Why Killing Trump With a Thousand Media Cuts Isn’t Working

by William Skink

From big, corporate media conglomerates to little Montana start-ups, the effort to destroy Trump is becoming all-consuming. And because Trump is perceived as such a unique threat, there is just no room for journalistic objectivity or equal attention to the great unmasking Wikileaks has gifted our dead Democracy.

At Missoula Current, Martin Kidston explores the down-ticket impact on Montana Republicans after pussygate, with an article titled Montana GOP’s statewide candidates not fazed by Donald Trump’s missteps. It remains to be seen whether any statewide Democrats will have to field similar inquiries to gauge if they are fazed by the deluge of disclosures exposing Hillary Clinton’s chronic corruption and sleazy deceit.

At Last Best News, Ed Kemmick eagerly scapegoats right-wing talk radio hosts for piecing together Trumpestein in their laboratory, then setting him loose to stir up the deplorable villagers against the liberal eggheads who oversaw the experiment, but are now panicking and in need of local scribes to obscure their culpability.

Convoluted analogy, I know, so let’s take a look at Ed’s actual framing of the origin of Trumpestein:

It looks like the presidential election might be over already. Thank God. But the creatures that spawned the Creature from the Reality TV Lagoon are likely to be with us for a while yet.

I refer to the lords of talk radio, whose unrelenting sledgehammer attacks on conventional governance finally coughed up presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. He has been, sure enough, unconventional. But unlike most iconoclasts, Trump seems to have been blissfully unaware that there were conventions, customs and rules that people live by in the real world.

The handful of right-wing talk radio hosts who created his candidacy are not quite so innocent. They have, over the past several decades, spewed forth a river of words that would, if put into books, have the heft of about 2.5 million Bibles, by my rough estimate.

I’m sure blaming Rush and Hannity feels good, but they are not the ones to blame for Trump. The real culprit is hiding in plain sight: conventional governance.

Here is the awkward reality: the conditions that created an enraged populous willing to use Trump as their political molotov cocktail were created during the neoliberal takeover of the Democratic party during the 90’s by, you guessed it, the Clintons. And like a venereal disease, it’s taken awhile for the syphilitikesque symptoms to become apparent in the subject, which is us.

First, let’s take a look at economics. The trifecta of financial deregulation (repealing Glass-Steagall), free trade (NAFTA), and welfare reform set the stage for rage by outsourcing jobs, destroying the safety net, and giving the wolves of wall street the keys to the hen house.

Then there’s the media, and the gift to the unofficial ministry of information in the guise of the Telecommunication Act of ’96. I think we can all agree that the corporate consolidation of media power has not resulted in a more informed electorate.

And how about race relations? Well, the tough-on-crime Clintons exploded mass incarceration with mandatory minimums and other craven policy positions that have greatly deteriorated relations between law enforcement and the communities they are tasked with policing. I think the mantra back then was political lives matter, specifically ours (the Clintons), and fuck the rest of you.

So now here we are, less than a month before the 2016 election, and Trump still has a chance of becoming president, despite everything he has said and done. It’s like those cheap, Chinese finger traps: the more vigorous you try to dislodge your fingers, the tighter the trap becomes.

If you really want to destroy Trump, media crusaders, quit pulling so hard, pause, take a breath, then actually try to understand the dynamics that made Trump possible. If Rush and Hannity is the best you can do, take another breath, look around, then try again.

Or don’t, because this late in the game there’s no stopping this train from derailing.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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5 Responses to Why Killing Trump With a Thousand Media Cuts Isn’t Working

  1. Big Swede says:

    Looking forward to Square Head Ed’s commentary on the Wikileak releases.

  2. Eric says:

    My little voice says get ready for President Trump. I wish it was Ted Cruz, but I just think Hillary is just too unlikeable to be elected. I will predict though, that whoever gets the most votes will have to win by a plurality, just like Bill Clinton did, not getting 50% of the vote.

    • steve kelly says:

      And that’s roughly 50% of those eliglble. Either candidate will be supported by slightly more than a quarter of eligible U.S. voters.

      Regardless of who “wins,” what shall we call the new, one-party, party? In one-party Russia it’s United Russia. In China it’s Communist Party of China. Like naming the family dog, will we all have a say?

  3. Eric says:

    That’s a really good point, because Wednesday morning either the Dems will be the winners, and start ‘paying back’ all of us, or if the Donald wins, both parties will be in shattered piles.

  4. steve kelly says:

    “Poached (boiled) frog” either way. Time to stick a fork in it: American democracy.

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