Local Opinion

Published on November 4th, 2016 | by Brittain Thompson


44 years of fear & loathing in America: Roger Ailes and the steady rise of the New GOP

44yearsoffearWandering around the Las Vegas Strip with my Kiwi friend, Caleb Thompson, in daylight hours, we crossed European-style bridges over the Boulevard. These bridges were littered with poor immigrant bottled-water salesmen and an array of hard-luck stories with cardboard signs that may as well have read, “Unfulfilled Dreams.” Lonely, away from the main drag and utterly unimaginative, stood the Trump Tower. It was distinguished with gilded signage that read: “Trump.” I decided that it could only be improved upon by having a larger-than-life toupee resting on its top. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce: the New GOP.

At the time, I was relatively oblivious of the fear and loathing Donald Trump would cast over America throughout the course of the next year. Or, that a year later he would be staying in that very building for the final presidential debate, advertising for Trump Las Vegas as an aside from his sulfuric, last-ditch effort to win over voters after the release of the Billy Bush tape and as subsequent sexual assault accusers finally began to stack the final straws on the camelback of his bizarre and nightmarish campaign.

Flailing out of control over the summer, the nominee continued to wage Twitter wars with everyone from veterans’ families to John McCain and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. In August, his campaign went through a third overhaul since its inception, hiring on the most fascist-leaning of the alt-right media including Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, and of course, Roger Ailes, who had recently been ousted from his executive position at Fox News.

Ailes is a special kind of evil. He is a pig with a well-documented history of contempt for facts and an unnatural urge to throat-rape our American Democracy. He got his start as an advisor to the Nixon campaign, working with Richard Nixon’s criminal White House staff and pro-war groups such as the Tell it to Hanoi Committee to generate the origins of an ultra-conservative media that could streamline broadcasts from the White House into the homes of millions of Americans. He has gone on to fill his résumé as a media advisor for every Republican President since and has been complicit in manipulating information to carry out war crimes in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and even here in the United States.

Roger Ailes’ boss, Rupert Murdoch, became agitated with Ailes over a disagreement on how the moderators should handle the Republican primary. The Australian-born Murdoch, owner of NewsCorp had instructed Megyn Kelly to go after Ailes’ longtime friend, Donald Trump. Murdoch favored Marco Rubio and held a distain for the candidate Ailes had been priming for political office on Fox News Network for the past several years. Although it was too late to undo the damage Ailes had done (over decades, but particularly over the past year), Murdoch had the last laugh as the overweight chairman went down in a blaze of fire in the midst of multiple sexual harassment accusations in July. The Trump campaign welcomed the fellow sex offender with open arms. He was home where he belonged.

Ailes, Trump, and Murdoch all have one significant shared theme in the dissemination of their political rhetoric: as long as you use qualifiers such as “could be” or “a lot of people are saying,” this gives you license to spread any imaginable allegations about your political opponents without facts to back them up. Regardless of all this, the Australian media mogul has become powerless against the wildly animated shit sculptures Ailes had been crafting and breathing life into for the past two decades of his tenure at NewsCorp.

One such Jaba the Hutt is the ever-perverted Rush Limbaugh, who shamelessly defended the indefensible in his October 12 broadcast in which he mocked sexual consent as a leftist, liberal concept. Indeed this collection of perverts who persist in defending their unwanted advances towards women as some kind of American Institution are tugging at the very threads of civilized society. The unravelling Trump campaign, which has called for punishment against women who have abortions, has begun to make excuses for sexual assault, bordering on some post-modern Viking philosophy that they should be able to rape the women of our Great Nation and enforce at gun-point the full term birth of their crimes. Trump supporters now err on the side of Judge Aaron Persky who gave the Stanford frat boy, Brock Turner, a light, three-month sentence in a county jail for raping a young woman behind a dumpster and stuffing pine straw into her vagina.

Since Donald Trump has been all but disavowed by countless members of the Republican Establishment, the Republican nominee has announced that he has been unchained. He has continued his scathing non sequiturs, guiding supporters down an ever-complicated labyrinth of conspiracy theories to rationalize an illusion that he may actually be a sane human being. The women who have stepped forward accusing him of sexual assault have been dismissed as a massive conspiracy on the part of the Clinton campaign and the media to discredit his candidacy—as if he needed any help!

His speech has begun to mirror the language of dictators such as Vladmir Putin on the verge of unleashing his team of Chechnyan assassins on the journalists and media he reviles, throwing a blanket over the reality that Team Trump is led by the very media moguls who have goaded the rise of The New Right. Donald Trump has continuously expressed his scorn for the First Amendment of the United States.

He has refused to state that he will accept the will of the American people, continuing refrains of a “rigged election” and has been encouraging his mob of vehement supporters—well known for their violent tendencies—to “Go down to certain areas and watch and study and make sure other people don’t come in and vote five times.” He wants to “Make America Great Again” with “Law and Order”—just like it was in the 1960s when ethnic minorities were intimidated and people were even killed as they attempted to exercise the right to vote.

In a 2003 piece for Free Inquiry Magazine, Lawrence Britt, who studied the movements of Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, and Suharto, outlined “Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism.” Items described on the list include: powerful and continuing nationalism, disdain for the recognition of human rights, rampant sexism, and controlled mass media. This movement is not a fluke or a free radical, but the product of cold, calculated manipulation of public opinion over the course of forty-four years or better. The question now is: do we, as Mississippians, allow our electoral votes to go towards a movement that undermines the very constitution our nation was built on?

I am personally exhausted of watching my government wage wars we cannot manage—I am worn out from giving government excessive power, and therefore my vote will go for Gary Johnson. All Gary needs to do is reach 5 percent in the national polls to spearhead major party recognition for the Libertarian Party. This means that in 2020, in 2024, and in 2028 there will be a viable alternative to the power-hungry political dinosaurs we have seen hogging the limelight over the course of the past year.

Donald Trump is going to lose, big league, so the question is this: Will Mississippi stand up and cast a vote for the future? If any Mississippians are still on the fence about voting for Donald Trump, consider our legislature. The last session was whiled away pontificating issues of social discrimination and pretending that we lived in the Reagan Years as the supermajority ignored the fact that our state is failing by nearly all quantifiable metrics. The New Right is truly frightening, and it is in no way an excusable alternative to anything. While its David Duke-aligned supporters may continue their perverse war on Human Decency well after November 8, it is of the utmost importance that sane and reasonable voters stop pretending this Orange Monster is anything other than an aspiring dictator whose greatest desire is to set fire to everything Americans know and love.


Warren Hines is a writer based in the Mississippi Delta working on his memoir of travel stories. Follow him on Facebook @warrenhinesmustard.

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About the Author

Brittain was an associate editor of The Local Voice from 2015-2018, ex-journalism student, and bad noise maker from the highway town of Brandon, Mississippi.

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