Jerry Springer, Trump and Civility

When I saw the headline “Jerry Springer Blames Trump for Society’s Lack of Civility“, I thought it must be from the Babylon Bee. Surely only a satire website would post an article with a title like that. I was wrong. It was the Huffington Post, and they were serious.

It’s no secret that Jerry Springer has seen more examples of the decline of civility in society than probably anyone.

So when he blames Donald Trump for the current rise in rudeness, maybe he’s onto something?

He thinks so anyway, as he told MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle during a segment on Friday.

“I used to joke and say that my anger at the president is that he took my show and brought it to the White House,” Springer said.

He then talked about civility in a manner familiar to anyone who has seen one of his “final thoughts” that used to end his talk show.

“Civility is critical in terms of our norms, and we can’t function as a society unless we have norms of how to behave,” said Springer, the former mayor of Cincinnati. “You can’t pass enough laws to take care of every human interaction.”

I have to wonder if Jerry Springer has ever actually watched his own show. No president, not even Donald Trump has behaved in any way even remotely comparable to the sad wretches that Jerry Springer has had as guests. Perhaps Springer is somewhat aware of the irony of his complaining about a lack of civility as he went on to defend his show.

He’s one to talk about civility

“First of all, our show was about dysfunctional behavior, so obviously everyone who’s going to appear on the show is acting dysfunctionally,” Springer said. “That was the point of the show. But no one ever suggested, never did I do a final thought, and say, ‘This is the way you ought to behave.’”.

Springer then pointed out the folly of saying that because there’s “a crazy television show where you’ve got people that admittedly are dysfunctional” on the air, that “therefore, it’s OK to have an administration that’s dysfunctional.”

He then pointed out how “The Jerry Springer Show” was a step above the current administration in terms of class.

“When you have the president of the United States using language that even on our crazy show we’d bleep out, then society’s in trouble.”

The fact is that the standards of civility have been declining for decades before Donald Trump got into politics and Jerry Springer’s show has played no small in lowering those standards. For years, the Jerry Springer Show showcased people exhibiting deviant, dysfunctional, and just plain weird behavior for the amusement of his viewers. Jerry Springer is deluding himself if he thinks that a short final thought can mitigate the impact of forty-five minutes of degenerates fighting and throwing chairs at each other.

Donald Trump is not the cause of our nation’s increasing incivility, he is a symptom or more accurately the result. Donald Trump is what happens when the people who have been all too often the targets of this incivility decide to fight back. For too long, the normal people of this country, the humble people in flyover country who make the country work have been the targets of disdain and the incivility from an increasingly insular and out of touch elite. It has been perfectly acceptable to attack these people as ignorant, racist deplorables who are too stupid to know what’s good for them. It is only when the Deplorables begin to fight back that there is this sudden concern about civility.

The Deplorables tried to be civil when we formed the Tea Party and humbly asked that the governing elites actually follow the constitution and try to keep the country from going bankrupt. Tea Party protestors behaved peacefully and civilly. They did not smash windows and attack people. They even cleaned up after themselves. For their trouble, the media called them political terrorists, while praising violent, anarchist thugs. We have asked that the government do its job and protect our borders only to be called racists and compared to Nazis.

We tried being civil

We tried being civil and it didn’t work. So, we elected an uncivil man to the presidency. For all his faults, Donald Trump has been the only major political figure to really understand what the people in middle America really feel. He has been one of the few politicians who has actually tried to keep his campaign promises and has generally managed to do a good job. For his troubles, Trump has been attacked as few presidents have ever been attacked. He is on the verge of being impeached for no other reason than he won an election he was supposed to lose. Our own federal government, the people who are supposed to be working for us, has been conspiring against him. If Donald Trump falls, I think we are all about to become a whole lot less concerned with civility. People like Jerry Springer will be longing for the more civil time when Trump was president.

Jerry Springer ought not to blame Trump for a situation that was years in the making. If he must blame someone, he should look in a mirror.

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