In terms of numbers, most Americans reject conservative policy positions. So why are Republicans in office?
Of all the myths the Republicans have perpetrated, and there are a lot of them, perhaps none is more powerful or insidious than the foundational one that this is an overwhelmingly conservative country and that progressives are outliers in it, along with its pernicious corollary that conservatives are “real” Americans while liberals (and the minorities who support liberal policies) are somehow counterfeits. Continue reading →
Like junk food, will Trump leave us empty and wanting more?
It is a cliché by now that Donald Trump has run a reality show campaign—a series of gaffes, surprises, outrages, weirdnesses, explosions, revelations, and just every other ingredient that comprise the popular TV genre of faux authenticity. On reality TV, the subjects are seldom artists or entertainers or high achievers in any field. They are personalities. Their roles are their lives, which creates a Möbius strip. What do the Kardashians actually do besides being on their show, which has, of course, generated all sorts of commercial opportunities that almost make it seem as if they are doing something? What is their talent, other than the talent for self-promotion? Continue reading →
It seems that a candidate whose words and deeds are so far beyond the pale have finally awoken the press to the truth-squadding that is its job.
Just about everyone now concedes that the media have it in for Donald Trump. A survey of eight major news organs during the primaries, conducted by Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy—one I cited in a previous post—showed that the press grew increasingly hostile to Trump, peaking at 61 percent negative to 39 percent positive at the end of the primary season. Even the conservative, Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal editorialized that he should consider quitting the race, and the normally cautious NBC Nightly News has turned reporter Katy Tur into a one-woman truth squad, correcting Trump whoppers. Continue reading →
As FDR mastered radio and JFK conquered TV, Donald Trump rules the Internet like no other candidate.
By now I must be at least the millionth commentator to observe that Donald Trump is the candidate for whom social media have longed. What FDR was to radio and JFK to television, Trump is to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, et al. Continue reading →
The mainstream media is to blame for Donald Trump’s rise, but not for the reasons most people think.
It is more than a little ironic that the Republican Establishment and the mainstream media are both now in full panic mode over the possibility of Donald Trump winning the GOP nomination. You would think that the Republican Party, which has been, let’s face it, hate-spewing, poor-bashing, government-stopping and corporation-loving for decades, ought to be the leading culprit for having paved the way for Trump’s success. As for the media, Marco Rubio, who claims to be exactly where he wants to be after losing 14 primaries and caucuses and winning only one, holds them responsible, which, from a candidate who has demonstrated little support outside the media, is a bit disingenuous. Still, even Rubio is occasionally right. The media did have a lot to do with enabling the rise of Donald Trump. Just not how Rubio or most people think. Continue reading →
Why the Trump era won’t pass without serious damage to America
Posted on December 19, 2017 by Neal Gabler
Historians may determine that Nov. 8, 2016, was the date America’s second civil war began. By that perspective, just as the first Civil War was the last gasp of slavery, this second is very likely the last gasp of aging white Americans—their full-throated death rattle against an America that they detest for having changed so dramatically the traditions and power structures by which those whites had lived. Regressions are often like that. They are an angry attempt to prevent a threatening future from arriving. Republicans had long preyed upon these discontents, but did so tepidly—a wink-and-nod approach. Trump voiced them and validated them, making racism, nativism and sexism acceptable. It will be his primary legacy. Continue reading →