reported that “serious discussions are underway to create an new conservative cable network due to the belief that Fox News is moving too far to the left.” Seriously.
I grew up in the household of a Reagan Republican, and was raised on the promise that conservatism was an ideology based on reason and empirical data. One of my mother's favorite quotes came from William Buckley, founder of the National Review:
Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.
However, conservatism evolved into an ideology based on white men's grievances—with policy taking a backseat to pure, unadulterated anger—and so she became a Democratic voter simply because she had the crazy idea that our elected officials should act like adults. That's not to say that the Democrats are grown-ups—far from it—but at least they acknowledge the existence of reality. One would have thought that Kenneth Starr compiling 445 pages and 18 boxes full of evidence about a presidential affair would be the height of Republican absurdity, but that was just the beginning.
Fast-forward to a half-white man born in Hawaii and raised in Kansas becoming America's first fascist, socialist, Kenyan, Muslim president, and the fever dream of the Starr Report looks like a sober, measured response. At least the Book of Blowjob was based on empirical evidence in pursuit of proving that a sitting president lied under oath. Now, much of conservatism has become a form of madness that makes the Joker look sane by comparison. Fox News isn't conservative enough? Are you fucking kidding me? The same network that spent an entire election night denying the reality of a second Obama term? The same network that was essentially founded on Bill O'Reilly's jihad? Those people aren't conservatives? Who is then?
Fox News' sin seems to be that they have the audacity to employ some journalists whose offices are still based on planet Earth. People like Chris Wallace have the gall to tell a bunch of alt-reich lemmings that the declining economy which George W. Bush accelerated into the ditch actually improved under Barack Obama—when what they want to hear is that our Dear Orange Leader recouped a half-century of losses in less than 100 days in office. I would say that the Pepes filling this slice of “conservatism” are a bunch of babies, but infants actually stop crying at a certain point.
Idealism doesn't even begin to describe the lunacy that this sect of conservatives has descended into. The alternate reality they invented, combined with their expectations for what this country should be, would make Kim Jong-il's corpse blush. They want a government who stays out of people's personal lives but still has unilateral power over how men—and especially women—use both the literal and metaphorical core of our bodies. They want a frugal government, but want to expand Medicare, Social Security and the military—which comprise three quarters of the federal budget. Raising this simple fact in the face of their unreason doesn't make you reasonable. It makes you a cuckservative. Math is a liberal construct. At this rate, oxygen will be too.
It makes sense that this sect of conservatives would need a Fox News sans the news, as the Bill O'Reilly's and Alex Jones' of the world have replaced Ronald Reagan as the face of the movement. Reagan raised taxes in the face of deficits and wanted to eradicate nuclear weapons, so Sean Hannity's acolytes surely would decry him as a tree-hugging socialist. These people are so committed to their bullshit narrative that they would chop off their own dicks if they were convinced their peckers had a liberal bias. Purging their lives of all “liberalism” supersedes any attempt to stay tethered to reality. 'Tis better to be pure in the eyes of their fellow Pepe le Fascists than to demonstrate any level of weakness—which, as defined by this segment of conservatism—is an acknowledgement that any stance outside their white-nationalist bald eagle cosplay may be grounded in reason. When you live a life of grievance, boogeymen lurk around every corner.
Republicans comprise roughly 30% of the country, and 85% of them approve of Donald Trump's first 100 days that was defined by infighting, legislative fuck-ups, monetary policy dictated by Goldman Sachs executives, a budget which expands the federal government and the judicial branch continually slapping the facts of the constitution in their faces. If you actually see yourself as a conservative, by definition, you cannot approve of what little the Trump administration has “accomplished” so far. But as the desire for a Fox News 2.0 highlights, this portion of conservatism is not concerned with accomplishments, but consumed by resentments. This is likely a big part of why the number of Americans identifying as Republicans has been on a fairly steady decline since Reagan's second term.
The current iteration of Fox News has the audacity to broadcast, you know, news sometimes—and that is unacceptable to the anonymous alt-reich army hiding behind their American flag, bald eagle and Jesus avatars. They demand a network hyper-focused on wiping their asses and telling them how special they are, all while decrying the supreme evil of the 70% of non-Real Americans who do not identify as the death cult that has become the Republican Party.
At least 66% of Americans disagree with Dobbs and Hannity’s fantasy, but that doesn’t matter to the Fox News fascists—as any pushback to their unreality is taken as traitorous, and the rejection of a network based mostly—but not entirely—on Republican Party propaganda is a perfect demonstration of the insane pursuit of ideological purity which will eventually self-purge all Pepeconservatives from the common areas that America was built on.
Jacob Weindling is Paste’s business and media editor, as well as a staff writer for politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.