In November, Trump banners, flags, and boards decorated the back roads in Wisconsin like a parade route on the Fourth of July. Even the sides of barns were painted like billboards for Trump. It proclaimed what had to be a landslide for the President. The source of this cult of personality, and hatred of all things Democrat, was FOX supplemented by Russ Limbaugh and talk radio.
For them, the specter of our nation led by Joe Biden a hard left socialist and his antifa followers was an unimaginable horror. He, and that witch Nancy Pelosi, would throw open the gates of hell on behalf of baby killers, welfare recipients, and homosexuals, aka evil Democrats. It was a picture so frightening that storming the Capital to overthrow the government appeared not just reasonable but necessary to save the nation our founders had intended us to be, Christian, white, and armed.
Those who believe extending the hand of cooperation to Republicans like minority leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senator Ron Johnson, and Republicans in state Legislatures who vote to prevent mask wearing in the middle of a pandemic, do not recognize the extent to which they and their followers live in fantasy world created and maintained by FOX and OANN with their daily diet of hate and lies spewing from Trump, conspiracies theories and their own talk show hosts. The cult of Trump was built up through his frequent appearances on FOX and Limbaugh and their amplification of his torrent of lies plus their own.
To understand this, I urge you watch FOX and OANN and listen to Limbaugh for just five to ten minutes a day for one week. It does not matter what the news of the day is. The underlying theme will be that Democrats are taking the country to hell. If President Biden walked on water, the headline would be “look he can’t even swim.” It is a spigot of hate for all things related to Democrats, just as the jihadists are fed a steady diet of hating Israel and the “Jews”. Republicans listen for way more than five minutes a day and they have been listening and watching for years. For them this is ‘Radio Free America.” That is why they had to storm the Capitol.
Until we wake up to the source of the problem, there will be no possibility of rational debate and no cooperation in moving forward to solve real problems. Reconciliation will be as intractable as peace in the Middle East. The alternative is a war of attrition like the last election and Georgia. Our country will regain its sanity only if we turn down the volume of insane lies, conspiracy theories, and hate at its primary source. The way to do that is to attack the advertisers. We must shame them, with demonstrations, and boycott them, as we boycotted South Africa until they had to end Apartheid.