Techno-explainer Douglas Rushkoff has a theory to help us understand Trump and Brexit. Strap yourself in, here it comes:
Because TV was a global medium, broadening our minds, but the Internet is a local medium, reinforcing stupid prejudices.
Ah, yes, when George Bush appeared on TV on that aircraft carrier deck, surrounded by wildly applauding men in color-coded uniforms, he wasn't appealing to American exceptionalism and hokey patriotism -- that message was enjoyed by the entire world. And back in the '80s, when Americans got their taste of 500 cable channels, their horizons were immediately widened by all the French language TV offerings. Telenovelas became all the rage in white Appalachia, and more channels were demanded for cinema from Ghana and Nigeria.
But then the internet came along, and suddenly Americans lost interest in everything but Alex Jones and Leave it to Beaver reruns.
That's the drift of it, anyway. Salon calls Rushkoff's warmed-over-McLuhan-in-the-service-of-global-elitism "fascinating." It is fascinating... that such an idea has immediate traction.