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The Only Thing We Have To Fear...


Last night I had a very disheartening conversation with a dear friend.  She’s frantic and scared and near heart attack levels of stress over the incoming President.   The reasons for her fear were easy to ascertain; she had been reading every anti-Trump screed put out by the left wing press for the last few months.  Among the lies and innuendoes she had been subject to were the bits about Trumps dad being KKK (never proven) and Mike Pence supporting electrocution conversion therapy for gays (disproven many times).


I’ve got another friend who’s having nightmares about Trump invading her house and turning it into a reality show.  It would be amusing if it weren’t so indicative of the rabid fear so many Americans have over our new President.  I worry, not about Trump, but about what that fear could do to our country.


Now, I want to make it clear that I’m not a Trump fan.  I didn’t vote for him and I think there were a dozen people more qualified for the office than him.  Sadly, most of them didn’t run and, no, Hilary isn’t one of them.


I consider him as unqualified to be President as Barack Obama was when he ran.  I am, however, willing to give him a chance as I was when Obama was elected.  I hope I’m not as disappointed in him as I have been in Obama.


The crux of the problem was laid bare to me many months ago as I followed the media coverage of the election.  Much like both times Obama ran, Republican issues were trumpeted from the hill while Democrat issues were whitewashed over.  If you were to believe the main stream media, Republicans are evil bastards while the Democrats are the plucky do gooders, attempting to rescue us from our own stupidity.  It’s no wonder Trump has little love for them.


A perfect example was the dissection of Trump’s Inaugural Address by Katie Couric and her team at Yahoo news.  It took about twenty seconds for them to march out the Nazi meme and deride everything the new President said as naïve and jingoistic.  There was a little “devil’s advocate” played, but it was mainly to pop up such arguments so they could be quickly knocked down. 


I was darkly amused, though, when they accused Trump of living in a bubble.  Apparently, the lessons of the election have failed to penetrate their own bubble.  I turned it off after about five minutes and it began to disgust me.


I’ve got problems with Trump’s speech, the main one being his invocation of God about every minute or so.  I know he rode into office on the religious right wing vote, but I wish he would quit pandering to them.  I really don’t like religion in my government.  I also wish he wouldn’t invoke crime as a problem since we’re at historically low crime rates and I think he’s simply using it, like many pols before him, as a scare tactic.


There were things I liked about the speech.  We do need to spend money on our infrastructure, we do need to fix our school system, we do need to remove ourselves from many of the entangling and expensive alliances we’ve gotten into.


I doubt, though, you’re going to hear such equanimity from our press.


Our mainstream press, you see, with a couple of exceptions, leans decidedly left.  If you doubt me, look at the difference in coverage of the last two administrations.  Bush, it seemed, could do nothing right while Obama, in spite of continuing and even expanding some of Bush’s policies, could do no wrong.  Invading Iraq was bad while droning wedding parties was somehow okay.


And we can’t forget the far left outlets like the Daily Kos or Mother Jones or a dozen other left wing websites that spout innuendo and the occasional outright lie.  I see my liberal friends post this crap on social media every day and I really want to grab them by their metaphoric lapels and shake them.  “How can you swallow this bullshit?”


Not that the far right websites are a lot better.  Like their counterparts on the other side, they specialize in inflammatory rhetoric and half truths.  I just don’t see as many posts from them from my conservative friends as I do left wing posts from my liberal friends.  It’s almost as if the far left has won the Internet.


Like I said before, I’m not a Trump supporter.  I just read a synopsis of his agenda and there are things I dislike as well as things I like, but, on the whole, I don’t like him as President.  However, I would rather the press, if they’re capable of it, report on him honestly.  No more straw men and ad hominem attacks on the man.  Report on his policies and how they affect the American people and try to keep your personal feelings out of it.


So far, I’ve only seen two outlets that try to maintain a bit of journalistic distance from their subjects.  One is the Wall Street Journal, which, in spite of being owned by an evil gnome, seems to have its head on straight.  Never a Trump supporter, they seem to be at least fair in their coverage of him.


The other is the No Agenda podcast, the main goal of which is to separate the wheat from the journalistic chaff.  Twice a week, the NA team takes apart the news of the world and tries to find out what’s really going on.  Sometimes they dive into strict weirdness, but if you can get past that, you can get to some eye opening information.


I, in the meantime, will do my best to promote research and fact checking.  Some of you may not like it, but I live in hope that you will at least open your minds to it.


It’s going to be an interesting four years.

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