As many of you are aware, Andrea Tantaros is one of the chief Trump defenders at Fox News. For the record, she is (or perhaps was) someone who I enjoy watching on television most of the time.
But her behavior following Donald Trump’s candidacy exemplifies something I’ve been seeing more and more of on the political right – raw emotional thinking.
You see, usually it’s the left that lets their feelings get the better of them. The intelligent right has almost always been a bastion for those who wish to think through the consequences of public policy actions, emphasize tradition, incorporate analysis, and other things that we so desperately need more of in contemporary America.
Almost all of Trump’s support base has fallen victim to emotional rather than critical thinking. Their arguments for Trump have been, and still are, the same canned sayings that would make Marco Rubio take notice. “We are sick of the establishment.” “I am tired of career politicians.” “No more political correctness.” “We the people.” “Trump says what’s on his mind,” and on and on the mindless repetition goes.
Put another way, very few of them are policy wonks. Very few of them could have a high-level debate on policy, history, economics or law. Which is fine, because those are not measures of one’s worth. But it does say something when very few well informed people are backing a candidate, and said candidate is almost exclusively backed by people who prefer soundbites over substance.
It’s like the debate over evolution. Almost every single biologist in the world is on one side, and a movement led mostly by non-scientists is arguing that evolution isn’t a reality.
This brings us to Andrea Tantaros. Some days ago, she was engaged by Charles C.W. Cooke over at National Review on Twitter, who chose to respond to her tweet that movement conservatism has been a bust. You can read his newly released summary of the exchange and ensuing fallout here.
To put it lightly, it’s mind-numbing painful. Charles Cooke says one thing and she responds as if he said something radically different. An analogous conversation is as follows:
Person A: “I love the Carolina Panthers.”
Person B: “Why do you hate the Red Sox?”
A: “I literally never said that.”
B: “Shut up elitist, why you gotta hate women?”
I guess we have a better understanding as to why Ms. Tantaros is a Trump supporter. She refuses to follow a conversation’s sequence in any meaningful way, and instead projects her own meaning onto Mr. Cooke’s words. If Trump fails to get the nomination, what will these people say to save face?