Cable TV pundits and on-air announcers have been very stressed during the past four years to explain Trump’s visible mental illness reality show. But now that Trump is leaving office, they still don’t grasp a few basic themes about Trump’s Rasputin powers.
- First, the TV pundits fail to realize the old GOP is dead.
- Second, as someone with a mental illness, Trump will never change. Worse, millions of unsuspecting Americans are stressed by watching his mental illness unfold daily.
The Ol’ GOP is Dead
Let’s address the death of the GOP first.
In an MSNBC interview on Nov. 20, 2020, with Stephanie Ruhl, Jonathan Alter of the Daily Beast was asked if he could explain why only a handful of Republican Senators had acknowledged President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, weeks after the election.
Like everything else on cable news today, the anchorpeople ask this same question scores of times daily, but the pundits always fail to see the obvious.
Alter said that since there were no new elections shortly, the failure of Republican senators to acknowledge the Biden victory was a mystery.
For full-time commentators and dozens of other pundits, this should not be a mystery.
The reason is that Republicans in Congress support Trump even though he lost. The new face of the Republican Party is the street protestors and Republican vigilante groups.
The institutional anchoring of Alter, Ruhl, and many other cable TV commentators on MSNBC and CNN prevents them from acknowledging that the old Republican Party is dead. The new right-wing Frankenstein Republican Party is based on Trumpism, not fiscal conservativism, NATO alliances, free trade, and other traditional policies of a party that died when the Tea Party took over.
As President Barak Obama has noted in recent interviews, the new Republican Party started with Sarah Palin, the unfortunate, semi-literate choice made by an unsure and ill-advised John McCain in the 2008 presidential election.
Palin opened the cesspool gates for others who wanted to storm the halls of Washington DC and state capitals nationwide for anything not based on traditional party politics. It did not matter that the basis of the Tea Party’s policy platform was shutting down the government and old John Birch Society policies. Most Tea Party Republicans never heard of John Birch. Instead, they just wanted revenge on Democrats, traditional Republicans and had a common belief the federal government was the enemy.
The Tea Party also wanted revenge. It’s not clear what form this revenge would take, but the monied lobbying groups knew they had to support the irrational voters since their lobbying has to be focused. Their money could not be freely distributed to milling crowds without attracting attention.
This meant the Republican lobbying apparatus had to be re-aligned to incumbent Republicans who had to reinvent themselves for the Tea Party. They had to hide any Ivy League credentials, obscure any bi-partisan voting records, purge the liberal Dems from their Rolodexes, and make public statements supporting the John Birchers.
All this was a historical replay of what persecuted people did during the Inquisition, the Puritan witch hunt, Stalin’s show trials, and anywhere else witness intimidation occurs. It set the stage for Trump’s taking control of the party.
But the bottom line for cable TV pundits and anchor people is that Republicans don’t renounce Trump even after Biden won is because they want to keep their jobs in the new Trump Republican Party. It’s a matter of financial and political survival since most people in Congress would have a hard time finding a similar job in the private sector with the salaries and benefits they get now.
“Why doesn’t Trump change? Why is he doing this?”
These questions are some of the dumbest, and most common questions asked on-air during the past four years.
They were asked thousands of times and in many forms.
They are asked with some variations: “Isn’t there someone who can give Trump guidance?” “Isn’t there an adult in the room to keep an eye on Trump?” “Why does he do this?”
Republicans naively named generals, experienced lawyers, and politicians to help Trump make “adult decisions.” All failed. They all failed because they could not publicly admit Trump’s mental problems.
The simple reason is that Trump has mental problems. It’s a pathology.
He will never change.
Instead, for various reasons, even good ones, the media and pundits were forced to feign normalcy. Due to legitimate medical protocols, psychiatrists are reluctant to say someone has mental problems without making an actual face-to-face analysis.
But when the pundits and media take the terrible journalistic position of trying to rationalize the action or someone irrational, it raises the level of national anxiety.
This is the primary reason why Americans are under so much mental stress. The other is due to the COVID virus. But anyone who has been around people with mental problems, even trained professionals, let alone ordinary people, know that being around someone who is having a breakdown raises stress levels.
Unknowingly, millions of Americans watched this every day on TV and in his rallies. Seeing someone on stage with mental problems is one reason why Trump attracted large crowds. Just as people go to auto races to see the crashes, watch professional wrestling or mixed martial arts, watching a Trump speech must have been very similar to seeing the village idiot make his rounds in Medieval Europe. It’s fun to watch for a short time, and it’s not something you would see every day.
It’s a memorable event because, in Trump’s case, he is ridiculing the people, races, and institutions you cannot criticize and trash in the office, most family gatherings, or the job site without facing severe repercussions.
Trump became the alter ego of his followers.
He was the sociopathic rich Bad Boy who would never get arrested.
He was the con artist businessman who fooled the banks and lenders.
He could molest women he didn’t know, be an adulterer and get away with it.
He could sue anyone who called his bluff.
Worse, he could find an army of venal and corrupt lawyers, accountants, bankers, media owners, failed politicians, and street thugs who would always take his calls.
So, when the political pundits and anchorpeople keep asking the ridiculous question, “Why won’t Trump change?” the answer is that he has changed the entire political environment.
The Great Need to Change Cable TV Political Media
The bigger question is: Why doesn’t the political coverage change on cable TV?
Post-Trump, there is little need for so many media pundits. The cable networks should not confuse commentary with the news. They are not the same. Analysis has meaning when insightful, not when made by the same clique of commentators who have nothing new to say. On many cable news shows, there are so many commentators that it looks and sounds like the “Brady Bunch.”
Then, there is the problem with the real “fake news.” CNN misleads people daily when it calls out “Breaking News” when the event they are describing is days old. That’s the cheapest and oldest trick in the book to boost ratings. It’s also why cities prosecute store owners who post “Going Out of Business Sale” signs for months as a cheap ploy to attract traffic.
The damage caused by broadcasting Trump’s mental illness incessantly over the past four years is a significant reason why many Americans are stressed. Americans knew they saw something odd and out of the ordinary, but it was disguised by his surroundings and enablers who all hoped to get favors in return.
In Trump’s case, his mental outbursts took place in the White House. A few decades ago, he was the local Manhattan sociopath. A few hundred years ago, he would have been shunned by the villagers as a deadbeat and grifter.
Looking ahead, Trump Tea Party supporters will follow someone who is flamboyant, mentally unstable, fondles women in public, a nationalist, and racist.
All interested applicants should contact the Republican National Committee at 202-863-8500.