Days of Change

Putting the Ass in Aspiration | July 5, 2018

When Rush Limbaugh hit the airwaves in the 1990’s, he filled a huge void in the media landscape. After him, dozens of others entered the field and the market largely supported them. Fox News came along in 1996 and also filled a void that predated social media. The peak was between 2009 and 2016, when the atrocities of the Obama administration were debated and fought against. Now Donald Trump is president, the Republican control Congress and tastes have changed.

A good example is Glenn Beck. He was in radio for years and had a show on HLN until 2009. He promoted the Tea Party movement before other Fox hosts and had Sarah Palin on his first episode. The relationship with Palin soured, Beck started his own streaming network. Worst of all, he backed the wrong horse in 2016.

It appears that there is an easy way for conservatives to save floundering media empires. Express unwavering support for President Trump and you have a way forward. If you question Trump’s motives or actions or his ability to do the job, get ready for a boycott of your “Never Trump” company or hurry up and sign a contract with CNN or MSNBC.

Today, I was listening to a couple of talk radio shows. Sean Hannity, the man who has nine figures of income invested in Michael Cohen advised real estate, went on a tirade about Never Trumpers and how they are the sole roadblock in the Trump agenda. Further, not voting for Donald Trump was “half a vote for Hillary.” Hannity then created the narrative that he had to convince people from the start that he knew Trump would push a conservative agenda. In reality, Sean had said multiple times that he would support any of the dozen Republican candidates who were conservative enough to come on his show (including Jeb!) because they were all better than Hillary.

On the other hand, there’s Michael Medved. Medved is a film critic who went to the same university as Bill and Hillary, but became a conservative. After guest hosting on Rush’s show many times, he eventually got a radio show of his own. However, Medved isn’t Trump enough and is in danger of being dropped by the radio network. His show today lamented the list of big names in conservatism who decided to leave the Republican Party in the age of Trump. This is the other side of the “half a vote for Hillary” argument. Leaving your seat at the table leaves you without a table. I know this. Only about 3% of voters ended up choosing Gary Johnson and he had 3 times the vote of the next lowest vote-getter.

Donald Trump is a cult of personality and not much different than Barack Obama in that regard, except for the profession of the cheerleaders for their president. George W. Bush and even Bill Clinton had support that was more ideological than personal. Not only is it impossible to discuss ideas and core philosophies with Trumpers, too many of them are just plain assholes. They worship the purity of the Day One Trump lover and are suspicious of the grudging supporter of Trump’s achievements. In fact, any disagreement could lead to the scarlet N. Most days, I can take or leave Trump, but it’s rare when I can take one of his sycophants.

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