After waking up early, I decided to hop on Twitter for my morning dose of hate. I came across this tweet by a writer of the Atlantic:
If this isn’t the best evidence of how we basically became a dystopian hellscape under Trump’s watch, (and why cable news producers loved him), I don’t know what is. We’re all coming out of a 5 year long Trump induced depression, to now start listening to music again.
— Jess (@Jess_Sassenach) April 25, 2021
This level of dramaturgy and miseducation is an easy target. I could proceed to engage in the same partisan fight and hyperbolize the current “dystopian hellscape” under Biden, but this isn’t about policy. In many ways, it never was. What is clear to me, however, is that Americans are pathologically obsessive and mentally plagued over Donald Trump; and not just him, but anyone they perceive is a threat, i.e., anyone that dares question them. While I don’t see conclusive evidence that this pathology is because of Trump, it would be accurate to claim that it became visible under him. We’ll get into some key reasons why this may be in a moment.
I remember 2012, 15 years old, sitting on my Aunt’s couch watching the Presidential debate between Obama and Romney. My mother was next to me, while my cousin was in the kitchen cleaning and crying. She was saying, “He’s gonna f****** win and everything that we’ve worked so hard for is gonna be gone.” Of course, she was talking about abortion. Unsure of why Romney was the devil, I asked why he was so bad and that I thought it’ll all be okay, to which she replied, “You’ll never understand what it means to be a woman.”
Fast forward nine years, and that’s a fair point. I’ll never know what it’s like to abort a baby.
But the point of the story is that, for as long as I can remember, politics was never not emotional. Although, of course, politics shouldn’t be predominantly emotional, lest our judgments over policy is dependent more on what we feel they would do rather than what they will actually do. Nevertheless, the emotional response is natural.
After all, how our lives are governed matters. But exacerbating an already distressing civil subject, we’re forced to field the myriad of powers that seek to influence us: universities, the media, big corporations, big tech, political parties/lobbies & their rhetorical framework, friends, family, sports, Hollywood, and so on. All of these institutions, associations, businesses, and communities and tribes they create, work very hard to influence sentiment, ideology, and perspective. Unfortunately, their jobs have become facilitating information as mouthpieces for leftism.
Whether or not that fact upsets you, ask yourself why or why not? Your answer informs you of where you stand politically.
All of these forces have come together to make people, like Frum’s wife, incredibly anxious each and every day. They have manipulated information in order to stoke emotions preferential to their agenda.
For instance, it’s now clear, from the devil’s mouth, that MSM helped Biden— CNN’s technical director Charlie Chester admitted that they use propaganda, that their coverage helped to oust Trump; he admitted that fear sells, that the network advantageously uses COVID to stoke that fear, and the next issue they’re going to focus on is climate change.
In addition, it’s evident that news networks and big tech together intentionally hide and neglect certain information. Time Magazine in their article, “The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election“, admitted to how “shadow campaigners” worked to change election laws and influence the outcome of the 2020 Election.
The top comment to the tweet mentioned that Frum’s wife’s pathology was evidence of Trump’s “dystopian hellscape.” But conveniently missed, as a result of political bias, was the news coverage and personal disposition that influenced his wife’s behavior. Not only was, and is, news coverage favorable to Biden and, under Trump, determined to manufacture the perception that the world is ending, but Frum, whether intentionally or not, observed that his wife doesn’t even watch the news in the morning anymore. If she’s listening to music instead, how would she know what’s going on?
This is the availability heuristic at work: we tend to judge things based on information, correct or not, that come to mind more quickly. In this case, who’s the most “dangerous” President? It might be easier for Frum’s wife to choose Trump because of the many reports, commentary, and types of networks she’s watching; she may be led to believe that there is more to be anxious of under a Trump administration than there actually is.
To drive this point home, we can flip the script. If there are any Trump supporters, who are now sitting around listening to the news, slanted toward the right, that make just as exaggerated sensationalist headlines, they may believe that the country is in far greater peril. And perhaps that would be true. However, if there were any Biden supporters (whether or not “Biden” supporters truly exist), that sat around listening to the news, slanted toward the left, they would have a more favorable view of the state of the country. If anything, this is evidence of political pathology that’s relatively dependent on who’s in office. In other words, if you cannot enjoy music because of who’s in office, that’s a psychological issue, even on the sociological level; but it is not normal.
That top comment is correct about network producers: they loved Trump; but so did their viewers who were, like Frum’s wife, fixated on him. It’s appropriate to correlate networks’ and viewers’ obsession with Trump as mutually reinforcing. Since he’s been out of office, ratings have been low: there’s simply nothing to fear anymore, so MSM tells us, not because there isn’t anything to fear but because fear is self-prescribed.