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Is ignoring Trump a good thing?
Over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, Trump held one of his always entertaining rallies in Arizona, doing his level best to encourage disenfranchisement of the state’s voters, on the same day that Dr. King’s son was there in the state rallying to expand voter rights.
Donald Trump: “The radical Democrats are also currently waging an unprecedented attack on voting rights… Their scheme has always been to erase American votes with illegal votes and now they are doing so openly.”
The speech was, of course, a litany of his greatest hits – Big Lie, media bad, etc. – but one of the most striking aspects of the rally was how comparatively little coverage it got. None of the major networks – including Fox – covered it live, and even post-rally mentions were in pretty short supply.
Now, on a personal note, this makes me very happy. I am so very sick of listening to this guy’s voice, and I’m so very grateful that my favorite late-night talk show hosts have mostly stopped imitating him.
Stephen Colbert: “Because I ain’t no longer doing an impression of that guy anymore.”
But it’s also interesting, the shift that’s taking place in Trump’s coverage. And I have to wonder, at this point, is ignoring Trump a good thing?
On the one hand, of course, less of a platform equals less influence. Trump’s already been booted from Twitter and Facebook, and has been forced to take most of his ratings over to fringe websites like OAN and NewsMax that really cater only to the most activated slice of his base.
This means that, of course, Trump’s more moderate supporters, the voters who voted for him but mostly because he’s the lesser of two evils – they’re not really hearing him like they used to.
And even people who listen to OAN are about to start hearing a lot less of it, because DirecTV, which is the channel’s biggest distributor, is dropping them in a couple of months.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Trump’s been silenced – I don’t think that’s actually a possibility – but he’s definitely not getting the attention that he’s grown used to. And for a take on why that might not be such a good thing, listen to former Trump aide Allyssa Griffin’s take on the subject:
Allyssa Griffin: “Yes, the former president has lost steam and legacy media, but what I would not discredit is how much these sort of fringie-er sites, how much viewership they are getting… We are going to regret it if we think that he is not coming back, and we don’t prepare accordingly, and we don’t cover these incredible, terrifying lies that he was spouting last night. Those do warrant getting coverage because they tell you what he’s planning to do in the months ahead, in the year ahead.”
Right. As much as I hate to admit it, Trump is still the top guy in the Republican party and still the obvious nominee should he decide to run for re-election in 2024.
All those henchmen that tried to undermine democracy the first time around they’re still there- even if we can’t see them and hear them – and they’re still hard at work trying figuring out how to get it right the next time they attempt a coup.
I’m sick of Trump. Even if you like Trump, you’re probably sick of Trump. I would love nothing more than to ignore him and let him fade into the darkest, most shameful annals of history.
But he’s still here. He still has a voice – and a powerful one at that – and as much as it pains me to say, we ignore it at our own peril.
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