Reading over some of the things I’ve published makes me want to clarify a few stances, particularly about what I mean when I talk about Republicans.
For the most part I’m not talking about the rank in file voter. I might poke fun at these people, express frustration with them, or even shift blame onto them, none of which means I hate these people. I try not to disparage them. They are not the problem, but a symptom.
When I disparage Republicans and insult their party, ideology, ideals, and hypocrisy I’m talking about the leaders. The elected officials. The Fox News hosts and executives. The talk show hosts and youtube stars. Tucker Carlson. Roger Ailes. Dennis Prager. Ben Shapiro. Rush Limbaugh. John Bolton. Ted Cruz. Marco Rubio. And yes, Donald Trump.
It’s not the voters’ fault that the Republican party has spent years, billions of dollars, and thousands of people carefully calculating and creating a propaganda machine. The people who have fallen prey to the onslaught of misleading headlines, shortsighted logic, and cults of personality aren’t to blame. They’re trying to better themselves and the world by becoming more politically active. They usually are in a community that has also succumbed to this alternative worldview. I can’t be sure I wouldn’t do the same if I was in their shoes.
For those people who cry “It happens on both sides!,” that’s just simply not true if you look at the facts. Ronald Reagan, perennial conservative darling, ended the FCC Fairness Doctrine, which essentially said that news organizations must report the news fairly and honestly. The Democratic Congress tried to overturn it. It was vetoed. Republicans repealed fair news.
Roger Ailes was a man who helped both Nixon, Reagan, and the first Bush get into office, as well as being close to all of them. Roger Ailes perhaps benefitted from this repeal the most because he created Fox News, the classic conservative “News” organization that has more viewers than all of the major mainstream media outlets combined and technically cannot be classified as news because it is so misleading and incorrect. This isn’t even taking into account the disgraced right wing talk show host Alex Jones, who became a rallying point to begin the ‘conservatives are censored on the internet’ movement. Or Rush Limbaugh, who is just insane. Both men have absolutely no leftward or democratic parallel currently or in history. Republicans created today’s hyper partisan news space.
The idea that both sides are equally as guilty as the other is just hogwash, especially the deeper you dive into these issues.
But again, this isn’t to say that the people who watch Fox are evil, or the people who tune in to hear Limbaugh speak are evil. They aren’t. They have been misled extremely far by people who are professionals in media, communications, psychology, and generally convincing people of things.
Don’t blame the symptoms, blame the disease. Blame the people whose job it is to lie convincingly to people who, by no fault of their own, are poor and uneducated. Blame the party, not the people