Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Silver linings might be more than a lining

I have been mulling whether I think the net result of the Trump phenomenon has been a good thing a bad thing.

The bad has been well discussed. His "movement" threatens to evolve into a European style far-right nationalist party, with all the racism and unpleasantness that would bring into the American political process. His anti-foreigner rhetoric might inspire violence (it already has at least once). Trump's candidacy epitomizes the personality-based campaign with little mention of policy that epitomizes the way political races are covered in the U.S.

But there are a lot of things about the Trump candidacy that, to my mind, are unquestionably good. He destroyed the Scott Walker campaign. The growth of his support among GOPers made the Republican brand look really really bad, and it has burned any bridges the party hoped to build with the fasted growing demographic in the country (the demographic it needs to appeal to if it is ever going to win the presidency again). Trump has dominated the Republican primary race, even though he has such a high unfavorability rating he probably can't win the general election, and probably couldn't even win the primary if there were only two candidates in the race.

And now it seems Trump is loudly boycotting Fox News. If Trump can get his supporters to turn again Fox News, that would be amazing. Fox News is already considered discredited by Democrats and Independents. But it still manages to stay on top because of its loyal following among die-hard Republicans. If that loyal viewership crumbles, it will be a major blow to the network. And any major blow to Fox News is going to be good for the country, IMHO.

From where I sit, that's a fair amount in the plus column.