Somehow I stumbled onto Rush Limbaugh’s site, and read the partial transcripts from his October 18th, 2016 show. Much to the fury of partisans on both sides, I actually try to read and watch those who I generally don’t agree with. I’m probably one of the few people who’s read the autobiographies of Hillary Clinton, George W Bush, George H W Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. From Mr. Limbaugh regarding Trump’s narrowing chances for victory:
…it doesn’t matter who the Republicans nominate, this is always gonna happen. … There isn’t a Republican nominee that they are not gonna demonize.
We can safely assume that “they” is the main stream media, which effectively includes anyone critical of a Republican. Mr. Limbaugh goes on further to explain why steadfast Trump supporters are indeed sticking with the real estate developer:
The Republican primary voters had grown weary of nominating and electing people that were not gonna fight back against any of this defamation and slander and libel against all of us, and Trump is, and that’s why his supporters are not abandoning him.
This feeds nicely into Trump’s attempt to explain how everyone not supporting him is part of a vast and complex conspiracy. From the guy who charges him too much at the coffee shop to the FBI to the Clinton Foundation to the Federal Reserve to reporters to Paul Ryan: they’re all meeting in smoke filled rooms comparing notes on how to take down Donald Trump and his supporters.
The reality is a bit different. If you compare Secretary Clinton’s campaign challenges, they generally rely on reporters to sift through mountains of data and interpret second hand sources (like John Podesta). Trump on the other hand has dumped piles of data on the table and is his own worst enemy. Combing through the Podesta Wikileaks emails takes serious journalism and there’s a lot of room for selection bias and interpretation. Compare that with Donald Trump for which the below video was probably stitched together over the course of an evening, using only Trump’s own words.
More to the point, the very nature of many Trump supporters is deplorable. With slogans like “Trump that Bitch” and xenophobia concealed like an elephant in saran wrap, a candidate who appeals to people like that should be slandered by their own words.
Regarding Mr. Limbaugh’s claim of demonizing, I would object to that practice in general, because demonizing puts you on a path whereby you automatically distrust someone and mold every statement and action into your pre-shaped concepts. As an example, any independent thinker should be able to rightly acknowledge and support Trump’s plan for tough lobbying restrictions announced in mid October. You still don’t need to vote for the person, but if you find yourself blindly hating any person or party you had better not get upset when someone paints you with a massive brush as you’re doing it yourself to them.
The alt/far right of our country is shrinking, and to steal from Christopher Hitchens, is ratcheting its voice up to a screaming volume to ward off the growing silence. I once had an opossum in my yard, and it ran into the corner of a building. Cornered, knowing somewhere deep in its mind that death was imminent, it pulled out all the stops and was prepared to kill or be killed.
What’s missing from Mr. Limbaugh’s assessment is exactly that: the alt/far right is embracing views farther and further out of league with what the majority of Americans want in this country. As such, opponents of them must simply turn on a camera, record their vitriol, and sit back as the country alternates between shocks and groans.