As the healthcare debate rages on in Congress and the Russia scandal continues to dominate social media conversation, liberals and politicos are currently giving props to two of Fox News’ longstanding personalities. Shepard Smith and Mike Wallace both expressed frustration and exasperation with the Trump administration’s continuing lies about their contact with Russian officials during the campaign.
Why anyone is in any sense surprised or exasperated at their compulsive dishonesty is an absolute mystery to me.
Yet, while both of these men work for and support an organization that has aided in the radicalization of thousands of people towards the far right and support Trump in various ways, liberals and so-called progressives have busied themselves singing the praises of men who performed the extraordinary task of “being slightly miffed at outright dishonesty”. An overly generous Washington Post article went so far as to compare Smith to the late Walter Cronkite; while Smith is the closest thing Fox has to a genuine newsman, comparing him to Cronkite is several steps too far.
However, to those of us who have watched the news and reactions from well known Democratic activists, it’s an all too common phenomenon I like to call “The Tsk-Tsk Shuffle”, which goes as such; A prominent conservative, whether they be a media personality like Smith or Glenn Beck or a politician like John McCain or Ben Sasse, openly criticizes Trump on some manner of decorum or taste (take for example Sasse condemning Trump’s tweets about one of the hosts of Morning Joe). After this, media columnists and social media Democrats praise said person for “having guts” and “speaking truth to power”. All the while, the same person will still publicly support Trump and, in the case of politicians, vote in favor of his preferred bills and defend his executive orders. This somehow doesn’t factor into the columnists and Democrat’s idea of these people as “the good Republican”, which basically boils down to “they respect basic decorum and procedural norms of our government institutions”.
What difference does it really make if they’re going to support Trump in basically every way that matters outside of the occasional declaration that, shockingly, the President is an oafish jerk who is only able to speak in a makeshift language of petty grudges and aggrandizing lies? They’re still supporting his policies, they’re still voting in favor of them, they still work for and uphold organizations that support him. Why do people have this sad, desperate need to find supposed “allies” against Trump within the Republican party when it’s plainly obvious they will continue to support him as long as he’s not a hindrance to their policy agenda?
Overall, this cultish devotion to civility and the defense of civility in politics has to come to an end. This is a time to get mad. Horrible things are being done and being proposed, things that will actually kill people who are some of the most vulnerable among us. These people are not your friends, and they aren’t your allies just because they wag their finger at Trump with one hand while voting for his policies with the other.