Explaining the Inexplicable

Over the last year there have been a number of articles in mainstream newspapers exploring the supporter of President Trump, seeking to understand why they voted for him, how they have reacted to his erratic presidency, and as we near the end of his first year, if and why they still support him.

With each round of these articles I have seen opinion pieces, blog posts, and general comments from liberally inclined persons irritated, annoyed, and even outraged at all the attention poured upon Trump’s supporters. The lack of articles and investigations into those opposed to Trump and those whose policies are more directly impacted by him feels inexplicable.

I think it is explainable but that the answer is not where you might generally look. The reason lies in bias, and particular liberal bias in the news media.

Now let me take a moment to tell what I think liberal bias is NOT. It is not a conspiracy to undermine the Republican/Conservative efforts. It is not a cabal of reporter and producers and editors working out how they can advance their team or their cause. The caricature of liberal bias in the media by such outfits as Fox news is at best a straw man and more likely a delusion.

What is going in, and there was a great article a few weeks back from a former PBS producer is that there are few people working at the top levels of news with direct experience concerning conservatives and their lives. This creates a distortion born not of malice or intent but ignorance.

In an environment where every rational person understands that Trump is at best erratic and petty and at worst corrupt and authoritarian voting against him is so expected as to be unquestioned. No right thinking person could do otherwise. But to vote for him, to support him, and to do so after he has been active for nearly a year, that seems inexplicable. That has to be investigated and understood. So of course more pieces, more surveys, and more trip to ‘Trump’ country are engaged as that understanding is sought. The bias that makes supporting trump inexplicable drives the desire to explain it.

Now they should investigate his support, it is an important question, but we also need to understand the opposition and those directly impacted by his erratic and often petty decisions.