Believe it or not, I do know moderate Republicans. Heck, I know several former Republicans who are now Democrats because the GOP has become far too extreme. And while Democrats and Republicans have typically always differed on many issues, we haven’t seen a political divide like this in decades – if ever. We’ve literally approached a point in our government where we can’t get anything meaningful accomplished because “compromise” has now become a negative thing.
Even in the days of Ronald Reagan (who had a Congress which was mostly controlled by Democrats) and Bill Clinton (who dealt with a Congress mostly controlled by Republicans), we got things done.
Not anymore. But why is that?
Well, a big reason for that is Fox News. It is undeniable that the Republican party has progressively gotten more right-wing and extreme over the last 18 years – which just happens to coincide with the creation of America’s most watched conservative entertainment channel.
The best example of this I can think of came during the 2012 presidential election. Outside of Fox News and the conservative media, all signs pointed to President Obama heading for an easy victory over Mitt Romney. Yet, on Fox, I often saw “experts” pushing the idea that President Obama and Romney were “neck and neck” or even some who claimed that “polls” showed Romney beating Obama.
Naturally, when President Obama cruised to an easy victory over Romney, conservatives were infuriated. Even worse, many of the ones I encountered weren’t just upset that President Obama had won, but that they felt the election had been rigged.
After all, why wouldn’t they believe that? They had been lied to by the conservative media for months heading into the election about Romney’s chances, so when he lost they clearly thought “foul play” was involved. Heck, the conservative media was so desperate to push the lies about Romney’s chances that they were literally telling people all of the polls showing the president heading for an easy victory were “liberal-leaning” and shouldn’t be trusted. You know, the polls that were completely accurate.
Another example of what I mean can be observed in Donald Trump, the hideous result of the idiocy and rhetoric that’s been pushed and supported by the conservative media for years. Hell, he was given a weekly spot on Fox News’ Fox & Friends before he announced his candidacy for president.
Now they’re desperately trying to destroy him. I found it interesting how his sexist comments from his past were brought up during the GOP debate – yet those same comments didn’t seem to impact their infatuation with “The Donald” prior to his candidacy. It’s ridiculous to call out someone for being a sexist when that same person was a frequent guest on your network.
Not to mention Erick Erickson acting outraged and disinviting Trump from a RedState candidate forum in Atlanta. This is the same Erick Erickson who once insisted that males should always play the dominant, “breadwinner” role in relationships and women should be submissive, among a long list of other sexist comments he’s made in the past. Hypocrite much, Erick?
The fact is, Fox News has been profiting heavily from pushing this extreme right-wing rhetoric. The only reason why they’re suddenly “anti-Trump” is because his bigotry, sexism and racism have propelled him to superstar status among the far-right – the same people to which Fox News has been pandering. It’s really difficult to claim you’re not pandering to the worst parts of our society when the guy who’s being called out nationally for his hateful rhetoric is becoming increasingly popular to the very same people who watch your network.
In other words, Fox News is now trying to bring down the very “monster” they were largely responsible for creating.
But there’s a reality which rests at the root of the problem: while American society as a whole continues to become more liberal, Fox News continues to push the myth that we’re actually becoming more conservative. And that’s where a lot of our issues in government are coming from.
Republicans in Congress can’t even think about working with Democrats to pass anything, because by doing so they would be hammered by Fox News and the conservative media for “selling out conservatism,” and those who did dare work with Democrats would be targeted by the tea party as soon as their next primary rolled around. Quite literally there are many Republicans in Congress who would risk their political careers by simply listening to the majority of what most Americans want – simply because that’s not the audience to which Fox News panders.
As Fox News continues to be a huge influence on conservative voters and Republican politicians, the functionality of our government continues to deteriorate.