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I don't give Trump that much credit. He is not so strong or so smart that he can single-handedly set a new standard.
Our norms and democratic institutions have been undermined over a period of time by both political parties and the media. And the people have cheered them on.
For example, Obama couldn't get things done because the conservatives blocked him. So he expanded the executive powers. That was an escalation. And, yes, Trump has continued with the escalation.
This style of hardball politics did not start with Trump, but accelerated under his leadership. The consequence is that both democrats and republicans must play hardball if they are to win. For example, democrats are now considering packing the supreme court. We are seeing a government that no longer strongly adheres to democratic norms, and that will certainly take a long time to fix.
The country is now divided about what is true, and is more polarized than ever. Conspiracy theories are thriving, and are impacting how people vote and how they treat fellow Americans. There are politicians, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who are gaining votes because they believe in conspiracies like the existence of a deep state.
I couldn't agree more. I just don't exalt Trump by giving him the credit ;)
Trump is not the catalyst, he is the result of decades of party line and media radicalization.
The change has been gradual over decades.
It roughly started with the Clinton administration. Conservatives hounded him over a sex scandal. Then when Bush became president, the Libs hounded him over Iraq. Then when Obama became president the conservatives claimed he was a Muslim from Kenya.
And the media has been an accomplice the entire time. Getting people riled up. Before Fox, the media on television had a liberal bias. The media on radio has had a conservative bias. The libs tried to break into radio and the conservatives into TV. The conservatives succeeded with Fox. Fox was born out of the frustration conservatives felt because they couldn't get their message out.
Then technology empowered the little people. An average person could start a Pod-Cast and they can say whatever they want. So they decided to say what the people wanted to hear. And the people started to listen to outlets that presented their point of view.
All of these things, together, radicalized the people to the point where if Trump disavows racism multiple times, the people will not believe it. If Trump makes a mistake, they claim he did it on purpose and with evil intent. He can't win in the court of public opinion and this pisses him off. And, since he doesn't have a filter, he expresses his frustration which is then used against him. This creates a vicious cycle. Kind of like it is here on CD. Conservatives and libs calling each other names, not listening to the other side, not wanting to come together and find some common ground, and escalating the hypocrisy and hyperbole.
Trump is the product of that radicalization. He was radicalized along with the people. Trump is not the catalyst, he is the result of decades of party line and media radicalization ;)