[M]uch of the conservative news media is now less pro-Trump than it is anti-anti-Trump. The distinction is important, because anti-anti-Trumpism has become the new safe space for the right. Here is how it works: Rather than defend President Trump’s specific actions, his conservative champions change the subject to (1) the biased “fake news” media, (2) over-the-top liberals, (3) hypocrites on the left, (4) anyone else victimizing Mr. Trump or his supporters and (5) whataboutism, as in “What about Obama?” “What about Clinton?” For the anti-anti-Trump pundit, whatever the allegation against Mr. Trump, whatever his blunders or foibles, the other side is always worse.
It can be frustrating trying to pin Trump supporters down about the concrete reasons why they support him. My experience has been that trying to elicit examples of specific, measurable accomplishments can be frustrating. Either Trump supporters can’t name any…or they simply don’t think in those terms. That’s why Charles J. Sykes analysis of Trump’s base strikes a chord. When you can’t cling to anything of substance, what you’re left with is emotion. Those whose support for Donald Trump is based on emotion cling to it with an almost indefatigable ferocity. They know what they know, and there’s no chance they’re open to reflecting on the reason (s) for their belief in him.
How do you reason with someone who KNOWS something to be true? Even if what they KNOW is demonstrably false? You don’t…because they’re not operating on the same plane as people who trade in logic and factual argument.
Mr. Trump’s most vocal supporters don’t have to defend his specific actions as long as they make liberal heads explode, or as Sarah Palin put it so memorably, “It’s really funny to me to see the splodey heads keep sploding.” If liberals hate something, the argument goes, then it must be wonderful and worthy of aggressive defense. Each controversy reinforces the divisions and the distrust, and Mr. Trump counts on that.
For many in the conservative movement, this sort of anti-anti-Trumpism is the solution to the painful conundrum posed by the Trump presidency. With a vast majority of conservative voters and listeners solidly behind Mr. Trump, conservative critics of the president find themselves isolated and under siege. But, as Damon Linker noted, anti-anti-Trumpism “allows the right to indulge its hatred of liberals and liberalism while sidestepping the need for a reckoning with the disaster of the Trump administration itself.”
This is also a much sounder business model than airing doubts about the president. Conservative media is, of course, a business that relies on ratings, and few things generate ratings more quickly than bashing liberals. In this case, it is more profitable for talk show hosts to play down Mr. Trump’s failures while piling on his enemies.
In other words, it’s not what’s best for the country, or even the Conservative movement. What’s really important (and entertaining) is pissing off Liberals…and no one does that better that Donald Trump.
And you wonder why Conservatives fail whenever they’re in power??
When your business model is predicated more on ratings than rational, realistic policy, you have no hope of success. Even when you win, you’re going to fail from a lack of substance and vision. Thus it is for today’s Conservative movement, who are as much about Conservatism as I am a Green Bay Packers fan. It’s not about Conservative values; it’s about pissing on the Liberal elites who’ve looked down their noses at them for so many years. Paybacks are a bitch, right??
It’s well nigh impossible to engage in a meaningful exchange of ideas when the parties involved aren’t even speaking the same language. When you believe only the news which confirms your bias and derides everything else as “fake news,” there’s no space for reasonable or rational discussion, because anything can be manipulated to confirm your viewpoint. When Fox News Channel really is considered “fair and balanced” by millions of Americans, it’s no longer about news and information. It’s about believing the worst of Liberals and having a
propaganda “news” outlet which confirms those beliefs.
It’s no longer about the truth; it’s about pissing off Liberals.
Greetings from our new idiocracy.
Nice work, America.