The Des Moines Register’s Rekha Basu explores the Trumpling of reality. A snippet:
A free press in a democracy exists to push back on such occasions and insist on verifiable facts from leaders. And if this is what they’re up against, America’s press will have its work cut out separating fact from fiction. The question is will they do so with the support of the American public, including Trump’s supporters? Or will people buy the administration’s defense that the press has an anti-Trump bias and jump on the bandwagon to restrict its access to the president?
(Snip anecdote about an email exchange with a reader)
Here’s my plea to the public, Trump supporters and all: Please understand that when reporters push back for the truth, they are not acting out of some pro-Hillary agenda but in defense of transparency. It should be important to everyone, whether or not we agree with certain policies, that decisions taken are based on real facts. In fact, if Trump’s supporters insist he tell the truth, then journalists wouldn’t feel as obligated to do that clean-up work.
Image via Job’s Anger.
As a Southern Boy, from when I first became aware, I have watched as racists rewrite history so as to blame the victimized for being victims. Hell, from my first lessons in Virginia history in elementary school in the 1950’s, where the arrival of the first African slaves at Jamestown in 1619 was taught as part of “the Red Letter Year,” I was subjected to such rewritten racist propaganda–it was only later that I started to winnow out the lies (a process which, by the by, continues).
Consequently, I can say from first-hand experience that this is nothing new.
The kerfuffle of Russian hacking has been something to watch, but it’s just a sideshow–a distressing one, perhaps, but one that likely had only marginal effects on the election. I consider it unlikely that it affected the votes of a significant number of persons; it might have solidified some wavering Trump supporters, but I strongly doubt it caused even one Hillary vote to move into the Trump column. (Note that that is just my opinion based on years of being a political junkie.)
As Gary Fifield points out in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, there are far greater threats to our democracy much closer to home. Here’s a bit of his article:
In addition, the majority party in the Senate is scheduling hearings for several of the Cabinet nominees in a fashion to undermine the ability of the committees to fully evaluate the candidates, even if the ethics panel information were available. There are six hearings scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday — one on Tuesday and five on Wednesday — a day that is also scheduled for a process of nearly continual votes on the federal budget requiring attention by senators also involved in committee hearings. It seems likely that this will result in less than full and transparent vetting of the nominees. Is that the intent? Does this threaten our democracy?
Follow the link for the rest.