One of the more trying aspects of dealing with conservatives is trying to talk to someone that lives in a reality separate and distinct from the one in which Earth resides. In few ways is that better illustrated than policy vs optics. You ask questions about efficacy in a policy debate. Will this work, do we need to do it, will the benefits outweigh the costs, etc. Facts run the show, emotions hold you back, and intellect is at a premium.
In optics, you ignore the facts, lie even when you don’t feel like you have to, demonize people you disagree with and things you don’t prefer, trivialize, appeal to emotion, and violate all precepts of civil conduct. A person who does all of this then falls prey to projection, and accuses anyone discussing policy of engaging in this abhorrent behavior. Any check or balance on this type of behavior, like the news media, is subsequently attacked in base terms so transparently false and pathetic that it has no choice but to fall in line.