The now infamous clip of CNN anchor Don Lemon laughing along at insults of Trump voters represents everything wrong with the media, elites, and the NeverTrump swamp creatures trying their hardest to turn off new additions to the party.
If you’re a bit confused as to which time Lemon has insulted whites, Trump voters, or some combination of the two…it’s understandable. I’m not talking about the time he called white men “the biggest terror threat” in America. Nor am I talking about the time he chuckled alongside CNN Contributors Bakari Sellers and Tara Setmayer, who called MAGA convert Kanye West “an example of what happens when Negroes don’t read” and “a token negro,” respectively.
THIS time, we’re talking about him laughing along at Republican political consultant Rick Wilson and panelist Wajahat Ali’s sneering, contemptuous ridicule of a certain segment of Americans who voted for Donald Trump. In their crude southern redneck caricature of Trump voters, they inadvertently revealed to the world exactly what they think of Trump and his supporters, practically securing his re-election. Of course, Lemon and crew can be forgiven for assuming that since they were on CNN, nobody would actually see the segment, but the power of social media (and President Trump’s Twitter account) made the clip instantly viral.
To the left, the clip was nothing special, just another version of the jokes they tell amongst each other about the “rube” Trump voters all the time. But to Republicans and Trump supporters, the clip revealed an ugly strain of elitism that has permeated left-leaning cable news in the Trump era. Indeed, instead of learning the lessons of 2016’s shock election of Donald Trump and doing some much needed soul-searching about what went wrong, the left has chosen to double-down on their ugly stereotypes about the kinds of people who voted him in. But, it’s not just the left that’s doing this. Rick Wilson is an establishment Republican and outspoken NeverTrumper.
Swamp creatures like Wilson and plenty of other establishment Republicans hate Trump because they think that the types of voters that Trump has brought in are truly beneath them. When Wilson isn’t sneering at southern Trump voters and making fun of their accents, his fellow CNN Contributor and ‘conservative’ Ana Navarro-Cárdenas is making fun of Black Trump supporters. After the surfacing of two separate polls that placed Black Trump support at around 34 and 34.5%, she Tweeted: Zero chance this is accurate. Zero. The poll must have only been conducted in the homes of Ben Carson, Kanye, that sheriff guy with the hat and those two Cubic Zirconia & Polyester-Spandex ladies.
For someone like me who is a newer member to the Republican fold, it’s attitudes like these that are even more off-putting than those of the radical left. Despite signs that the coalition for Trump is including more numbers of Blacks, Latinos, and newer converts to the party than ever before, establishment hacks like Wilson and Navarro-Cardenas seek to keep the party in the past. They do this by downplaying minority support, sticking to tired caricatures of Trump supporters, and selling it all to the left while turning off potential new converts to the Republican party.
Of course, Don Lemon returned to the airwaves with a non-apology apology just 24 hours after the firestorm, but it’s clear that what’s going on here is much bigger than a clip. It’s clear that there are two factions who have not yet learned the lessons of 2016 and need to be taught yet again. The first is the liberal elites who are so blind to the world changing outside of their bubbles that they stick to outdated stereotypes to explain the voting habits of half the population of America. The second are the establishment Republican NeverTrumpers who are blind to a party that is becoming more fresh, exciting, and inclusive despite their best efforts to keep it in the past.
The viral clip gives Trump voters all the ammunition they need to give both groups a serious wakeup call in November. And we will.