For years, media and political elites refused to acknowledge the growing racism and radicalism of the Republican party. Their “both-sidesism” led to Trump’s GOP takeover.
By Joan Walsh for THE NATION
I’ve always resisted the notion that new decades are news events, bestowed on us in pre-measured pallets of history to be analyzed later as self-contained units of meaning. But as we ring in 2020, it’s hard not to feel like we’ve been through an epoch we should pause to acknowledge. Being ornery, I’ll date it to 2009, and the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency. However we count them off, we have to admit: These last 10 (or 11) years saw the rise of a sometimes violent right-wing American extremism, fueled by racism, and an even bigger story — the utter failure of political elites and mainstream media to figure out how to handle it.
I finally became convinced I had to write about this decade—or as I like to call it, “this f&$%ing decade”—when I read the Rolling Stone interview with Meet the Press host Chuck Todd that burned down the Internet just before Christmas. The decent person in me, who is withering to nothing given the lack of nutritive decency around us, wants to give Todd credit, however belated, for realizing the obvious: that the Trump administration, but more important, Republicans generally, have used his show to spread lies and then double down on them when caught, for a long time.
From Trump toady Kellyanne Conway’s mind-fracturing “alternative facts” defense in the first week of the administration, to alleged anti-Russia hawk Senator Ted Cruz inviting himself on Todd’s show to spout pro-Russia Continue reading