Desperately seeking Trump fans

The Washington Post a couple of weeks ago noted the wholly unsurprising fact that it’s hard to find good writers to say friendly things about Donald Trump.

As they discovered during the long campaign season, the nation’s newspapers and major digital news sites — the dreaded mainstream media — are facing a shortage of people able, or more likely willing, to write opinion columns supportive of the president-elect.

Major newspapers, from The Washington Post to the New York Times, have struggled to find and publish pro-Trump columns for months. So have regional ones, such as the Des Moines Register and the Arizona Republic, which has a long history of supporting Republican candidates.

Well of course they have. Trump isn’t just “a Republican” or “a conservative.” He’s a horrible human being, who puts his horribleness on display at all times. That’s a stumbling block.

Regular conservative columnists don’t like him and didn’t support him.

“We struggled to find voices that could advocate for Donald Trump’s ideas,” said James Bennet, the Times’ editorial-page editor. “It was really unusual. It didn’t help that the conservative intelligentsia lined up against him.” But Bennet says Trump’s campaign contributed to the imbalance: “He didn’t have the people around him who were prepared to put together his arguments” for publication.

No shit, Sherlock. He doesn’t have arguments. He has blurts. That’s another reason people thoughtful enough to write columns don’t like him: he has nothing but contempt for thoughtful people, and he’s the very opposite of thoughtful himself. He has such profound contempt for thoughtful people and for thought itself that he avoids both as if they were his kryptonite.

The general lack of Trump-supporting columns, however, puts newspaper editorial editors in an uncomfortable position. Most newspapers try to create a rough balance between left and right opinions on their op-ed pages, which feature staff and guest columnists. The idea has been to reflect a range of viewpoints, even if the newspaper’s “official” position, as expressed in unsigned editorials, tends to go in one direction.

But all that is beside the point. Trump doesn’t stand for right opinions as opposed to left opinions, he stands for bullying and meanness and insults, for pussygrabbing and wall-building and worker-cheating. He’s a bad bad man.

Trump’s relationship with the news media, of course, has been unusually rocky. During the campaign, he demonized journalists, calling them “dishonest,” “disgusting” and “the lowest form of life.

That’s my point. He demonizes people all over the place. He works up hatreds. He’s a bad man.

Newspaper editors say they’re on the lookout for more such writers. “What happened this year is that many of the people who we count on for conservative commentary — many of whom have generally supported Republican candidates in the past — simply didn’t support Trump,” said Nicholas Goldberg, editorial page editor of the Los Angeles Times. “I certainly believe our op-ed editor ought to be aggressively seeking smart, articulate people who have positive things to say about Trump, who are sympathetic to his point of view, or who are able to explain, support and justify him to our readers.”

But that just isn’t possible. It’s trying to square the circle. It can’t be done. Smart articulate people aren’t going to have positive things to say about Trump because of how appalling he is. He’s not a “normal” conservative politician, he’s a moral monster playing the part of a conservative politician. Intelligent people aren’t going to write columns supporting a moral monster.

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