Anti-Trump Right-Wing Talker: Gosh, You Don't Suppose Some Of This Trump Stuff Is My Fault, Do You?
Image from: The New York Times

Charlie Sykes, a prominent conservative radio host in Wisconsin who's vehemently anti-Trump, is doing some soul-searching, according to Politico:

Charlie Sykes’ conscience is nagging him.

Since last year, the most influential political talk show host in Wisconsin has found out just how hard it is to be a #NeverTrump conservative on right-wing radio....

Sykes’ many arguments with listeners over Donald Trump’s serial outrages have exposed in much of his audience a vein of thinking -- racist, anti-constitutional, maybe even fascistic -- that has shaken Sykes. It has left him questioning whether he and his colleagues in the conservative media played a role in paving the way for Trump’s surprising and unprecedented rise....

“When I would deny that there was a significant racist component in some of the politics on our side, it was because the people I hung out with were certainly not,” Sykes says. “When suddenly, this rock is turned over, there is this -- ‘Oh shit, did I not see that?’..."

Yes -- did Sykes not see that? Did he somehow overlook that racist anger when he was airing the kind of material described in this 2014 New Republic story?

Sykes is credited with, among other accomplishments, having blocked public funding for needle-exchange programs and having helped drive into bankruptcy an urban mall after harping on security issues there. In April 2013, he played a clip of “It’s Free (Swipe Yo EBT),” a viral video produced by a right-wing activist in which an African American woman raps about liquor stores where one can allegedly use a food-stamp card. Returning to the same theme later in the year, Sykes declared, “The number of Americans who receive means-tested government benefits -- welfare -- now outnumbers those who are year-round full-time workers.”

Yeah, nobody could have foreseen that playing an excerpt from this video would stir up white racial anger:

And no one could have predicted that the author of this book would have stirred up Trumpite anger in the years before the rise of Trump:

On immigration, here are some pre-Trump tweets from Sykes:

And here's one referencing a murder victim frequently cited by Donald Trump on the campaign trail (an undocumented immigrant has been charged in the case):

On Islam and refugees:

Oh, and that angry mother of a Benghazi victim who spoke at the Republican convention on Trump's behalf? Sykes was an admirer three years ago:

(Go here for more on Benghazi from Sykes.)

And while Sykes may not endorse the nuttiest conspiracies, he traffics in the kind of right-wing conspiratorialism that's utterly mainstream. Hillary Clinton says she'd like to overturn Citizens United? Sykes responds by tweeting a link to an inflammatory Power Line post:

Are you a climate change denier with a book to hawk? You're welcome on Sykes's show.

Sykes is hardly the worst of the right-wing talkers. But did he do his part in preparing the ground for Trump. You bet.

Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog

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