(not-Americans, please don’t read because you will want to bomb us).
When The Pisser King “won” the election, one of my first thoughts was: oh great, now we’ll get days of the left trying to figure out how this was our fault. The grim festival of blame-laying among progressives/the left/Democrats: Do you wish it would stop already, for the love of all that is left to cling to? So do I.
“Comey; The Russians; Wiki Leaks; Tim Kaine was boring; Hillary was a bad candidate/too shrill and she won the popular vote so doesn’t count; Bernie was an egomaniac who couldn’t bear to get out of the race; the heinous and frightening acts of right-wing voter suppression; the unending anti-Hillary propaganda machine; the “Bernie surely would have won”; the cheating, plus too many of us are sexist, racist and stupid, and we forgot to sew the noble white laborer into our quilt of justice.”
The election swung on so few votes in the critical swing states that a logical case could be made for just about any theory (to that end I blame myself for not heading to my birthplace to swing Pennsylvania. Sorry Hillary you deserved better, I let you down and I know it). But basically, the lame stream media done it. By “it,” I mean degraded our political ecosystem to such an extent that Donald J. Trump was elected president. Right-wing media did more than any other entity to make this possible.
By “lame stream media,” I mean pretty much all conservative media, from the Alex Joneses and the Breitbarts to the David Brookses and the Wall Street Journals to the sewer that is Fox Nooz (The Fear-Mongering Propaganda Machine That’s Dividing This Nation).
Look, there is simply no way to make the conservative policy agenda sound nice without bullshitting. The things that conservatives want – lower taxes on wealth, less environmental protection, less help to the poor, etc., – are not good ideas, so those espousing them must try to bullshit us. We will help more people by helping fewer of them, and we will collect more taxes when we cut them. Insinuation and hyperbole and question begging and no details, retreating into vague appeals to our freedoms. “Bullshit”, basically.
Who was it that relentlessly and over multiple decades portrayed Hillary Clinton as a scheming criminal when her actual record was that of a dynamic progressive feminist and advocate in her inner younger days and later a typical center-left politician, and nearly always cleaner than her detractors’?
Who worked the bellows of the Tea Party, birthers, idiots obsessed with death panels FEMA camps, gun grabbing and martial law, none of which ever materialized nor were ever likely to? Who fanned fear of immigrants and Muslims and “urban youth” and socialism and women’s bodies, and atheism and other things that are not particularly dangerous, while denying that we are globally killing ourselves with fossil fuel emissions? Who took safety laws, trigger warnings and safe spaces and morphed them from little things that barely even existed at liberal colleges into dastardly, outrageous threats to the Republic?
Who made it so that Republican members of Congress are shitting their pants over the possibility of primary challenges from their own party? (Gerrymandering and) the right-wing media, of course!
Who saw that there was an enormous amount of money to be made in telling a regular sort of person who is frightened of change, and maybe a little bit mean, that they are right to be hateful and fearful? (like most things terrible things in this country, it goes back to Reagan. In 1987, when he had the FCC scrapped the “Fairness Doctrine” requiring tv and radio broadcasters to balance their political programming, there was no consumer internet).
Right-wing media is only a bit younger than media itself. But – YOUNG PEOPLE LISTEN UP BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT YET ALIVE TO REMEMBER WHEN THE REPUBLICANS CAME IN AN RUINED EVERYTHING THAT OTHER TIME – it was filtered, through an exceeding amount of editorial scrutiny and far, far, far, far fewer outlets than today. There was no national platform, known to all, readily available 24 hours a day basically for free, perpetually refreshed with new content, that was fully committed to advancing an extreme, ideologically right-wing agenda in 1987.
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