There’s a great scene in an episode of “Arrested Development” where Jason Bateman recommends that David Cross’ character carry a tape recorder for a day so that he can hear how off-putting and strange he sounds to other people.
MSNBC’s Joy Reid so often says things that are misleading, outright false or simply unintelligent, that one can’t help but think that she’d benefit from such an exercise.
Consider, for example, the following gem she tweeted Tuesday evening during President Trump's first State of the Union address:
Church ... family ... police ... military ... the national anthem ... Trump trying to call on all the tropes of 1950s-era nationalism. The goal of this speech appears to be to force the normalization of Trump on the terms of the bygone era his supporters are nostalgic for. #SOTU— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) January 31, 2018
“Church ... family ... police ... military ... the national anthem ... Trump trying to call on all the tropes of 1950s-era nationalism,” she wrote. “The goal of this speech appears to be to force the normalization of Trump on the terms of the bygone era his supporters are nostalgic for.”
First, let’s pause to reflect on her assertion that church and family are “tropes of 1950s-era nationalism.” Because it's historically illiterate.
Is she under the impression that the desire for strong families and robust church communities is some post-World War II phenomenon? Does she not realize that these things aren't exactly unique to "Leave It To Beaver" era? Millions of Americans enjoyed and advocated for these things long before the 1950s, and they've been enjoying them and fighting for them long since.
Trump isn't doing some sort of retro throwback to a time long passed. He's appealing to almost universally popular issues. How scandalous.
Perhaps this sounded clever in her head. Perhaps this is the sort of thing that passes for trenchant analysis in her apparently cloistered world. But there’s a big world out there, and many of the people in it are genuinely confused by the idea that church and family could be nationalistic tropes.
Indeed, she characterizes church, family, etc., as if they are problematic; as if Trump is trying to use the allure of strong families and church communities to pull the United States back to the dark ages of....back when she thinks strong families and church communities were popular? Uh, okay.