“Woke up to reality
And found the future not so bright
I dreamt the impossible
That maybe things could work out right.”– Clark Datchler
Somewhere along the way, our viewing habits changed. Maybe it was the inevitable. You get older and what passed for entertainment just doesn’t pass anymore. In our case, it is probably a lot more about streaming our television now. We cut the chord on satellite about ten years ago and we’ve never really looked back.
Suddenly, the ability to choose what you watch and when you watch affects all kinds of things. It affects when you watch television, what you watch, and how much you watch. You aren’t captive to when the networks choose to broadcast their shows.
We decided to go down the YouTube rabbit hole and watch old clips of the Steve Wilkos Show. We used to watch it back when we had satellite and it was just as bad and funny as we remember. I think what hit us most of all was how little people understood about the legal process. The stories they told created all kinds of facepalm moments.
As much fun as it is to reminiscence about old programming, the exercise explained a lot. It made me think of the current buzz going around that the ex-president will be reinstated in August. Apparently, there is a belief that all of these audits will somehow reveal the “obvious fraud” that got Joe Biden illegally elected president.
So, what does this have to do with the Steve Wilkos show? There’s nothing direct. I don’t know his politics, but I’m assuming many of the guests uttering their nonsense are not big fans of Trump. So again, what does this have to do with Trump and the MAGA crowd?
It’s really pretty simple. These idiots on the show are not the only idiots around. Idiots come in all shapes and sizes. They come in all colors too. If the people on screen are spewing their nonsense then those watching also have their own nonsense they believe. One is the feeling of superiority that you have while watching the show.
This is the whole dynamic these shows are going for. They all have the same topics. Someone molested a kid. Someone beat up a spouse. Someone cheated on their significant other. Someone is denying their kid. It’s the same thing that kept Maury Povich afloat all those years. One of the things we noticed is that everyone on the show (except for a few notable exceptions) had a southern drawl no matter where they came from. S9, if you didn’t have feelings of racial superiority then it became a regional one.
Meanwhile, millions looking at the screen carry the same ignorance as those on the screen. They have no idea how the court system works. They have no idea how the government works. They have no idea how elections work. So, it makes perfect sense to them that dozens of courts and affected states could all say the election was on the level. They are a part of the massive conspiracy and somehow massive conspiracies make more sense than simple facts.
Of course, the Trump end makes perfect sense. The impending powder keg needs money to blow. This is money he can fundraise and use for his own legal defenses in criminal and civil court. Who cares that every single previous rouse proved to be exactly that. January 6th came and went. March came and went. August will almost certainly come and go. There will likely individual acts of stupidity, but that month will come and go without anything serious happening. Yet, the MAGAs will continue to get bilked for the next insurrection to come.
Watching this go down is a lot like watching these shows. The psychological manipulation comes in many forms. There is the feeling of superiority for the racists out there and the feeling of superiority for those prejudiced against hicks. Whatever your poison, it’s the same basic poison. It’s entertaining until it’s not. This is real life and unlike the Steve Wilkos Show, it impacts all of us.