The new political religion

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

I like his metaphor comparing this to a religion:

Sean Illing

Tell me why you decided to end your show. You say the show was a kind of experiment to see if it was possible to call it straight and tell the truth to a (mostly) conservative audience. Why did your experiment fail?

John Ziegler
There are a lot of reasons why it failed, but the straw that broke the camel’s back was the election of Donald Trump. The part of this equation your audience will be most interested in is the reality that talk radio, in the era of Trump, isn’t remotely conservative. It’s also no longer about the truth. It’s about telling people what they want to hear.

It’s very much like a cult now, where the purpose is to substantiate what the religion is telling you and anything that runs counter to the religion is inherently false and blasphemous, even evil. So anyone who breaks from orthodoxy is a traitor.

For instance, you can’t simply say, as a conservative radio host, that Donald Trump lost the popular vote. Now that’s an obvious fact, but listeners can’t deal with it, they won’t deal with it. Fifty-two percent of Republicans, in fact, don’t accept this fact, and they don’t accept it because they don’t have to in their echo chamber.

They live in an alternative reality in which Trump won the popular vote and the Electoral College vote, and that reality is propped up by conservative media.

Sean Illing

How have you navigated this? Obviously you’re a conservative, but you’re also a Never Trumper who refused to toe the line this year.

John Ziegler
Well, it hasn’t worked well. As a Never Trumper, I’m basically selling beef to vegans at this point. There’s just no interest in what I’m saying. If you weren’t prepared to toss out your principles and drink the Trump Kool-Aid this year, conservative audiences weren’t listening.

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