John Kass wrote an extraordinarily enlightened and timely op-ed for the Chicago Tribune this week, a fact that surprised us as much for its content as for its placement in one of the nation’s most liberal newspapers. We guess that even the leftist media gets a taste for masochism every now and again. We’re sure it will only be a day or two until the Tribune publishes an editorial that claims everything in the Kass article was incorrect or foolish, but until then, we’ll have to just take pleasure in the fact that it was published at all. Because it’s pretty rare that a searing critique of the mainstream media – especially one this insightful and damning – makes it past a left-wing newspaper’s editorial board.
Our favorite part of Kass’s piece is how he lays waste to what has become a standard, between-the-lines way of talking about Trump supporters in the mainstream media. Take it from your CNNs, your MSNBCs, and your Washington Posts, and you would think Trump’s base of support is roughly configured of a few thousand internet trolls, a bunch of trailer-park rednecks in the south, and a patchwork collection of down-on-their-luck Rust Belters who voted for Obama in the last election. Everyone else either actively hates the president or has begun regretting their vote.
This, of course, is nonsense. Surveys show that Trump remains immensely popular among Republican voters and has retained almost all of his support base from the 2016 election. That’s not a few thousand voters. That’s not a few HUNDRED thousand voters. As Kass points out: It’s 63 MILLION Americans.
By ignoring and shaming Trump’s supporters, Kass writes, the media is doing the country and itself a grave disservice:
Trump’s voters know what put him in the White House. It wasn’t merely that Hillary Clinton was a lousy candidate. It was that Trump voters detested the crowd that backed her, loathed them; and those voters in turn were viewed as something to be stepped on, to be ridiculed for heresy.
By not wanting to understand them, I worry that journalism blinds itself to something very real, critical and, in the long term, dangerous in our nation: A simmering resentment against the establishment in much of red state America.
And it’s not going away even if Trump goes away.
Kass admits up front that he did not vote for Trump and makes it clear that he doesn’t consider himself a supporter now. But this isn’t about a conservative begging the media to change its ways; this is about a political observer who understands that you cannot simply ignore or shame half the country and then think, Oh, as soon as we just get rid of Trump, we can carry on with our regularly-scheduled globalist agenda. It ain’t gonna happen. Kass sees the writing on the wall.
One day, maybe the media will see it as well. This revolution is only getting started. Trump’s a HUGE part of it, but he’s not the beginning and he’s not the end. Not by a long shot.