- MAGA media types have taken delight in "Leftist Tears" for years, but now that Trump's been resoundingly defeated, they demand sensitivity for their feelings (and Trump's!).
- The same Trumpists who've called Democrats delusional crybabies for not accepting election results are also, now, not accepting election results and spreading baseless nonsense about voter fraud.
- President-elect Joe Biden's advice to "give each other a chance" is sound, if banal, advice. We should try to turn down the temperature, where possible. But we should still ignore the gaslighting of fake sensitivity.
- This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
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The "f— your feelings" crowd is all up in their feelings over Donald Trump getting fired.
The proudly fang-bearing pundits of Trumpland have prided themselves on having the least tolerance for empathy, and taking the most delight in the Art of the Troll. To demonstrate their commitment to the bit, they've abandoned basic conservative principles about free markets and free speech, while laughably posturing as the stalwart defenders of Western civilization.
That changed, briefly, last month, when their alpha dog Trump caught the coronavirus because he's a reckless, lying, lazy buffoon who believes in magical thinking, ignored science, and rejected basic health protocols..
At that unfortunate news, the same right-wingers who mocked Hillary Clinton's health spells in the waning days of 2016 clutched their pearls that anyone might note it ironic that the most powerful man in the world caught COVID while publicly denying the crisis' severity and discouraging protective measures.
Now in defeat, a not-insubstantial number of MAGA media dead-enders continue to beat the completely evidence-free "voter fraud" drum, while some of Trump's all-star cheerleaders have grudgingly accepted defeat — with reservations.
What they have not accepted is a scenario where the level of vitriol they've directed at everyone — not just liberals, but anyone who didn't bend at the knee of the Cult of Trump — might be fairly redirected at them, the losers.
Delusionally seeing themselves as the paragons of civility, they're shocked — SHOCKED — that some supporters of the candidate who is on pace to win a resounding victory in both the Electoral College and the popular vote might be ungracious winners.
Ari Fleischer — the George W. Bush press secretary who warned Americans "they need to watch what they say, watch what they do" in response to a Bill Maher interview in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 — said this weekend that the "decent thing" to do is give Trump "the days he needs to absorb" being resoundingly rejected by the American people for a second term.
After Trump won in 2016 and Republicans won several close elections in 2018, conservative media dismissed any claim from Democrats that there was impropriety in the elections and told the "losers" to just accept the results. To wit, "The Daily Show" compiled a montage of Fox News talking heads — including such purveyors of baseless "voter fraud" innuendo as Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and current White House press secretary Kayleigh McEneany — all mocking Democrats' supposed inability to accept election results in 2018.
But now that the Republican president is headed to a decisive electoral college defeat, those of us not in the Cult of Trump are being told that we don't believe in democracy if we won't entertain unfounded claims of "fraud" and wild theories about ballots being secretly dumped off in the middle of the night.
Another Fox personality, Tomi Lahren, has been relentlessly tweeting this baseless election fraud pablum.
Lahren's got a deserved reputation as an unsparing, rhetorical bomb-thrower for "freedom." The closest Lahren came to accepting that America voted for a Democratic president this year was tweeting, "I want justice to be done but regardless of outcome I love my country, I know it's the greatest nation on the face of the earth and I want nothing more than to see us all succeed."
A day later Lahren tweeted: "Never underestimate the lengths the Left will go to take control BUT that being said, NEVER underestimate @realDonaldTrump #ItsNotOver."
Trumpist radio blowhard and nominal "free speech" warrior Dan Bongino is now unironically tweeting "#RESIST" — the war cry of the Hillary Clinton voters he's obsessively mocked for the past four years.
Ben Shapiro — Mr. "Facts Don't Care About Your Feelings" himself — like many conservatives was aghast that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn't immediately concede the 2016 election that came down to about 80,000 votes across three states. The morning after Election Day that year Shapiro asked, "Is Hillary alive? This is becoming worrisome."
Now, the same guy who hawks "Leftist Tears" tumblers laments the possibility that the left is "lying and using 'unity' to mean shut the hell up.'" (Meanwhile, it's five days and counting since the election was called for Joe Biden and Trump shows no indication he'll concede.)
The right's favorite faux ex-lefty turned Intellectual Dark Web thought leader turned MAGA bobblehead impressionist Dave Rubin said on Election Night, "All you losers who thought Trump was going to lose, you got it wrong again and it's time to go away now!" He followed that up with a steady stream of fake news about voter fraud, then went full "Can we all admit that the pandemic is over now? Like at least give us that as you peddle the rest of this nonsense."
When it was clear Trump lost, Rubin tweeted, "I'm gonna do my best to be one of the few people who tries to heal some of this lunacy." He has since continued to tweet and comment exclusively with criticism of Biden, Kamala Harris, and anyone critical of Trump.
To be sure, all of the aforementioned media personalities have economic interests to protect.
Consistency, principle or introspection would only confuse their audience, which needs to be driven to a constant fit of pique as either the hunter or the hunted. Anything less and they wouldn't be sufficiently exorcised to pay for their Chinese-made MAGA yoga pants or other assorted tchotchkes.
President-elect Joe Biden's advice to "give each other a chance" is sound, if banal, advice. We should try to turn down the temperature, where possible. But the best way to do that is for everyone to ignore the gaslighting of fake sensitivity.
The newly-emotional MAGA internet bullies weren't good-faith actors as "tough guys and gals" and their cries of "can we all get along?" and "let's count ALL the votes" are even less believable now.
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