Saturday, October 15, 2016

Look In The Mirror

Donald Trump gets more reprehensible with each passing day. But he did not rise to where he is on his own initiative. Dana Milbank writes in The Washington Post that there have been many people behind the ascension of Trump. And he has been a long time coming:

The Trump fiasco has been more than two decades in the making, going back to Newt Gingrich’s destruction of civility, Bill Clinton’s personal misconduct, a Supreme Court that, in Bush v. Gore, delegitimized democracy, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney squandering the warm courage of national unity after 9/11, a bipartisan cycle of revenge in Congress, angry liberals portraying Bush as a war criminal, the fury and racial animus of the tea party and the birthers, GOP leaders too timid to tamp down the excesses, and Supreme Court decisions that allowed anonymous groups to spend unlimited sums poisoning the airwaves with vicious and false political speech. 

The media have also had their role to play:

My colleagues and I in the news business deserve much of the blame. Fox News essentially created Trump as a political figure, validating his birther nonsense and giving him an unparalleled platform before he launched his campaign. The rest of the news media, most visibly CNN, gave the entertainer undiluted and uncritical coverage (at least until he secured the nomination), sacrificing journalistic integrity for viewers and readers. If you don’t report on Trump’s latest action, utterance or outrage, you won’t get the clicks or the ratings. And the combination of social media and a news industry fragmented by ideology allows an increasingly polarized public to choose only information that confirms their political views.

Trump knows how to play people for suckers. And there have been a lot of suckers. In the end, Americans will have to look in their mirrors.

Image: Pinterest


Dana said...

Americans will be too busy trying to avoid the Trump militia to spend any time looking in their mirrors. There will be blood.

Owen Gray said...

A distinct possibility, Dana. That's Trump's preferred option.

Lorne said...

I'm glad someone in the media is finally taking some responsibility here, Owen. However, as Lady Macbeth says, "What's done cannot be undone." Their fecklessness as a contributing factor in Trump's rise will leave, unfortunately, an long and unfortunate legacy.

Owen Gray said...

Trump is the logical consequence of pandering to our darker angels, Lorne. And just as it took a long time to get here, it will take a long time to, as Lady Macbeth discovered, wash away the stain -- if that's possible.

Dana said...

It is entirely possible, I might even say probable, that this campaign will mark the onset of the destruction of the norms of civility that have facilitated the social cohesion that has allowed democratic governance of a country as large and diverse as the United States to more or less function.

No democratically governed country is immune.

So I would speculate that in coming decades, if historians still exist and are allowed to publish, this time will be seen as marking the beginning of the end of democratic norms of western civilization. Perhaps of the dominance of western civilization as well.


Anonymous said...

The establishment media sure knows how to play some people for suckers. Hillary is actually to the RIGHT of Trump on economic and foreign policy. The Democratic party has become a pay-for-play den of thieves. Yet fake liberals talk about the REPUBLICAN PARTY having problems!

Trump says free-trade outsourcing deals like NAFTA and the TPP are terrible for the economy. Hillary said the TPP is the 'gold standard' and envisioned — in paid speech before Wall Street bribe-payers — a free-trade zone that encompasses the entire hemisphere.

Trump wants to unwind US war-profiteering interventionism, and NATO's encroachment on Russia to maintain 25 years of peace. Hillary is reviving the Cold War with Russia as a campaign strategy to target neocons, deflect Wikileaked corruption and drum up business for the military industrial complex.

She fancies herself another Iron Lady:

"One of the first things I will do as president is to call for a new nuclear posture review. We have to make sure that America's arsenal is prepared to meet future threats."

Hillary is an outright Republican neocon. She embodies everything that's wrong with BOTH parties. She's a lesser of evils to none.

Hillary and her 'me generation' of self-serving neoliberal Baby Boomers need to get out of the way. You people turned an economic golden age into a global economy on the verge of collapse into fascist revolutions and world war. The world can't suffer any more of your lies, corruption and muck-ups.

The Mound of Sound said...

In one of today's British papers, the Observer I believe, a Ted Cruz campaign strategist said there'll be a 3-way civil war in the GOP after the election. One faction will be the Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand ideologues. Then there will be the Patrician GOP, the establishment. The third faction will be the Tea Party/Trump supporters who will go after the other two for betraying their candidate. If the Republicans retain the House it promises to be gridlock as these factions prevent each other from even fighting the Democrats.

Owen Gray said...

I caught an interview with William Weld, Mound. He's the former Republican governor of Massachusetts, who is this year's Libertarian candidate for vice president. He said he expected a split in the Republican Party -- something like the split that happened to the Whig party in the 1850's. The Whigs split into two factions -- the Know Nothings and the Republicans. The Republicans went on to elect Lincoln. Trump clearly represents the Know Nothings. Who can guess what the other party will become?

Owen Gray said...

"You people," Anon? That's an old logical fallacy. It's called a sweeping generalization.

Owen Gray said...

It's easy to go over the cliff, Dana. But I continue to hope that there are a significant number of citizens who are ruled by their better angels.

Dana said...

Better angels as personified by the Anon above, perhaps?

He or she sounds only a couple of steps away from arming.

Anonymous said...

It's not a generalization. The parents of Baby Boomers — the Grand Generation — created the Progressive New Deal Era and modern living standards fighting robber barons, a Great Depression and a world war. The Baby Boomers, on the other hand, were born on third believing they hit a triple and felt entitled to piss it all away.

Now Millennials are back where the Grand Generation was. They will have to take heed their children don't waste all they build up after rescuing civilization from certain destruction. It's based on a simple idea: those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it.

This Dana person personifies the typical empty-calorie liberal. His or her thought processes are governed entirely by emotions. Like lizard-brained conservatives who act on their xenophobic fears, this kind of political activist is too lazy to do research, too craven to call out corruption from within their party, and so vacuous on policy substance they have to incite hysteria against their partisan opponents.

My words may be hard hitting, but that's because they're the truth. There is no violence in exposing lies, corruption and manipulation. You can be rest assured the angels are not on the side of the kind of corruption Hillary Clinton is involved with or the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" supporters of this corruption. The angels are with the people who have the courage to stand up to evil and put a stop to it and the all the suffering, death and destruction it causes.

Dana said...

This screeder is becoming funny now.