If there weren’t so many uppity blacks, criminal Mexicans invading our country, liberal media and teachers, pro-gay judges and soft-on-Islam Democrats, Donald Trump wouldn’t have to exist, Bill O’Reilly suggested last night.
In his Talking Points commentary, O’Reilly defended his milkshake BFF from charges that he’s acting like a fascist. Never mind that Trump has been acting like a fascist roughing up members of the press and protesters at his events and that he had his supporters raise their hands in a Hitler-like salute recently or his nativist talk. It’s really the liberals’ fault.
O’Reilly’s “proof” that Trump is a victim was a clip from NBC’s Matt Lauer asking, “Mr. Trump, with some of the rhetoric you’ve used on the campaign trail over the last several months, targeting groups like Muslims and Mexicans, that - that evokes images of Nazi Germany and the scapegoating of Jews there back in the 1930s and ‘40s.”
Without playing any clips of the behavior Lauer was alluding to, O’Reilly agreed with Trump that that was “a big, big stretch.”
O’REILLY: It’s more than a big stretch. It’s a strategy with the intention of not only demeaning Trump, but his supporters as well.
The candidate aside, it’s not hard to understand why some Americans are voting for Donald. Trump.
Having set up his buddy as a victim, O’Reilly used that to demonize all things liberal and champion Trump as some kind of do-gooder fighting the forces of anti-Americanism:
For the past seven years the folks have been witness to the following:
- Intense verbal attacks on police officers, labeling them racists who hunt down young black men.
- A porous southern border where narcotics and people smuggling continue unabated.
- A stagnant economy where workers have little bargaining power.
- A growing jihadist terror threat that the Democratic Party refuses to define, not even using the words “Islamic terrorism.”
- A Democratic president who, after he announces the beheading of an American citizen by ISIS, goes out to play golf.
- A culture that now demands political correctness, even if it goes against sincerely held religious beliefs.
- A legal system that may actually harm a business owner if he or she does not want to participate in a gay marriage or Catholic nuns who don’t want to distribute birth control.
- A press corps that generally embraces liberalism, using its constitutional privilege to diminish non-liberals who have the temerity to speak out.
- An educational system dominated by leftist teachers and administrators who often impose their view of the world on defenseless children.
- And a grievance industry that is often promoted by the media, thus allowing anti-American zealots to define this country as evil and oppressive, i.e. America is the real problem in the world.
In the face of all that, an avenger named Trumphas risen, promising to stop the madness and giving blunt voice to millions of angry Americans.
The movement that Trump represents has nothing to do with fascism, everything to do with furious dissent.
O’Reilly assured us that he’s not (completely) in the tank for Trump. “This memo is not a campaign ad for Trump,” he announced. “I know for a fact that some very bad people are trying to exploit his campaign to disguise racial and social hatred, they’re doing that. Donald Trump should loudly condemn that and tone down some of his own inflammatory rhetoric. Just tell us what you want to do, no need to incite.”
But, clearly, “inflammatory rhetoric” is a minor thing to O’Reilly (and beating up the press and protesters not even worth a mention) compared to the evil that Trump is battling.
Not only, that, the Democrats are just as bad: “Same thing is happening with the Bernie Sanders crew, where some haters are supporting Bernie in order to tear down marketplace freedoms and inflict pain on prosperous Americans,” O'Reilly continued.
In other words, Trump is another of what Jon Stewart comically described as a “GOP Special Victim.”
O’REILLY: The cold truth is charges of racism and fascism are easy smears designed to stop freedom of expression and stifle debate.
It was a neat trick by O’Reilly there, to portray his debate-stifling pal as a “freedom of expression” avenging martyr.
I think Trump owes you a milkshake for that one, Bill.
Watch it below, from the March 9 The O’Reilly Factor.
Donald Trump is happily feeding from the anger and hatred of right wing white male voters who have been repeatedly stoked by right wing radio and Fox News over the past 20 years. There is a direct line from the angry listener/fan of Rush Limbaugh and the angry pro-Trump hater who calls people names online and in person. Trump’s loudest voters have regularly been told (sometimes by Trump himself) that President Obama isn’t a true American, that their country is losing, that the rest of the world is laughing at us, that we’re unsafe in our own homes, that the bad people are in the process of invading us.
And to be fair, there are plenty of Trump voters who are fans of his celebrity and his various reality show TV appearances. These are the people who remember him from Celebrity Apprentice or Miss Universe or who believed his hype about his various businesses.
But his primary base of voting support is coming from people who have repeatedly been fired up to vote for Republicans because they were going to stop President Obama or put Hillary Clinton in jail or whatever other right wing fantasy was in play at the moment. These are the people who still think that Fast & Furious was some sinister cover-up, that the IRS bookkeeping situation was a sinister attack, that Benghazi was some cover-up, etc. And I bet if you peel it back far enough, you’ll find the same people will tell you that Ramos & Compean were wrongly jailed heroes too. These are the people who think that the Limbaugh adline “Well SOMEBODY had to have the guts to say it!” is something to live by. The same people who agree with the right winger polled by Frank Luntz some time ago who said that people “can’t even speak the truth anymore or else you’ll be called a racist.” Meaning that they wish they could go back to the days when you just threw around the racist epithets with impunity.
It’s understandable why these guys are so angry. Over the past 15 years, they’ve watched their economic situation slide badly and they don’t earn today what they did back in 2000, or at least what they heard people were making in 2000. The fact that people were maxing out their credit cards and flipping houses they couldn’t afford doesn’t seem to enter into that equation, but no matter. The fact that people were living way beyond their means and not saving anything also doesn’t enter into the equation. Instead, the blame goes to whoever their heroes tell them is at fault. So if Rush Limbaugh regularly tells them that the economy was wonderful under W. Bush and terrible under President Obama, then that must be true. If Fox News regularly tells them how great everything was under GOP presidents and how awful everything is under President Obama, then that must be true. And if both of their choice media outlets tell them that the GOP have been cowards for not doing even more to obstruct President Obama and the Dems, then that’s not only true but an outrage.
It’s interesting that these guys never figure out that that GOP obstruction in Congress actually extended the economic troubles for many people. It isn’t just the credit downgrade and the constant brinksmanship that the GOP uses for campaign purposes. It isn’t just the refusal to extend unemployment benefits. It isn’t even that the Trump voters never figure out that the radio shouters are cherry picking their data to talk the economy down further. (It’s funny how the right wing suddenly discovered the under-employed area of the unemployment stats the moment that President Obama took office, where they’d denied its existence during W. Bush’s term.) The key here is that the Trump voters have not been able to figure out just how much they’re being manipulated – they’ve never understood that the GOP down-talk of the economy was intentional. Of course, it was supposed to get a Republican into the White House in 2012 and spectacularly failed. And now the GOP establishment is surprised that this has helped result in the rise of someone like Trump.
As for Bill O’Reilly’s bogus list, it’s laughable. He ridicules the established facts that various police officers have acted in a racist fashion – sometimes resulting in actual deaths. He misunderstands the border issues and simplifies them down to just wanting the big wall with the moat. He once again plays up the GOP standard talking point about how bad the economy is. He lies about how the Dems deal with terrorism. He repeats a nonsensical talking point about President Obama and golf, without any of the context of what was happening at the time. He repeats a nonsensical talking point about how our culture’s small moves toward tolerance are somehow impinging on people’s religious beliefs. (That’s the REALLY offensive one – the notion that it’s okay to be racist, homophobic or whatever so long as you hide behind your church. The reality is that most spiritually-minded people believe in notions of togetherness, love and mutual respect – the guys O’Reilly is defending are the ones who use the church as a way to divide and anger people.) He repeats the canard about how the legal system is hurting businesses without noting that those businesses are practicing hateful behavior and are breaking various laws. He once again repeats the talking point about how the “liberal media” is somehow keeping the angry conservatives like himself down. (This at the same time that he regularly crows about his household ratings and the right wing radio media always crows about their numbers) He takes a swipe at teachers and presents an almost comical image of them damaging “defenseless children”. And once again, he takes a swipe at the notion of justice for people who have been discriminated against.
We could even see O’Reilly’s list as an actual recounting of many of the lies that have led right wing males to turn to someone like Trump. And it’s yet another repetition of those lies, to help reinforce them. Are we really surprised that right wing male voters are turning to a strong man who says he can solve their problems by standing up to the people they’ve been encouraged to hate? Have we learned nothing from history?