the culture and can include religious or monarchical rulers.
  2. Charismatic authority: This is the foundation for a strongman or a dictator. This authority stems from one who captures the attention of the population, often through legitimate means, then often abuses that power.
  3. Rational-legal authority: This authority is based on a system of laws which is fundamental to a democracy.

Most recently, Kanefield has given her regular readers a gift. After researching and writing her upcoming book on disinformation, she wanted to do more. Seeing the damage that disinformation has done, and following the extraordinary saga that has taken the U.S. from being a world-leading democracy to the brink of an authoritarian takeover, she’s written a short novel that chronicles the path we’ve seen unfold over the last half century. She’s framed it within a fictional construct surrounding the confessions of a true believer who is faced with the horror that he helped unleash when it comes back to threaten his freedom and his life. To date, Kanefield released the story, entitled Memoirs and True Confessions of a Disinformation Warrior, in three lengthy posts on her blog, initially linked from the end of her 18 March 2023 entry about Trump’s imminent arrest. The pieces of the novel can be found here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Continue reading