The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Venom and Discord

The trained hamsters in the main stream media clutch their collective pearls and defend themselves against Donald Trump's head-on attacks. With pinched faces, the most biased "commentators" tell us that Trump is "unstable" or "unhinged" or possibly "insane" (the meme words of the week). They trot out partisans who echo their comments, and everyone nods and frowns gravely. The now open warfare between the trained hamsters and Trump continues to escalate.

Here's the problem for the media. Trump's diatribes are undoubtedly over the top (what else is new?) but many members of the general public recognize that there is truth at the core of his argument (polls confirm this). Trump's accusations of "fake news" and dishonesty are accurate in the main.

If you were to listen to any of the usual media suspects over the past week, you'd think that the United States is beset by the 0.006 percent* of the population that are actually white supremacists, led by the President of the United States who is himself a sympathizer. You'd think that a deranged neo-Nazi who drove into a crowd of people in Charlottesville is somehow indicative of widespread racism in the broader population. You'd argue that three words ("on both sides") negate an otherwise reasonable condemnation of right-wing extremists and a plea to stop the violence coming from both the right and left. You'd think that tearing down statues that are offensive to some will somehow remedy the underlying causes of violence, poverty, and dependency that are evidenced in many urban areas (Chicago comes to mind).

There is no doubt that Donald Trump has many failings, but he is not "insane," and he certainly is not a "racist" or an "anti-Semite." But it's difficult to convince people who are in the grip of mass hysteria of that reality.

So the beat goes on. The four constituencies continue their efforts to destroy Trump's presidency and with it, a number of worthwhile policies (e.g., health care reform, tax reform, immigration reform, economic reform, trade policy, infrastucture improvement). #Resistance and #NeverTrump offer nothing of substance, nothing that would improve the lives of citizens, nothing that would move our country forward—only venom and discord. It will be interesting to see whether they succeed in their soft coup and what the unintended consequences of their success will be.


*For those who have trouble with percentages, think of it this way. If you were to fill Madison Square Garden with 20,000 people, there would likely be one white supremacist among them—one in 20,000! I think it's fair to state that that single despicable human being would NOT hold any sway over the other 19,999 people in the arena and if he/she spewed white supremacist rhetoric, he/she would be drowned out by the crowd. Of course, the "fake news" media never provides us with an indication of the size of the white supremacist community and the fact that it is an infinitesmally small part of our population. After all, the trained hamsters avoid context if it flies in the face of the prevailing narrative.