People like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, now Alex Jones… All worked very hard to bring about the environment in which a Donald Trump presidency is possible. All have done serious damage to our country. All see themselves as patriots. One is currently on a Rehabilitation Tour, almost asking for America’s forgiveness.
They embraced the conservative movement.
When it was clear that the Tea Party had taken control, they embraced the Tea Party and fanned the flames.
In 2012, they hated the moderate Mitt Romney until it became clear that Romney would win the nomination.
Of the 16 (or more?) candidates who declared on the Republican side in 2015, only the most extreme earned their attention. The ones who were “mainstream” or “establishment” were reviled. No, the more insane the better.
They appealed not to the best in us, but to the worst.
They appealed to the christians who were fueled by hate by threatening them with Muslims and blacks (always the blacks).
They appealed to the whites who feared being marginalized by threatening them with Mexicans.
They appealed to the working class by threatening them with the poor or the “urban.”
This is not America.
Yet all of these privileged white men are becoming fantastically wealthy by mining the “gold in them thar hills.” They are getting rich by accurately gauging the gullibility of the American electorate.
The poor white working stiff who was fooled into voting for Donald Trump will never be allowed into Glenn Beck’s gated community. The armed-to-the-teeth racist who is foaming at the mouth about the Jews will never be allowed anywhere near Bill O’Reilly’s home (even if he could find it).
All of these privileged white men are laughing at the rubes and yahoos who buy into their schtick, while cashing their checks and enjoying the Good Life.
That is not to say that the Left doesn’t also have their rabble-rousers. When the Sanders campaign began to take off, it was embraced by the most “progressive” voices, oddly also somewhat racist and misogynist.
It is said (by me) that when the Left becomes extreme enough, it eventually meets the extreme Right coming around from the other side.
The vast bulk of America, I believe, is still left-of-center and right-of-center. In presidential politics, it is the extremes that get all of the attention.
People like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and now Alex Jones make a very good living by shouting to the extremes.
That’s how it seems to me.