Pareene covers a lot of ground pushing very similar ideas as I have pushed about the right wing media having been absorbed now for a generation so that it’s not just what the rubes take in to coalesce their crank government theories, now even elected officials believe these things. And the world is suffering now because it’s so very lucrative to sell gold, catheters and boner pills to older white American males. Pareene does it very coherently. Well worth a read.
For years, the conservative movement peddled one set of talking points to the rabble, while its elites consumed a more grounded and reality-based media.
The grown-up Republicans in Washington, meanwhile, still existed in their own genteel bubble of misinformation…
But the complete and inarguable disaster of the Bush administration—a failure of the conservative movement itself, one undeniable even to many consumers of the parallel conservative media—and his abrupt replacement by a black man, caused a national nervous breakdown among the people who’d been told, for many years, that conservatism could not fail, and that all Real Americans agreed with them.
Rather rapidly, two things happened: First, Republicans realized they’d radicalized their base to a point where nothing they did in power could satisfy their most fervent constituents. Then—in a much more consequential development—a large portion of the Republican Congressional caucus became people who themselves consume garbage conservative media, and nothing else.
And now we have a president who is a 70 year old angry white male who watches hours of the stuff every day. We need to see his tax returns to find out how much gold he’s bought. His medical records were doctored to hide the catheters and boner pills.
And this very cogent and rather sadly true observation of our two factions:
Democrats by and large are convinced that no one actually supports their agenda, and they devote a not insignificant amount of time and political capital to explaining to their own constituents why they cannot pursue goals that a majority of them support. (“I supported single payer since before you were born,” says Nancy Pelosi, who has the legislative and leadership record of someone who may support single payer but clearly doesn’t actually expect it to happen in our lifetimes.)
Conservatives, especially those who came up during the Obama era, have, more or less, the opposite problem: They’ve convinced themselves that their agenda is hugely popular and that everyone supports them.
OMG, that’s so true. It takes so much energy to convince people on our side that we’re right and the people on the other side can never be convinced they’re wrong.