Fear, Loathing, and the GOP

Watch CNN or MSNBC or pick up a national newspaper and you’ll see lots of handwringing over the Republican Party’s fascism. It’ll be coupled with stories about another nobody you’ve probably never heard of getting canceled for saying something heterodox to progressive values. The louder the left screams about the GOP, the more it behaves exactly as it claims the GOP is.

Over the weekend, Texas joined a growing list of states barring consideration of critical theory in schools. The Texas legislation explicitly requires teaching about the Civil War, slavery, and white supremacy, but bars doing so under the new rubric of critical theory that claims the United States is systemically racist.

The Huffington Post, the New York Times, MSNBC, and various other outlets all reported Texas had passed the law and claimed it barred teaching about slavery, white supremacy, etc. Had the reporters bothered reading the legislation, they’d know their claims were not true. But they don’t care about the truth so much as they care about advancing claims the GOP is racist.

The left has always insisted the GOP is racist. They are doing so more loudly now even as the left advances neo-racism within critical theory — a claim that white people are always oppressors and black people are always oppressed; a claim that race is socially constructed, but also determinative; non-white people need segregated safe spaces; etc.

For starters, we need to acknowledge the Trump era well and truly did break a lot of people, including much of the press. They went from biases against the GOP to outright hatred of the GOP. They view Republicans now as an existential threat, coverage about which need not be fair. They view the GOP as something worth destroying and press coverage of the GOP is reflective of that.

But also, with redistricting alone, the GOP has a very real chance to take back the House of Representatives and make state legislative gains. An American media convinced the GOP is a fascist party and on the very of collapsing actually has to reconcile that view with the realization that the GOP is not down for the count, did remarkably well in November, and gained support from non-white voters at rates that exceed the last number of years.

James Carville advised Democrats to keep January 6th at the forefront of their conversations about the GOP to define the GOP as negatively as possible. That’s what the Democrats are doing through the press. They are obsessed with painting the GOP as fascist and a cult of Trump, not because of reality, but because of the 2022 midterms. All of their coverage is designed to define the GOP in advance of the midterms to mitigate the out of power party’s tendency to bounce back.

In the process, the media is further alienating themselves from the truth and the public from the media. The reality is that the American public is less and less inclined to believe the media’s version of events. When the media willfully distorts stories like the election laws or the critical theory pushback in states, more people turn away.

The media is, in fact, a direct accomplice in sending people down the rabbit holes of conspiracy theories by its new boldness in openly taking sides, telling narratives over facts, and pushing a concerted and highly coordinated campaign against Republicans. They can’t help themselves. They have embraced the idea the GOP itself is bad, its voters are racists, and if only they speak even louder and with a more united voice those black and Hispanic voters drifting to the GOP will see it too.

In substituting politics for religion, the media, like much of America, finds itself seeing fulfillment by excising sin from their lives. They view any loyalty to the GOP as just that. This is a religious exercise for them as they seek a comprehensive worldview that explains how Republicans can be a racist, fascist cult and still be making gains with non-white voters. Before the election, the New York Times rationalized it as black men have a thing for toxic masculinity and Hispanic voters like bold, brash leaders like those from whom their families fled. After the election, now that the data shows otherwise, they’ve got to find something else and, in absence of a theory, they’ll just scream ever more loudly about Trump — a man who lost the presidency by just 43,000 votes in the Electoral College.