On Tuesday night Bill O’Reilly defended the Electoral College by embracing white nationalism on Fox News.
“The left sees white privilege in America as an oppressive force that must be done away with,” he told The O'Reilly Factor viewers, swapping dog whistles for Klaxons.
“The left wants power taken away from the white establishment. They want a profound change in the way America is run. Taking voting power away from the white precincts is the quickest way to do that.”
Intentionally claiming the Republican vote is the “white establishment” vote, O’Reilly accused Democrats of attempting to disenfranchise rural white men, who are in his estimation always and everywhere politically at odds with the “minorities” in the cities.
“White men have largely abandoned the Democrats, and the left believes it’s because of racism that they want to punish minorities, keep them down,” said O’Reilly, without offering supporting evidence.
“So that’s what’s really going on when you hear about the Electoral College and how unfair it allegedly is. Summing up, the left wants power taken away from the white establishment.”
To harness the rhetoric of a Klan rally on Fox News was a new low, even for a political operator this shrewd. It was the George Wallace moment that, although long suspected, was nevertheless shocking to witness on a prime time TV slot.
Sadly it was O’Reilly’s apotheosis, the last stop his life and career were always heading to. Perhaps emboldened by the divisive campaign rhetoric of 2016, like Donald Trump O’Reilly’s subtext became text.
Facts are not on his side, however. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by almost three million votes in November. She would be president of the United States right now minus the Electoral College. O’Reilly understands the looming threat of this to the Republican Party and so he’s selling a racial conspiracy unworthy of even Alex Jones and Inforwars to his credulous viewers.
By assuring his voters that “minorities” and “liberals” are targeting “white America,” preparing a nefarious attack on the “white establishment” to take their “power,” some critics wonder what his own long term strategy is?
Is O’Reilly hoping to harden his viewers hearts and close their minds before Steve Bannon and Mike Pence mount an all out attack on the rights of the city dwelling minorities O’Reilly sets up as his viewer’s natural opponents?
When O’Reilly warns the left are coming for white America is it because he knows that Bannon and Pence are coming for the rights of minorities soon?
As usual O’Reilly wants it both ways. He is claiming white privilege does not exist whilst simultaneously lamenting illusory attacks on white establishment power.
We see what you did there Bill.
For Irish viewers the pugnacious pundit’s outburst was the most depressing of all. Irish people worked for years after all to achieve a ‘one person, one vote’ system in Northern Ireland, where they had been gerrymandered and oppressed since the foundation of the state.
To hear an Irish American attack that ambition was especially hard to take.