Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump arrived in London on horseback for Paddy Power, London, UK, 13th March 2017 flickr photo by TaylorHerring shared with no copyright restrictions using Creative Commons Public Domain Mark (PDM)
Sometimes you wonder how the Republican or Independent voter views things. As President Trump rips through various democratic institutions, many of them seem apathetic to these changes. Even though Trump is engaging in an all-out assault on democracy, the lenses that many of them use are reliant on the pretext of Russia investigation or American exceptionalism.
Let’s take #TheResistance movement. While I’m very much supportive of opposition to Trump (because in these times, ambiguity is dealt with via a quick dismissiveness, so I feel like I have to state this outright), there’s a peculiar mixture of anxiety and courage. Simply pegging yourself as #TheResistance implies that what you are dealing with is something epic and terrible. What do you consistently see on social media, though? Jokes, memes, gifs, all suggesting that this problem is temporary or worth joking about. If jokes and flashy repeating graphics aren’t present, then the fallback is a complete confidence that Trump will be impeached and removed from office. This confidence should’ve gone out the window the moment Trump was elected.
Then we have another problem. Take the Mueller investigation/Russia issue. While Trumpian collusion with the Russians is a focal point for news outlets like CNN, and even though they also suggest that this narrative is taking over and blindsiding the public against the real threat of Russian interference, the narrative is presented as such that an authoritarian personality is taking center stage. Nevermind that this authoritarian personality is subservient to another one.
Either end of the political spectrum then perceives Trump as the most deserving of their focus. Conservatives will see CNN as extremely biased and inaccurate, and liberals are more than happy to expend their energy on POTUS, critical views, jokes, and memes not meaning much in the grand scheme of things. Putin is in plain sight, but he’s still behind a velvet curtain.