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Donald Trump is not some weird, one-time, election-year anomaly. He’s the logical product of a Fox News/Facebook society.

Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, put her finger on it. She said Trump is “unworthy of being our president” because of “his constant stream of cruel comments and…his attacks directed at people who could not respond on an equal footing.”

Why should “cruel comments and attacks” surprise us in a Presidential candidate? It’s exactly how we talk to each other and about each other in the cable-TV, online age.

Self-proclaimed media genius and reputed sexual predator Roger Ailes engineered the perfect money-making machine at Fox News by force-feeding anxious, angry and fearful viewers a 24/7 stream of anxiety, anger and fear. Often delivered by hot women in short skirts.

When we Boomers were kids, our parents warned us that watching too much television would warp our brains. Turns out they were right.

And look at how we talk when we’re online. Look at the ugly, spiteful things we say to and about other people. Look at the friends and families who unfriend, unfollow and fall out over politics.

The very things we would never say if we were writing a letter or talking to someone, we have no hesitation saying when we’re sitting on the sofa tapping away on our smart (?) phones and tablets.

I’m sure I’m guilty of it right here on this blog.

Surely the digital revolution empowered us to do great things. It also unleashed our worst selves.

What’s to stop us from getting even coarser and crueler, as Fox News and the left-wing wannabes egg us on?

In the end, you have to hope that the ultimate decency in people will prevail.

In the meantime, click off the TV and log off. Read a book or take a walk. We’ve got three months to go to Election Day.

 

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