Not that there’s any doubt that right wingers live in a strange, parallel universe, but yesterday’s “Ask the Governor” show on WRVA 1140 AM with Gov. Ralph Northam and a series of (mostly) right-wing white men asking questions was a perfect example. But before we get to that, check this out: “the right-wing echo chamber—the tendency of conservatives to get the vast majority of their news coverage from Fox News or conservative radio stations, distrust all other news sources, and have mostly like-minded friends” — and it’s “much stronger on the right than left,” with right wingers overwhelmingly relying on Fox “News” (47%) and local radio (11%) for their main sources of “news about government and politics.” (Note: in stark contrast, liberals rely on a wide variety of sources)
Which brings us to yesterday’s “Ask the Governor” show on WRVA 1140 AM. Check out the audio below and notice a few main things about it: 1) the host, John Reid, is a Trumpster whose questions to Gov. Northam reflected his right-wing politics and beliefs ; 2) the callers to the show were overwhelmingly right-wing, white males, asking questions that, again, reflected their right-wing politics and beliefs. So what do these right-wing white males mostly care about? First, think about what YOU care about: the economy? healthcare? traffic? education? the environment? gun violence? women’s reproductive freedom? LGBT equality? crime? the state of our country and our democracy? other? all of the above? Now, compare that to what the right-wing WRVA host and the right-wing callers to the show yesterday apparently obsess about.
- Conflating restoration of voting rights for EX-felons with trying to get parole/commutation of sentences for convicted criminals currently in jail.
- People who “have babies” getting “an 8-week vacation”; “I just don’t feel that it’s right that the citizens of Virginia should pay for – whether it’s Planned Parenthood or if it’s an accident or whatever – I don’t think we should have to pay for people to go on vacation for eight weeks a year, because some people have three children right in a row…and that’s just wrong.” (Note: this right-wing white male caller is actually talking about Gov. Northam signing an executive order expanding paid family leave for state employees)
- Another right-wing white guy (“Billy”) asked about restoring the rights of convicted felons to own/purchase firearms along with their rights to vote. Of course, as Gov. Northam pointed out, the right to own/purchase firearms has to be done through a judge.
- Why is Northam’s predecessor, Terry McAuliffe, being sooooo mean to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, tweeting (accurately) that Kavanaugh’s nomination “will threaten the lives of millions of Americans for decades to come and will morph our Supreme Court into a political arm of the right-wing Republican Party.”
- Another right-wing white male (“Perry”) asks about DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s Alexandria home being picketed and why the protesters weren’t arrested (“are we going to allow this type of savagery to go on in the Commonwealth?”).
- The “Red Hen” of course, and the “hostility” and lack of “civility” towards Donald Trump and his administration.
- Another right-wing white male (“Kevin”) asks about getting rid of personal property taxes.
- Is Virginia “business friendly” enough?
- A relatively normal question about expanding Medicaid.
- Immigration, of course, and specifically Northam’s decision to recall Virginia’s National Guard troops from the border due to Trump’s child separation policy (note: John Reid claims that Trump “has relented on his position” and is “actively trying to do that reunification” – uhhhhhhh)
- Confederate monuments, of course! What would a show hosted by a right-wing white male and with a bunch of right-wing white male callers BE without questions about preserving our state’s fine Confederate heritage?
- And double OF COURSE – a question from yet another right-wing white male (“Tim”) about one of their favorite, false bogeymen, that being “sanctuary cities” (and, as “Tim” delightfully calls immigrants seeking a better life in America, “illegals”). Note: Gov. Northam points out that “we don’t have Sanctuary Cities in Virginia.”
- A serious question, at long last, by a woman – not a man – about educating students about sexual abuse, domestic violence, etc.
- And finally…the right-wing host heads back to Confederate monuments to conclude his show.
In sum, what do right-wing, particularly white male right wingers (and especially those who host and/or call in to right-wing radio shows), care about? Basically…guns, “illegals,” “sanctuary cities,” Confederate monuments, lowering taxes, concerns about restoring people’s voting rights, NOT providing families with parental leave, liberals not being “civil” enough to Trump and his administration/appointees (e.g., the “Red Hen” incident). Is this what the rest of us, who live outside the Fox/right-wing radio bubble, care about? Of course not. Yet in the right-wing alternate reality universe, those are the topics, 24/7. And we wonder why the country elected a corrupt, bigoted, treasonous, ignorant, sexual predator and all-around disgrace like Trump?