I recently gave myself a weird challenge. I will read Breitbart for one week. Not the whole thing, just a few articles a day. Why subject myself to such rage and incoherence? I live in a media bubble. Most of my friends are liberals. Those who aren’t still can’t stand Trump and are appalled by the current set of policies and executive orders. So who are these people that support Trump and these abhorrent policies stripping health care away from millions and making it more expensive for the rest of us? Why are they so afraid of immigrants, homosexuals, women, and public support for just about anything?
Yesterday, I listened to week’s episode of This American Life. I am constantly in awe of Ira Glass and his team — this week blew me away. In the episode “The Beginning of Now,” we hear a story of how we got to Trump. There are excerpts of an unpublished Rolling Stone interview with Steve Bannon in 2014 — before anyone knew who he was or that we should be terrified. Zoe Chase then explores a small House race in VA; the one that unseated Eric Cantor; the one that seemed to predict the wedge issue — immigration — that may have pushed Trump over the edge in 2016.
How we got to Trump is at least in part a story of Breitbart and Bannon.
Reading Breitbart for one week won’t tell me how to sway those Trump voters or precisely tell me how we got to Trump. But I am hoping it will help me understand why Trump supporters think what they think. I am not someone who wants to change hearts and minds or to embrace the other side. However, to win in 2018, we need to understand the narrative that got us to Trump.
So join me for the next week as I read and blog about my adventures with Breitbart. I expect it will be hilarious, infuriating, and terrifying. Post your own comments or send your guest contribution to firstname.lastname@example.org.