Saturday, March 19, 2016

GOP built Trump, and the echo chamber that enables his supporters' devotion

The culmination of decades of conservative fear-mongering
The beautiful (and terrifying) irony of the conservative media and political establishment panicking about Trump is not just that they created the monster. They certainly did that:  they fanned the flames of racism, xenophobia, Christian supremacy, anti-intellectualism and misogyny for decades. They used dog whistles and (once upon a time) subtlety, but they built a culture in which it was okay to call a woman who advocated for birth control a slut, it was okay to insist that Muslims are dangerous, that atheists are evil, that Christians not being allowed to discriminate is persecution. Racial profiling was okay, water boarding was cool, and war was to be desired...and then they were shocked when someone stood up and said these things, out loud, publicly, all at once. So, yes, they built Trump. They celebrated his birtherism, they took him seriously, they laid the groundwork for him.

But they did more than that. They built the fact-phobic echo chamber in which conservative voters currently live, that enables them, simply as a force of habit, to shut out any evidence of Trump's abhorrent behavior and inept posturing.

For years, Fox News and the conservative establishment has been pushing the narrative of a biased, liberal media out to persecute conservatives. Facts didn't matter, because they were just smears. Anything, everything, that contradicted what conservatives wanted to hear was a lie; anyone who contradicted the party line was a lying liar telling lies. Anytime conservatives were called on odious behavior, outright lies, or anything else, it was bias, lies, and biased lies.

Which worked really well at insulating the GOP voter base from pesky reality. And, for quite some time, that worked out really well for the GOP establishment, winning them a variety of local, state and national elections.

Only now, the odious behaviors and outright lies from a conservative happen to be coming from one they despise. But they've already constructed such a thorough fact-filtering apparatus that the loyal base is immune. They don't notice, because why would they? Conservatives don't do odious things, and the never lie; it's only biased liars who suggest that they would!

Rightwing media in particular, aided by no small number of conservative politicians, has promoted the idea that conservative feelings about things matter more than actual facts. And now actual facts about Donald Trump are very much at odds with many Republican voters' feelings about Trump. All of a sudden, conservative leadership is worried that their base doesn't care about facts (at least, the targeted subset of facts they want them to focus on), and loves an odious Republican in spite of all his, well, odiousness.

Which would be really, really hilarious if the Cheetos Monster was confined to their section of the lab, instead of threatening to break free and devour everything in his way.

Good job there, guys...

1 comment:

  1. you're right, it would be funny if it wasn't scary. hopefully after November we can have a good laugh about it as the Republican party tries to figure out how to begin to rebuild.

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