News The Trump media era ends not with a wow, but a whisper

by Nicholas Martin

V. news anchor in the middle of a commercial break. For some of them, the idea that the election was stolen will be a new and exciting bit of information. But there’s also an audience for this, one that is much larger than his Newsmax audience: It’s the people who are eager to hear exactly what he has to say about anything. It’s a group that includes people who have heard him say it before, so often and so loudly, that they don’t even need to hear it again. The reason this is important to understand is because Trump’s appearance on Newsmax was not merely an unexpected bit of news; it was something much more significant in its implications for our current political moment. What makes Trump so important now isn’t his ability to lie about things—though he does do that very well—it’s his ability to shape events by giving voice to a set of beliefs that are widely held by voters who feel disempowered by their own political system and those who want to change it. What makes him important is not just what he says but how many people hear him say it and are moved by his message. These days when we talk about politics we often talk about voter apathy or disillusionment or disaffection from politics as if these things were rare events or unique phenomena. We talk about them as if they had nothing in common with each other or with the people whose lives are lived under their impact, but there is something very important going on here: Trump has been able to bring together two groups whose members have felt dispossessed by politics into one large movement based on a shared set of beliefs and a set of grievances against those who hold power within American society. This is an incredibly powerful thing, especially in our current political moment when so many different groups feel like they can no longer trust anyone in power or believe any politician can do anything meaningful for them because we live in an era when money defines power rather than meritocracy . In fact, I believe this is what has fueled Trumpism and its various offshoots since 2016: The feeling among Republican voters that they have been left behind by economic forces beyond their control and cannot trust anyone else with power over their lives (even though nearly all Republicans actually benefit from economic changes made under Republican administrations). This feeling combined with anger at those who seem disconnected from them (which includes both Democrats and Republicans) has created fertile ground for Trumpism ever since 2016 . Trump used this feeling among Republican voters as the basis for an ideological movement designed to take back control over American society from those who rule over us through money rather than meritocracy . The problem with Trumpism—aside from its obvious flaws as an ideology—is that this movement really only works if you can convince people outside your base that you are right about everything (including things you know you aren’t right about), which means you must be able to persuade independents; you must be able to convince some Democrats; you must be able to persuade some liberals; and you must be able to persuade some centrists . And while Trump can convince some independents (though not many), he cannot convince enough independents, Democrats or liberals without losing support among his own base (especially since most centrists would prefer candidates other than Trump). As such, while Trump may still appeal enough voters outside his base—and thus have enough influence over American politics—to win elections even if he loses support within his base , he will never win enough elections without winning support within his base because he cannot appeal enough independents, Democrats or liberals without losing support among his own base . And thus far at least , Donald Trump continues racking up electoral victories despite having lost support within all three groups during the campaign season . Trump did not invent this kind of politics nor does he represent it alone; there were others before him , including various figures associated with Vladimir Putin ‘s Russia , which sought similar aims through similar means ; but none before Trump had pulled together such a large number of disparate elements into one coherent whole . No one else had convinced so many Americans outside their own party that they were being cheated out of victory when they were expected winners (which includes every single major party candidate since 2000 ) nor convinced so many Americans inside their own party that they were being cheated out of victory when they expected losers ; no one else had convinced so many Americans outside their own party that politicians did not deserve respect simply because they weren’t Democrats nor convinced so many Americans inside their own party that politicians deserved respect simply because they weren’t Republicans ; no one else had convinced so many Americans outside their own party that America was ruled through money rather than meritocracy ; no one else had persuaded them all at once; and no one else had done all these things using rhetoric calculated precisely for maximum impact on each group without regard for how any one group

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Senator Mike Lee received from National Beer Wholesalers Assn: $21k, iHeartMedia Inc: $20.5k, Norfolk Southern: $15k, plus $42.5k from others on Antitrust
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Senator Mike Lee is on the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights
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