The post-election media has two jobs, it seems.
1. Make sure Hillary Clinton doesn't get too big for her britches. I can already see the "Clinton doesn't have a real mandate because Trump was such a poor candidate" panels on Meet the Press.
2. Make sure Trump supporters little fee-fees aren't too hurt by their loss.
We didn't worry about the feelings of Republican voters nearly as much in 2008 and 2012, even though all indications are, Trump is going to lose by much larger numbers than McCain or Romney.
But we must paint a both-sider picture and make sure the audience for Cialis and Sarah Lee Premium Deli meats doesn't feel put down because the majority of Americans think their Orange Kim Jong Il is a doofus.
So the media has to cover this loss, in advance, like this:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Margaret Carlson, how the Clinton -- will ask the question of people, their relatives around the table, "How can you vote for a woman who should be in jail". which is what most Trump voters believe of Hillary Clinton and 55% of Americans believe of Hillary Clinton. I think it's going to be like as we said in the '80s, Margaret, M.A.D. mutually assured destruction, if we don't learn how to get along.
MARGARET CARLSON: ...the mutually assured -- we're going to have mutually assured destruction to bring people on either side kind of back into the middle after the passions, after the passions have died down a little. There's a way to honor the Trump voter without being for Trump. which, unfortunately, Hillary Clinton did not do. that deplorables thing is a lasting blot on her campaign. and she will have to live with that. but we don't have to live with it, and I do think you can honor what's drawn people to Trump, which is
SCARBOROUGH: ... has that been done yet?
CARLSON I don't think it's been done because, in the press, we have tended to lump Trump's voters with Trump. instead of honoring what brought them to Trump, which is elitism and Washington being broken and certainly Mitch McConnell was no more listening to those voters than Harry Reid. so it isn't as if either party was listening.
Oh I totally disagree, Margaret. Mitch McConnell was totally listening to the Trump voter. That's why he blocked Obama's Supreme Court nominee, promised to repeal Obamacare, and even filibustered his own bill just to mess with Democrats. He was listening to the Republican base, Margaret.
Willie Geist then wishes for a magic Mitt Romney to come and take the failed Republican Party away and replace it with one that actually works. The one non-white person on the panel, Anand Giridharadas, momentarily cuts through the baloney and makes an important point about Trump voters -- this is about White resentment.
WILLIE GEIST: It remains an open question whether or not Donald Trump goes away. he may still be around, but the frustrations of the people who gravitated to him aren't going anywhere. the question is, is there another person in the Republican Party, another conservative or independent who picks up on that energy and uses it maybe in a more constructive way?
ANAND GIRIDHARADAS: I don't want to wait for a leader to deal with this energy because I think how badly we went when we don't deal with each other as human beings. I think every institution needs to do this. I would say to your point, this needs to be a two-way reconciliation, and here's my suggestion for kind of each side. I think the elites we're talking about who relate to understanding this pain, who didn't see the roots of Trump, need to see it--need to re-engage with What American needs to understand what's doing on.
I think the people who went that way and that Trump movement and perhaps supported things about women they don't actually support or supported things about bashing Muslims that they don't in their deepest of hearts support, need to think about the fact that globalization and all of that was hard on everybody. It wasn't just hard on White guys. For some reason, women lost their jobs in globalization, Black and Brown people lost their jobs in globalization, and managed not to lash out. I think there needs to be a reckoning, frankly, with white manhood in this country.
Anand, I know you're being new-agey here, but really, I can't think of a more insulting thing to say about a voter than, "You said you were for X, but since I think X is offensive, I'm going to pretend you didn't mean it."
But the white manhood comment is dead on. And Willie? It's not just interesting, it's the TRUTH. But Margaret Carlson wants to make excuses for White men because aw, their feelings!
CARLSON: They were more wounded by it because their expectations were so much higher. in an earlier age, they were in charge. and they were the daddies, and then they weren't. They lost some of their, you know, their standing. so that's why I think the backlash is there for them.
Giridharadas insists that we need truth and reconciliation after the election, but Joe Scarborough absolutely will not let the segment end there.
SCARBOROUGH: Wait, wait. there's reckoning, though. you say reckoning. there needs to be a reckoning, and. I suggest there needs to be a reconciliation. If Abraham Lincoln after the Civil War can say "with malice toward none," we can say it after this petty, petulant election.
Sure, Joe, we can say "with malice toward none" after the election. We'll do that when the Trump voter gives up what THE SOUTH did in 1865.
A recent article in Vox points out that the "victims of globalization economic distress" excuse for Trump is not at all true. The average Trump supporter has a median household income of $72,000. This is a deliberate mischaracterization by media people who have an alterior motive:
If economic suffering among lower-class whites caused Trump, the reasoning goes, then the solution is to address that suffering through a more generous welfare state and better economic policy, achieved through a multiethnic working-class coalition that includes those Trump supporters. Yes, these supporters may be racist, but it’s important not to say mean things about them lest they fall out of the coalition.
The solution is much more painful to those who depend on both siderism to attract un-offended eyeballs:
What’s needed is an honest reckoning with what it means that a large segment of the US population, large enough to capture one of the two major political parties, is motivated primarily by white nationalism and an anxiety over the fast-changing demographics of the country. Maybe the GOP will find a way to control and contain this part of its base. Maybe the racist faction of the party will dissipate over time, especially as Obama’s presidency recedes into memory. Maybe it took Trump’s celebrity to mobilize them at all, and future attempts will fail.
But Donald Trump’s supporters’ concerns are heavily about race. Taking them seriously means, first and foremost, acknowledging that, and dealing with it honestly.