Throughout the first nine months of the Trump presidency, there has been one thing that has been very difficult for moderates and nearly impossible for liberals to understand. How are there 30-40% of Americans that approve of the job Trump is doing as President?
There are many reasons for this and in the future, we can expect many studies to be performed by political scientists to try to understand how the least qualified person ever to run for President got into the White House. Before those future grad students earn their doctorates explaining the Trump years, it seems clear there is one very important reason that explains how Trump continues to get undeserved approval numbers.
The Right Wing Media Bubble
For years, there has been an expanding gulf between the ideologues on each side as basic facts of issues have been increasingly disputed. The big ones we all know. One side believes that there is no climate change occurring. One side believes that tax cuts always increase revenue coming into the government. One side believes that the reason middle-class wages haven’t gone up in a generation is due to poor people and immigrants soaking up the resources and not the wealthy top 1% taking an increasingly larger slice of the pie.
These disputes of fact are problems are leading speed bumps for those that would like to make things better. If the origination or definition of the problem can’t be agreed upon, there is a limited chance of working solutions being enacted.
Those who watch politics know what is happening. What even the most diligent news followers many might not get is just how much those in the 30-40% of the people who approve of Trump exist in a world completely different from everyone else.
Years ago, there was a sort of central experience to events happening in the world. When Walter Cronkite said things were going badly in Vietnam, most in the country accepted the analysis and went on to argue what to do about it. Today, those in the right-wing bubble experience events very differently from everyone else.
People living in the right-wing media bubble believe no matter what anyone tries to tell them that:
- There are towns in America where Sharia Law is being implemented.
- President Obama, despite being born to an American woman, was born in another country and should not have been eligible to be Commander in Chief.
- Obama gave free phones to black people living on welfare.
- The Clintons ran child sex crime syndicates from basements of pizza places.
- Immigrants both legal and not are committing way more crimes than naturally born citizens.
- There are places in this country in which you will get into trouble if you use the words Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays. In fact, Christians despite being a majority in the country are actually the victims of untold amounts of unfair treatment.
Mostly, what those ensconced in the bubble believe is that the America that was promised to them is being taken away. They desperately want the America they think existed for their grandfathers. An America where a white man could, with a simple high school diploma, make his way into the world and provide a middle-class income for his wife and kids. The America longed for by Trump supports believe that the spoils of American exceptionalism used to trickle down in the way it was designed. The Trump supporters think that first, the “real Americans” should get their share, then whatever is left can trickle down to “those people”.
A propaganda machine has been built by people of extreme wealth and connections to make lower-middle-class white voters live in fear that their country is being taken away. The success of this propaganda has been very effective. For years, Trump supporters have been manipulated and lied to.
There is no shortage of grandparents or parents out there that used to be moderate or even liberal on some issues back before the 1990’s. Then, after years of talk radio, Fox News and right-wing websites these former happy people have become different.
No longer optimistic, these people are angry. These viewers of right-wing media as scared.
What these zombies of the right-wing media believe with all their hearts is that Trump is an honest hard working family man who made his money through hard work and being better than everyone else. After all, that was the character Trump played on TV for a decade. These lied to people think that when Trump goes on a Twitter rant that he is just telling it like it is to the elites that have let the poor and undeserving take their birthrights to an easy life in the middle class. Trump is a pissed off Abe Lincoln. Trump is a Ronald Reagan without the calming presence of a Nancy to keep him nice. Trump is their champion fighting for the little guy.
There is no time to feel sorry for these Trump dead-enders. They are convinced things are going terribly in the United States and that things used to be better. They have decided to live angry fearful lives. It might be impossible to help them have happier lives at this point.The moderates and left in this country had better get it together. These consumers of right-wing media show up on election day. They contribute. They make sure their like-minded friends vote as well. All the rest of us can do is try to elect people that would stand up to the intolerance and hate to do better for the American people.