Since 2010, I have ranted and raved (in a relatively sane way) about the heresy of LetsGetAlongerism. My warnings have fallen on deaf ears but I continue to tilt at these windmills.
Indeed LetsGetAlongerism is a giant octopus spreading its testicles (see Footnote #1) into USA.
Trump in the White House means its “Make Your Mind Up” Time.
Arguably the Media thought HIllary Clinton would win and and needed a close contest to keep Ratings high. Maybe a lot of Americans thought a narrow Hillary victory was the least bad option and that the American establishment could be given a scare.
Or maybe it is about how the Media handles Elections. “Balance” is more important than “Fact”. No Media really challenged the “birth certificate” nonsense. No journalist said this is a blatant lie and walked out of an interview.
Donald Trump was hiding in plain sight. There was enough to condemn him from an early stage. “The Roast of Donald Trump” (see my Blog) was on record and yet the Media ran with the “hot mic” leak before the Election.
The Entertainment industry and the Media industry both built up Donald Trump and in the wake of his Election seem confused about how to bring him down…or even if it is appropriate. Whose President is he anyway?
Should it be a case of Hail to the Chief or a case of proclaiming that the consensus is broken. Business as usual or Hardball.
How Obama could bring himself to shake hands with Trump is beyond me. How the Clintons could attend the Inaugeration lunch and stand to order when the new President singled out his defeated rival for praise.
No rhetoric about Birth Certificates. No chanting “lock her up” and of course no release of Trump tax returns.
And the Media still files into the Press Room and takes their designated seats. They are about as likely to rock the system as Madonna, the worlds least likely revolutionary.
Yet I was too hard on Celebrities. Sometimes when they act like ordinary people, they are more use than being on a platform. So some like Melissa Benoist (Supergirl….she carried the best poster), Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek) and Whoopi Goldberg (also Star Trek) simply being part of the Womens March was enough.
Oddly in the last episode of Supergirl I watched, the President of the United States was a woman. “Supergirl” even said she didnt like “that guy”.
Yet there is a lesson here for Hollywood. The talent in front of and behind camera is mostly “liberal”. And shows are set in the big cities…Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York…mostly blue states. This of course does not mean that the police, lawyers and the superheroes are overwhelmingly Democrat….but has “Middle America” got a point when it says that their views are not shown on television?
Have we in Europe been conned or conned ourselves into thinking USA (despite swings from Republican to Democrat) is actually a more decent place than it actually is?
Next week we will see blue -state Patriots play red-state Falcons in red-state Texas. Maybe the fans who can afford to attend are Republicans and no doubt Trump will make a cameo appearance via Video. Who sings the anthem? Who is the half-time entertainment.
We might well see Meryl Streep pick up another Oscar in six weeks time. We might see her peers in LaLa Land give her a standing ovation for some tearful Trump-bashing and we might see Shaun Hannity condemn her on Fux News.
If protesting Trump is serious, then it needs to be 24/7. Business as Usual is LetsGetALongerism.
So….does American TV need to be more overtly “political”.
The “Blue Bloods” in the Reagan family….Trump or Clinton (I understand Tom Sellek is a Republican).
Detective Olivia Benson from “SVU” …Trump or Clinton?
Leonard Hofstedder from blue-state New Jersey? Sheldon Cooper and Penny from red-state Texas and Nebraska? Is Howard Wolowitz for a one-state or two-state solution in the Middle East? Will Raj Koothapalli be deported?
On “Criminal Minds” is David Rossi a Trump supporter? Is Dr Spencer Reid a Clinton voter?
Over on “Modern Family” are Cam and Mitch attemding anti-Trump rallies. Is Manny getting deported? Are they building a wall around Gloria?
On “The Middle” set in Indiana, did Mike and Frankie Heck put up posters for Hilary or are they raising a can of beer to celebrate Mike Pence as Vice-President? Patricia Heaton is (I understand) a Republican.
This is all actually important.TV is not reflecting that USA is hopelessly polarised. Anyone with a Facebook account knows this. Is TV (drama and comedy) the only place where Politics does not happen. If so….it is a lie.
Hype about Revolution is just nonsense. But if people are serious about Protest, they need to find a plan. That is difficult…people who work in a government office in Providence, Rhode Island cannot start wearing pink as some kinda badge.
Nor can teachers, nurses and small business owners suddenly become partisan.
But sooner or later the crocheted pink hats need to outnumber the red baseball hats. The Nasty Women bumper stickers need to be as common a sight as the Make America Great bumper stickers.
Will LetsGetAlongerism win?
***Footnote #1…..some forty five years ago the merger of Belfast and “rural” bus companies was opposed by a Belfast unionist councillor who warned that “Ulsterbus is a giant octopus spreading its testicles (sic) all over Norn Iron”.