US Election Toxic Polarisation & how Fox News echo chambers & cancel culture makes it worse

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Democrats Look at Trump Voters and Wonder, ‘What the Hell Is Your Problem?’

In an odd way, Donald Trump’s political performance in 2020 — an election he looks on track to narrowly lose — is far more impressive than his performance in 2016, the election he narrowly won.

Unquestionably, his 2020 results are more disturbing, for anyone who does not share his enthusiasm for the politics of personal and institutional contempt. It has never been more clear the large numbers of people who do share that enthusiasm, or at a minimum have no overriding objections. This, in turn, has never been more unsettling in the implications.

After 4 years of spite, malice, bewildering pandemic incompetence and more malice, Donald Trump grew his vote.

Let that sink in.

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The tax cuts he gave created a tsunami in working people’s pockets in a way neoliberalism had forgotten, for the very first time for many working people trickle down looked like it worked.

Of course the deplorable corporate tax cuts are nothing less than a plutocracy of obscene wealth that cements into place an immovable fortress of inequality, but when you have been failed so many previous times, that tiny lift in your wallet eclipses that truth and highlights the naked desperation many suffocating under the American dream feel.

Trump built his vote with African Americans, Hispanics and held Women. More people voted for Trump despite all the evidence of his contempt but claiming that support is all white supremacy is a cheap way the Left can remove themselves from the equation.

This election was supposed to be a landslide to Biden, in the end he will probably claw a knife edge win. Republicans held the Senate and bewilderingly gained in the House, to scream they are all white supremacists doesn’t go anywhere near explaining that Democrat failure.

There is something far deeper at play here. I simply don’t believe we have understood the magnitude of damage social media and the way we abuse the other has played into this.

Our interaction with one another on social media has created a proxification process where the activist abusing you replaces the actual party.

Previously insults were yelled at each other and forgotten, when you abuse someone on social media it stays there forever.

I always took the personal to be the political to mean living your personal life to your expressed political positions, now I think what hurts you personally becomes political.

When the woke cancel someone, where do they go?

The Republicans.

Add to this dynamic the reductive power of living in our own echo chambers.

Republicans fed nothing but Fox News paranoia believe batshit crazy stuff like the Biden family are criminals while those Republicans who only access their news on Facebook mutate into QAnon conspiracy theorists who operate in a different dimension of reality.

There is a toxic polarisation that goes beyond citizens with different opinions to naked enemies who must be destroyed.

Look at the Hopper Bar fiasco in Ponsonby, instead of showing tolerance to Republican supporters at a Bar wearing MAGA hats watching the election, it was escalated by self righteous virtue signalling with the language of catastrophe to an event on par with the genocide of infants. The need to see the other as the worst possible example of the worst thing we hate has swamped us with the pretend agency of policing micro aggressions because resistance is at an atomic level now.

Don’t like being in a bar during the American Election with supporters of one of the major parties? Feel free to walk out, OR shout them a beer and make whoever loses pay for all the shots while bantering against them all night.

It’s not a neo Nazi cross burning event and attempting to escalate it to that only feeds this never ending cycle of toxic polarisation.

Don’t get me wrong, fuck Trump and fuck Republicans, but there’s an obligation on you as a fellow citizen to try and find some common ground while actively pointing out how wrong they are.

Toxification of the other isn’t getting us anywhere and if we really want to ensure Trump fails we have to work out how to win people over to our side.

The Right look for recruits, the Left look for traitors.

Also.

Picking a candidate who isn’t a walking cadaver who looks like he will die a confused death any minute with a policy platform that actually helped those voters Trump conned might fucking help as well!

I was always a Bernie Bro.

 

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16 COMMENTS

    • DJS
      Should be Harris as President in that scenario, with Pelosi as backup if she dies too. When Ford succeeded Nixon they then appointed a new vice-president for the remainder of the term. Hasn’t a dead Republican already been elected this election?
      But really, we’d be looking at street chaos and legal bullshit.

  1. All very true Martyn, but the toxic polarization isn’t just us on social media, it is the media itself, which is hyper partisan and almost exclusively anti trump.
    Our media is no better.
    I watch the commentators with some interest – did you note the twitter boss “endorsing” CNN coverage as balanced?
    Another Democrat circle jerk of self reinforcement.

    Biden headlines gently told us he expected to win, trump headlines screamed trump was calling the election early when he said pretty much the same thing -with his usual exaggeration.

    No wonder the population is polarized and uninformed, and no one could see how well trump polled because no one is actually listening to the other guys.

  2. You think Bernie Sanders could turn Maricopa county blue or flip georgia or win the leafy suburbs that are flipping? I’m yes and no. I think these people mostly college educated would vote anyone but Trump but then I think self interest might rule the day. I don’t think Bernie actually would have got the youth voting, they may have supported him but would they vote ? They didn’t in the primaries they stayed home. It’s sad shit. I wanted Sanders Warren or Yang but hey…. As a kiwi I’m glad the guy who him and his right wing compatriots have a seething hatred of our country due to covid and would want to make life hard for us , appears to have lost.

    • Kiwis lest not forget that jonkey signed us into the TPPA, with secrecy as to its provisions. This is a major concern as Parliament also has no knowledge of what key signed away.
      Biden will reactivate the TPPA that Trump dumped.

        • Actually they both negotiated the deal. Although Key’s lot did the bulk of it once the USA became involved. Labour then betrayed its own foundational principles to simply sign it off.

  3. The irony is that Biden is further right than the National party shouldn’t be lost on anyone.

    That aside this election has shown the danger of woke. When the dems went after the person and not the process with ACB they lost. To call Catholicism a radical religion alienated latinos. And so on. The appalling nature of tv1’s coverage which was effectively calling everyone who voted for Trump a racist moron and not understanding why was another example. As was the dribbler who had a tantrum because a bar had a Trump party. All jokes aside Trump isn’t a Hitler, Stalin or Pol Pot and part of the reason of his success was because he was treated as such. People saw through the BS and thought fuck it I don’t like that treatment. If it happened to him it could happen to me.

    It’s time for Trump and the GOP to part ways and acknowledge his lasting legacy that Hillary didn’t get the job that the establishment had been wanting for a couple of decades. She would have been a disaster and opened another long term middle eastern war in Syria against Russia. Trump in his own weird way de-escalated both Korean Peninsula and the mid east without starting another war anywhere else.

    If the GOP hold the Senate which is likely then there won’t be any new green deal or anything too radical whether Biden or Harris holds the oval office indeed McConnell would give Harris a good belting if she decided to move off the reservation. Overall the GOP will probably be over the moon how this has turned out. Retain the senate, lose Trump and a platform laid to retake the house in 2 years.

    • “People saw through the BS and thought fuck it I don’t like that treatment.”

      Yeah “that treatment” couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. A compulsive liar, racist, multiple bankrupt, defaulter on loans, fraudster and thief.

  4. ” I was always a Bernie Bro ”
    The American election and the hope and excitement generated by Bernie’s amazing primary campaign died INMHO when the Democratic party and its powerful donors moved to expel him and his supporters from getting anywhere near the nomination. The whole charade just makes you cynical and if only the American people could see it for what it is and unite to force real change on the real enemy and get a out and protest the oligarchy that suffocates their country. Biden and his crap about listening to the will of the people is just an insult. They listen to their corporate interests first , ask for votes promising change and how we have listened, then get elected and put the phone down and concentrate on their personal political legacy and never carry out the changes needed which is the political courage they talk so much about.
    All the things Bernie talked about will not be addressed or go away which means that the movement he started will continue in the years ahead.

    • Bernie was asking for a mandate to support the people with social aims first.
      Corporate US wont stand for that

      Notice how American crowds cheer after ever sentence they hear from their so called leaders.
      They have learned to do that from TV.
      Our kids are now learning the same unthinking uncritical mass compliance behaviour also from the US TV that swamps their lives.

    • They diddled Bernie at the start of the democratic party selection process on the Iowa caucus when the app or software they were using blacked out with the counting showing Bernie ahead but when it resumed Pete Buttigig was the winning.
      It will be interesting to see where/if the primary contenders get any positions in the Biden administration once it forms. Biden was written off in the early stages.

  5. MSM in US serves the same purpose they do here. The are the key that locks voters into supporting one or other flavour of neo liberalism. Thats all there is to it.

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