What a strange and depressing place.
The drive to force every site on the web to HTTPS has pushed the web further away from the next billion users—not to mention a whole lot of the previous half-billion. I saw a piece that claimed, “Investing in HTTPS makes it faster, cheaper, and easier for everyone.” If you define “everyone” as people with gigabit fiber access, sure. Maybe it’s even true for most of those whose last mile is copper. But for people beyond the reach of glass and wire, every word of that claim was wrong.
Eric is a very smart dude, knows a thing or two about building websites, and is an all-round stand-up guy. You should read the whole post.
HTTPS is a good idea in a lot of cases, like when you are logging into your bank’s website, or buying something online. Maybe you think it’s a good idea for a lot of other sites too, and that’s fine.
What’s not fine is one company (e.g., Google) having so much power in the market that they can unilaterally force that choice for every user and every website.
Democrats running for office in the upcoming midterms don’t have to emphasize the Russia investigation or even immigration and trade if they are in red or swing districts. Trump’s incompetence and cruelty are already being taken into account, leaving the field open for candidates to focus on the bread and butter issues. Noxious Trumpism is baked in to people’s impressions of his policies now and Republicans who are associated with him (pretty much all of them) are tainted as well.
So where does that leave the Republican Party? It has become increasingly clear to me that the answer to that question doesn’t lie with families like the Kochs or the Mercers, but with the Murdochs. While their media empire doesn’t comprise the entire right-wing echo chamber, it is, at minimum, the center of it all, especially with Fox News and the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal. When/if Trump becomes a liability rather than an asset to people in the Murdoch family empire, they are the ones who have influence over what low-information white voters hear about politics. That gives them the power to alter the current dynamics.
I think Nancy is right, perhaps because her explanation here ties into my general theory of why Congressional Republicans continue to hang with and defend Trump.
The theory goes like this:
- In the face of shifting demographics, Republicans have, over the last several decades, adopted an electoral strategy that has them dependent upon voter suppression, gerrymandered districts, and an ardent but shrinking base of low-education white voters.
- Trump, aided by Russian propaganda and hacking, swept in and leveraged that base to take over the Republican Party and then found his way to the White House.
- As a result, Congressional Republicans, while not directly beholden to Trump, now find themselves electorally dependent on a base that is devoted to him.
- That base, meanwhile, exists within a media bubble that nurtures their grievances and supplies a steady drumbeat of pro-Trump propaganda, thereby eliminating any chance that they will be swayed by Trump’s corruption and illegal behavior.
So the question here is not “When will the Republicans turn against Trump,” but rather when the right-wing media will do so. Until that happens, Trump’s base will stick with him, and Congressional Republicans are stuck with him.