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The Man Who Cried Wolf in His Youth

As of this writing, two things are true.

Reasonable people are looking at facts and actions available in the public record and coming to the conclusion that the Trump administration is acting like a guilty criminal party would, and that there is a whole lot of circumstantial evidence that they did commit a crime.

What is also true, is that the GOP representatives are largely doing nothing, possibly, with good reason, as the President still enjoys a nearly 40% job approval rating.

That seems like a very high number. Far too high to just say "They dumb".

I have a hypothesis.

For the last eight years of the Obama administration, the GOP and its supporters transformed what it meant to be the opposition party.

Certainly, the case could be made that the GOP party of the 90's, who successfully indicted the democratic president via nakedly partisan reasons that in hindsight, few people would construe as "high crimes and misdemeanors" that in any way jeopardized the country.

But even then, the opposition party limited itself to using the existing *facts* to make political attacks. Their tether to reality thin, but at least attached.

The election of Barrack Obama as President snapped this tether completely. Largely, because President Obama was careful, and never gave them substantive facts to use against him.

Here is some of the stuff they did:

  • Called him a liar.
  • Tried to stop every action he took, regardless of merit
  • Raised questions of his legitimacy as a president via his birthplace and parentage
  • Claimed he was a secret Muslim working against America
  • Had numerous radio and television stations pushing outrage that was primarily motivated by entertainment and politics foremost, journalistic accuracy third, if at all.

So look at that list, and compare it to the current claims against President Trump:

  • That he and his staff frequently lie.
  • That the democrats and courts have blocked many of his actions.
  • Raise evidence that Russians intervened in the election on behalf of Trump
  • Claiming he seems to have significant ties to a foreign power
  • Multiple newspapers leaking damaging stories about him

After eight years of doing it, Trump supporters believe what they were doing was and is acceptable and normal. That it was the job of the opposition party to make things up and scream.

They either kinda, sortknew it was made up, and/or grew so mad that the rest of the country ignored those facts, that they assumed the "other side" was brainwashed and can't be trusted.

Either case would mean a Trump supporter, hearing the above news, would assume that it was either fueled by the same, fact-free generated fake outrage that their critiques of Obama were, or that they alone are the ones with access to accurate news reporting, and "the other side" simply has incorrect facts.

The attacks seem equivalent, and since the ones they made against Obama were complete fabrications that ultimately led nowhere, they believe the same must be true of the Trump attacks..

The moral of the story of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" is that integrity is important, lest everyone ignore you. However, as that boy grew into a man, surely one lesson he learned was "Don't trust anybody who cries wolf, because they are all untrustworthy, self-serving pieces of shit"


Alternative theory:
by: Mike (contact) - 22 May '17 - 22:15
That's an interesting article.

I'm not surprised the Atlantic okay'd an article blaming liberals. Blaming themselves is a popular past-time.

I agree, that many Trump supporters love being outraged by those shows.

But I would argue that is more of a side-effect of it being far easier to be outraged at Liberals response to Trump, than it is to directly defend his actions.

Overall, I find the evidence of the article weak. Implying that all those late night shows ridicule Trump voters, and then only finding two examples, from Samantha Bee's show.

One from the campaign era, one post-election (which her show apologized ford).

I haven't seen a joke on Colbert, Kimmel or John Oliver's show ever be directed "at" a Trump supporter.

The one example of John Oliver was for his show on abortion (Feb 2016, before Trump was even the candidate), telling people "If you are against abortion, I'm probably not going to change your mind on this".

The author interpreted this as him being high and mighty. To me, it seems like the opposite, a practical and humble admittance of the limitations of the possibility of policy debate to change some core beliefs.
by: Kyle (contact) - 31 May '17 - 09:37
The idea that the networks get defined by their late night hosts is not to far fetched to me. When the late night shows have cart blanche to trash Trump for ratings, I think there is a trickle down assumption by many people that the news programs on the same networks have the same agenda.

It's an alternative to the theory that Trump supporters think, "because we lied about Obama, they are lying about Trump". It allows people to maintain the idea they they tell the truth (about Obama) and still the media lies about Trump.

I do also think that the late night shows inadvertently bolstered support for Trump. I wouldn't say it was a deciding factor, it just wasn't helpful.
by: Mike (contact) - 31 May '17 - 14:04


Meta Information:

Title: The Man Who Cried Wolf in His Youth
Date posted: 18 May '17 - 11:50
Filed under: General
Word Count: 547 words
Good Karma: 79 (vote)
Bad Karma: 41 (vote)
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