August 15, 2022 | MeidasTouch
Jared Holt on far-right echo chambers and the “terrifying” fear supporters live in
ISD Senior Research Manager Jared Holt features in the MeidasTouch podcast “The Weekend Show” speaking about the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, the dangers in echo chambers and the radicalisation of the GOP.
Following the lawful search, Trump took to Truth social to sound an alleged alarm on a witch-hunt against him. His followers were quick to buy in. Jared points out that although it’s healthy to have scepticism toward institutions, the aggressive reaction by some right-wing commentators comparing the search to the “first shot in a civil war” is dangerous.
Speaking on echo chambers he says: “I don’t think a lot of Americans fully grasp the consequences of that. I think a lot of us know you know people can get in their sort of self-chosen or sorted echo chambers where they’re just hearing from people they agree with… but the effect that has is that accountability erodes. When we lose a shared sense of reality then things like accountability, trust worthiness even just object permanence… it stops mattering.”
When it comes to the GOP, he explains, that it’s alarming how much fear they use to operate in what seems like an alternative reality. “One thing that always strikes me is the amount of fear present in it. ‘The government is coming for you, look at this hypocrisy, this is evidence the government is out of control, its coming for you and your family. First it’s Donald Trump and next it’s the middle class American that they’re going to punish and destroy for some evil agenda’, which if you believe that, is pretty terrifying,” he says.
Jared warns that this environment of fear could be weaponised for individuals to give up further control down the line, “if republicans were to take major power again, [it could be used] to advance some really heinous stuff.”
To watch the full episode, click here.