Fox News is the number one cable news network in this country—by a wide margin—largely because it kills it with old people. If you are an old white person in the United States who watches cable news, you probably watch Fox. How does Fox rack up such stellar ratings among the twilight of life set? Well, it shouts about
Matlock how the country ain’t what it used to be. With Vaseline on the lens, it plays the nostalgia game and confirms old people’s belief that the America they grew up in was actually as great as they’ve romanticized it to be. Everything wrong with the world today? That wasn’t a problem back in the ol’ days! Ebola? ISIS? Not in their day! The internet did it! The gays did it! The rock & roll did it! This country used to stand for something, by howdy! What is this world coming to? Where is it going?
Really: Where is this world going?
To Hell in a handbasket!
Actual Fox News poll question: Is everything going to hell in a handbasket? pic.twitter.com/MwHswxQkoW
— Media Matters (@mmfa) October 16, 2014
This week, Fox conducted a poll of registered voters and asked if they think the world is going “to Hell in a handbasket” or whether “everything will be alright.”
Fifty-eight percent think the world is going to Hell in a handbasket. Fifty-eight percent are wrong.
Look, aging isn’t easy. It’s a humbling sentence of inexorable graying punctuated by death. The way that people deal with old age is their own. No one can blame the 58 percent of registered voters who think the country is “going to Hell in a handbasket.’ They’re reacting from a very real place of loss and concern and guilt that they drove the economy into the ground. But, to be real, old people, chill. It’s going to be fine.
The good ol’ days weren’t so good. There has never been a better time to be alive in America. People live longer and better lives than at any other time in history. Today was better than yesterday, tomorrow will be better still. If I gave you a time machine and told you that you could take a one way trip anywhere in time, the only reasonable answer would be the future.
P.S. It’s worth noting that Fox clearly only worded the poll that way so that they could write the headline, “As election nears, voters say things are ‘going to hell in a handbasket.'”