Right wing entertainment news is making America worse
The 2016 Republican presidential candidate is Donald Trump, a racist, xenophobic, sexist billionaire with the maturity level of a child. His campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again,” and his plan to do that mostly involves blaming minorities for all of America’s problems. His platform is disunity, and his rhetoric takes this philosophy to a fascist level.
Republican voters chose Donald Trump over 21 other candidates because his message of race-blaming and fear mongering resonated with them, which has made the rest of the world ask themselves, “How can so many Americans be so naive?”
To be fair, Donald Trump took conservatives by surprise. His financial success and candor were a breath of fresh air from all the corrupt insider politicians they’ve come to distrust, but the more conservatives heard him talk, the more the educated ones distanced themselves from him and his message by labeling his most fanatical followers “the alt-right.”
Wikipedia defines the “Alt-Right” as: “A segment of right-wing ideologies presented as an alternative to mainstream conservatism in the United States. It has been described as a movement unified by support for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, as well as by opposition to multiculturalism and immigration. The Alt-Right has no official ideology, although various sources have said that it is associated with white nationalism, white supremacism, antisemitism, right-wing populism, nativism, and the neoreactionary movement.”
Everyone is a little racist. Our brains are wired to make generalizations and fear the unknown. Growing up in an isolated town in the middle of a giant country sets you up to hold onto your in-group and distrust outsiders. When you hear about outsiders doing bad things but you never meet any in person, it’s easy to blow their deeds out of proportion. These factors set Americans up to think like Trump, but the people who became the Alt-Right never would have drank the Kool-Aid without coaching.
American conservatives have been indoctrinated with xenophobia by the right wing news entertainment industry. It’s flagship is Fox News, where 47% of conservatives say they get their daily news. According to the Alexa rankings, the next most popular conservative news sources include The Independent Journal Review, Breitbart, The Blaze, and The New York Post, The most popular hosts conservatives tune into for news are Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Michael Savage.
There are thousands more outlets and personalities in the industry, and every one of them use the same business model. They make their money selling merchandise, memberships and advertisements, and the way they draw viewers in, is by appealing to their basest psychological instinct: fear. They inform the viewer there’s a major threat to their safety or way of life, and then they dramatically blame the problem on a group of outsiders (including white liberals). At the same time, they appeal to the viewer’s desire for confirmation bias by celebrating and promoting conservative values like “personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense.”
These “news” organizations might claim they’re just giving their customer what they want, and it’s not their responsibility to censor their content. The problem is they go out of their way to construct a specific narrative and censor out information that contradicts it.
Creating the worldview they’re selling requires them to censor, bend and cherry pick facts, which they present using subjective and manipulative language. Presenting facts in a fair and balanced manner would be anathema to their business model. But by demonizing dissenting thought, they indoctrinate viewers to believe the in-group doctrine with cultish devotion. By branding and selling ignorance as truth, they gradually and systematically warp the perception of their viewers until the Alt-Right narrative is so familiar to them they can’t see the world through any other lens.
No country has ever been made great through indoctrinating its population with ignorance. Right wing entertainment news has eroded America’s greatness by eroding the minds of impressionable Americans, and the popularity of Donald Trump just goes to show how they’ve succeeded at grooming the minds of America. As long as they’re steering the nation, it will remain on course to electing the next Hitler and/or igniting the next civil war.
America will never be great again until our information is great again.
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Originally published at thewisesloth.com on August 30, 2016.