An article in The Atlantic titled, “Laura Ingraham’s Descent Into Despair,” suggests that her support for Donald Trump comes more from desperation than from ardor. I'll argue that selfish cynicism plays a part, too.
Author Anne Applebaum makes an interesting case:
At some point … [Ingraham’s] Reaganite optimism slowly hardened into something better described as a form of apocalyptic pessimism. This can be found in much of what she says and writes nowadays: America is doomed, Europe is doomed, Western civilization is doomed—and immigration, political correctness, transgenderism, the culture, the establishment, the left, and the “Dems” are responsible.
And if the real America, the true America, is disappearing, then extreme measures might be required to save it. In 2019, Ingraham nodded along on her Fox News show when one of her guests, the conservative lawyer Joseph diGenova, began to speak of the coming cultural conflict in America: “The suggestion that there’s ever going to be civil discourse in this country for the foreseeable future is over . . . it’s going to be total war,” he said. “I do two things; I vote and I buy guns.”
Applebaum goes on to question the depth and possibly the sincerity of Ingraham’s support for Trump. Applebaum notes that the two once went on a date that didn’t go well: “’He needs two separate cars, one for himself and one for his hair,' she told some mutual friends.’”
Yet Ingraham became an early Trump supporter and remains a staunch one. Applebaum notes how difficult that is to reconcile with Ingraham’s ostensible devotion to morality:
During a 2007 speech, she told a group in Dallas that “without virtue there is no America. Without virtue we will be ruled by tyrants.” She then listed those virtues: “honor, courage, selflessness, sacrifice, hard work, personal responsibility, respect for elders, respect for the vulnerable.” None of these virtues can be ascribed to Donald Trump.
Applebaum also notes the “divergence” (I would call it hypocrisy) of Ingraham’s hatred of immigrants with the fact that all her three adopted children are immigrants.
Applebaum suggests that some of Ingraham’s “loud advocacy” for Trump is an attempt to convince herself as well as others. But also “the depth of Ingraham’s despair” over the loss of the "true America.”
The America of the present, as she sees it, is a dark, nightmarish place where God speaks to only a tiny number of people; where idealism is dead; where civil war and violence are approaching; where democratically elected politicians are no better than foreign dictators and mass murderers; where the “elite” is wallowing in decadence, disarray, death. The America of the present, as she sees it, and as so many others see it, is a place where universities teach people to hate their country, where victims are more celebrated than heroes, where old values have been discarded.
Any price should be paid, any crime should be forgiven, any outrage should be ignored if that’s what it takes to get the real America, the old America, back.
I would argue that Ingraham’s behavior is more selfish and cynical than that. For example, I believe she knows darned well that American governors who shutdown states to keep their residents safe are nothing like Saddam Hussein, as she suggested in a tweet the article sites. Ingraham earns a tidy sum demonizing her political opposition and while her efforts support her politics, they don’t seem to be doing much to help restore the “real America.” Americans support immigration, support Black Lives Matter and the removal of Confederate statues, and disapprove of Donald Trump in historic numbers.
Sure, Ingraham may feel despair about the country, but if restoration of its old supposed glory is her real goal, she ought to know by now she needs a new tack. Meanwhile, she’s deliberately adding to the polarization of the country she supposedly loves - while crying all the way to the “lost America” bank.
(Ingraham image via screen grab)
I’ll NEVER, EVER forget her TOTALLY CLASSLESS AND EXTREMELY TASTELESS remarks about Michelle Obama’s inaugural ball gown on the morning of January 20, 2009, i.e. the inauguration of then-President Barack Obama. You can bet the house Ingraham was ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY SEETHING WITH UNCONTROLLABLE RAGE and mumbling the following privately:
“I STILL CAN’T F***ING BELIEVE THIS G**DAMNED UPPITY DARKIE AND HIS FAMILY OF MONKEYS ARE GOING TO BE LIVING IN THE WHITE HOUSE!”