How the Trump base was cultivated by lies about "line cutting" – from Reagan, through Fox

How the Trump base was cultivated by lies about "line cutting" – from Reagan, through Fox

I was inspired by Seth Cotlar’s take on how modern conservatism got to where they are at today, but there’s one aspect he didn’t cover. From a red area, I watched Republican media, and Republican elites, cultivate the GOP base to want someone like Trump. Republicans have been telling white people falsehoods for decades about how it is white people who are victims. Republicans used dogwhistles, never quite saying it explicitly, and they also never did anything about minorities oppressing white people.  (This is difficult, because it’s not a real thing.)  Over time, more and more of the GOP base believed this falsehood and felt victimized. And Trump came along and broke through the longtime dogwhistles. He talked about how white people were victims explicitly!  So he seemed authentic. And this is how he stole the GOP base from the GOP elite.

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After the Civil Rights Act, a conservative coalition emerged that needed lies to get votes for the donors

But the dependence on falsehoods and identity took years to take over conservativism. Reagan launched his 1980 campaign with a speech at Neshoba County and there talked about ‘states’ rights’.  While that was a clear dogwhistle to racists in the South, Reagan mostly did not pander to those voters while in office. (But wait a bit, this bait-and-switch becomes important later.)

Reagan lying about so-called ‘welfare queens’ in 1974 — to get white voters to vote for wealthy GOP interests

The move by Reagan to rely on falsehoods highlighted that conservatives by the 1980s had made a clear decision: they would pursue votes via identity and via dogwhistles — deniable falsehoods. And that decision worked for both sides of the Republican party, the business interests that funded the party, who needed to distract the base from how their own finances were impacted by Republican policies, and the base voters themselves, who enjoyed the tribal and identity elements of Republican communications. Republican elites were willing to tell their voters one thing while hiding their real motives. (This has not been a main principle of the modern left, who for all their faults, typically are honest about their goals.)

The end of the Fairness Doctrine begat Limbaugh, who begat Fox

Rupert Murdoch (left), Fox owner

(c) The Brainwashing Of My Dad

Republicans built a media machine to lie to their base to get votes for GOP donors

Reagan’s lying primed the GOP base to want someone like Trump

Title character, The Brainwashing of My Dad