I discovered this summer that I have a couple of acquaintances who are voting Republican today. One woman who I am still Facebook friends with was generous with her time and we had an extended conversation about her views via Facebook chat.
Let’s call her Jane.
Jane grew up in Britain, in a household that voted for Margaret Thatcher. She became a nurse and moved to the US. She lives and works in Arizona in healthcare.
Jane thinks the US is violent and she worries about “illegals.” She “wasn’t a big fan” of Trump in the beginning. But now she believes he can help the economy and the fact that he’s an “outsider” to politics means he can make real change in Washington. According to Jane, Washington needs Trump.
“I find alot of conflicting stories online. I prefer TV”
Jane has always voted Republican. She believes people have the right to own guns, but not semi-automatics. She believes women have the right to an abortion, even if she hates the idea. And Jane wants equal rights for gay people; but not “marriage in a church.” She thinks Canadian healthcare is better and worries about Americans who have to pay too much.
Perhaps more importantly, Jane thinks that Clinton (always “Hillary”) is corrupt and can’t be trusted. She thinks politicians are rich elites.
How do you get your news? “I would say 95% fox 3% cnn and 2% internet”
Jane worries that this election has been polarizing and that there is too much hate in the world. The problem with Obama is he’s weak and won’t say “radical Muslim terrorist.” She believes it was wrong for Obama to invite Black Lives Matter activists to the Whitehouse.
She admires Trump’s family and how “wholesome” his kids are. In Jane’s view, many rich people’s kids “never amount to anything.” She wants Trump to work with “Rudy Guliani and Sheriff Clarke.”
The problem with news
Just to be clear, Jane is a smart person. She’s a nurse. But I made a point of asking her how she gets her news. She told me she gets most of her news from “FOX.” I asked what “most” meant. She said 95%. And she estimated another 3% from CNN.
I asked if she got her news online. She said no. She gets her news almost entirely from TV. Because online news is “too conflicting.” Online, she looks at Infowars.
“I also look online at infowars… Alex Jones.”
I asked her if there were particular people on Fox that she watched. She said Sean Hannity and Bill O’Rielly.
I’m reminded that media is powerful.
I’m reminded that if I lived in Tucson, I would likely watch Fox News everyday too. And if I lived in Calgary I might read the Sun or the Herald everyday. Or Rebel Media.