Friday, May 12, 2017

Leanin' over the back fence....

Yeah, no echoes of Watergate here....

Tout le monde (which is to say, "America"), knows that the biggest problem in America is political division and partisanship.  So this morning, when NPR interviewed a conservative blogger, they added to the interview clips from "Trump supporters" from around the country.

They sounded just like the people who thought Watergate was a "D.C. story" when Nixon was still in office.  It had nothing to do with them, it was a Beltway concern, it was easily dismissed.  But I don't recall anyone in 1973 being interviewed because they were a "Nixon supporter."  Maybe it was a given; Nixon won every state but Massachusetts in 1972.  Presumably Nixon supporters were as numerous as blades of grass, and stretched from sea to shining sea.

But I don't think so.  I think after an election people stopped being "Nixon supporters" or even "McGovern supporters," and they just returned to being "Americans."  There was still division, between those who were convinced Nixon was in the Watergate scandal up to his eyeballs, and those who were convinced the whole thing was, what did Trump call it?  "A made-up story."  Yeah, that division ran through America in the 1970's, even after Nixon resigned and left office in disgrace.

But now we worry about "partisanship" and "divisions in America," and yet our default setting is to find "supporters" of the President, because they alone matter.  Although I'm hard pressed to remember any "supporters of Barack Obama" being interviewed as subjects of concern for critiques of our immediate past president.  Maybe it only matters when the President is suspected of serious breaches of law and proprieties associated with the office ("You can't fire the person investigating you!").  Still, the question lingers:  who cares what "Trump supporters" think?  If every legal question (and there are serious questions of obstruction of justice here, not to mention interference in U.S elections) is simply reducible to a political question ("What do the President's supporters think?"), then is it any wonder we are divided by partisan politics?

At least according to our national narrative as conduced by the media.  Of course, the media are only asking questions, right?  They aren't responsible for what people talk about.  They're just the gossips that pass on what 'some people are saying'.



  1. Npr - the crown jewel of bothSiderism. Why are you surprised?

  2. I'm not. But the election is over: why does anyone care what Trump supporters think? Yet that's the constant meme on the internet: it only matters if it changes the minds of Trump supporters.

    But why is that?