I need a media fast. Instead I’m contributing to the circus. Maybe it will provide clarity, but chances are my contribution will either be ignored or ignite vitriol. Vitriol…something we are not in short supply of here in America.
Let’s start with the protests, the hatred. I have no love for Trump. I couldn’t vote for him. He said way too many terrible things about other people. He has the moral compass of, well, most other Americans, unfortunately. I did not feel comfortable voting for someone that I felt had no integrity. (This is also why I didn’t want Bill Clinton to have access to the Oval Office. I care about women too much to have him force any more interns into sexual favors.) Thanks to his inflammatory and derogatory statements, Trump has allowed the left to paint him as the embodiment of hatred of women and minorities. All the hate-mongering still couldn’t get enough people to the polls to support Clinton. The result: Trump wins. The response: “Love Trumps Hate.” The irony: The sign is now being held up next to “Rape Melania.” This is our America. Our response to a “hateful” president-elect is violence, hatred, and fear.
But Trump is a liar! We all have seen the videos of him contradicting himself. So how do the Trump haters respond? More lies. My liberal friends have posted fabricated news stories and click-bating, misleading headlines in abundance this week. When Trump appointed African-American, Ken Blackwell, to head his domestic transition team the headlines read, “Donald Trump’s war on LGBTQ people has already begun.” Another one that said, “Trump’s Domestic Transition Team Leader is a Hate Group Member” Why? Because Blackwell believes that homosexuals can and should change their sexual habits. These kinds of headlines are lies. We HATE Trump because he is hateful and lie about him because he is a liar!
What about the openly anti-Semitic, anti-gay, white-supremacist appointment of Steve Bannon? What about all the race-hatred coming from those on the alt-right? I have no doubt that there is plenty of racially charged hatred to go around, but I don’t think there is anyone in this country who could define “alt-right” well enough to be able solidly link actual acts of violence or discrimination to it. In fact, no one even knew what the term meant until five minutes ago. That’s not surprising, given that it has only been around for about that long.
I did some research on Bannon. I read article after article about how Bannon is anti-Semitic or homophobic or misogynistic. I was shocked and even more disappointed with the President-elect. Then I noticed a problem. The problem with all those articles is that they didn’t have any evidence. After lots of digging, I found one piece of evidence. In Divorce court, his ex-wife said that he said he didn’t want his kids in the same school as Jewish kids. As horrible as that sounds, I’m pretty sure that is what we call a biased source. Can we have some real evidence before we tell everyone we know that he is a white-supremacist?
The other evidence is his website—Brietbart. He was president of this conservative news organization and presided over thousands of articles from a variety of authors. I saw a list of headlines that used offensive language about Jewish people, women, and homosexuals. They were shocking and disgusting. There is a problem with this as evidence against Bannon as a bigot. The offensive comments were made by Jews, women, and homosexuals. The headline in Brietbart of Bill Kristol being a “renegade Jew” was made by David Horowitz, who is himself Jewish. Far from being anti-Semitic, Brietbart articles are consistently, and at times, uncritically pro-Israel. I have been told Bannon is anti-Semitic, but as far as I can tell, that is a lie.
Isn’t Bannon anti-gay? The most popular contributor on Bannon’s website is Milo Yiannopoulos, an openly gay man who believes the left is authoritarian and regressive. He calls himself “the world’s most dangerous faggot.” He is extreme in many ways, but Milo doesn’t want to persecute homosexuals; he wants to protect them from Sharia law. He may be misguided, but this is not evidence that Bannon is a bigot. Bannon could very well be dangerous. I wouldn’t be surprised. But am I supposed to think that he is an anti-gay, anti-Semite because his website allows Jews and Homosexuals a platform to reject political correctness? I don’t know what to believe about Bannon because all I keep hearing are lies.
Breitbart isn’t much help. The website is full of those extreme, click-baiting headlines that fan the fires of culture wars. Much of it is the same kind of distorted truth that people are saying about Trump’s appointments, just from a right-wing perspective.
This is the problem: I can’t trust anything I read or see on TV and that scares me. We have a president-elect that is proven to us all his lack of integrity. How is anyone going to be able to keep him in check if no one is capable of telling the truth about him? How will we know the truth if the rest of us are no longer able to believe anyone? How will we have political discourse if we keep throwing out the term racist or anti-Semite to everyone who disagrees with us. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not endorsing Trump or Bannon. As much as I dread the possibility of racists running our nation, I detest even more the fact that I can’t learn the truth. The truth may be out there, Mulder, but I sure can’t figure out where.
This is our post-modern dilemma: We have killed logic sufficiently enough so that we can respond to hatred with hate. We can respond to lies with more lies. We are swimming in a violent sea of hatred and lies. From where I am standing the waves are coming in mostly from the left.
I need a media fast.