The increasing liberal hysteria

Thomas Lifson:
The past week featured well-known cable news hosts in tears over the separation of children from their parents at the border, a practice that was common in the Obama administration, drawing little notice and no weeping. And every day in the United States, when the head of a single-parent household is arrested, children of American citizens are separated from their family and placed in the custodial care of others.

Were Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell entirely ignorant of this reality? Was last week the first time they realized that parental criminality breaks up families?
I sincerely doubt that either of them was so ignorant of the realities of the criminal justice system. So what accounts for their total loss of composure on air?

A cynic would argue that the tears were artificial, intentionally forced out of tear ducts and emotions faked. Maybe so, but this then raises the question of why they felt driven to such emotional manipulation of the audience.

And what if the emotions were real? What could drive seasoned professionals to such a loss of self-control if manipulation were not the intent?

I think the answer in both scenarios is the same: genuine mass hysteria is gripping the mainstream media. The first source is the political rise, election, and continuing successes of Donald Trump, currently presiding over the best economic times since the Reagan administration. Trump violates all the political norms that they learned, embraced, and enforced in their own rise to media prominence. When norms are violated, anger is the dominant response of members of the group that holds the norms.

But what accounts for the hysteria that results in loss of self-control? I think a second factor is at play. The mainstream media perceive that they have lost the ability to shape public perceptions beyond the 30% or so of the populace that is committed to left-progressivism. The majority of the public no longer trusts or believes what they have to say. And this sense of powerlessness in the face of a hated opponent is literally driving them crazy. Even before the Rasmussen poll showed the futility of their efforts ("54% of Likely U.S. Voters say the parents are more to blame for breaking the law ... only 35% believe the federal government is more to blame for enforcing the law"), they must have realized that their efforts were failing. Knowing no other means of persuasion than intensifying the current efforts, they pulled out all the stops: anger and sadness replaced facts and logic, which don't really stand up to scrutiny anyway.
Their tools of manipulation seem to be failing them which leads them to rachet up the emotional pleas and distortions of reality.  They have tried to weaponize empathy for a group of invading lawbreakers who are using children as human shields and get out of jail free cards.  This use of children started in the Obama administration which made some efforts to stop it but then its DACA and other programs actually encouraged it.  Its catch in release program gave the invasion a green light.

They also see their predictions of doom and gloom about Trump's programs not coming true as the economy grows stronger and long-term unemployment shrinks to the point where there are more jobs than people looking for them.  Seeing conservative programs replacing liberalism and producing prosperity is pretty scary for these people.


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