Reader St. Louisan writes:
Part of me hopes the Donald Trump bubble continues into next year, because it will serve the “conservative movement” right. For decades now, they–Fox, the talk radio guys, politicians and journals–have been stoking the rage of their base. They’ve convinced their base that the media isn’t merely biased, but actively engaged in conspiracy against them, that Washington’s incompetence is exceeded only by it’s nefariousness, that politics is a sleazy and dishonorable thing and only outsiders can bring sound policy or honest intentions, that “the establishment” is corrupt and even the Republican Party’s leadership is willing to sell them out for cocktail party invitations.
I suspect a large portion of conservative thought leaders (including Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes) expected the Trump show to collapse before it became too serious an embarrassment for the eventual nominee, and hoped the first debate would begin that collapse. But they’ve systematically trained their viewers, listeners, and readers to discount experience, revere “outsiders” and business success, equate long experience in government with selling out, and regard any establishment–even the establishment of their own movement–with distrust. The degree to which more serious conservative journalists have tolerated and played along with this over the years has been scandalous. If Trump ends up splitting the Republican vote (or hanging around long enough to force the nominee to make nice with him) and costs the GOP this election, it will serve the conservative movement right.