Calling People Names, or Calling Them Out?

This morning, Erick posted a very eloquent defense of decency in politics, entreating Republicans and conservatives to not go the same route as Democrats when it comes to hurling criticism at one another.  In it, he reminds us of just how low Barack Obama and his minions went in trying to denormalize any opposition to his agenda:

For eight years the left called conservatives the enemy. Barack Obama told Hispanic voters that Republicans were their enemies. He told his supporters to get in their neighbors’ faces. He set up an office in the White House and encouraged people to turn in their friends who were lying about Obamacare.

And:

Democrats called Republicans who did not support the President “traitors.”

If you’re reading this site, you know that it got a lot worse even than that.  Harry Reid, when confronted about calling Mitt Romney–one of the most decent men to ever run for president–a tax cheat with no evidence to back it up, simply shrugged and said, “Romney didn’t win, did he?”  Even Uncle Joe Biden got in on the act, once telling an audience in a heavily minority Virginia district that Republican policies were going “to put y’all back in chains.”  Looking at these examples, Erick’s point becomes even clearer:  we give up something of our souls if we become that low and shameless about politics.  As Yoda would say, down that path lies the Dark Side.

Erick goes on to say:

When President Trump calls the American media the enemy of the American people his supporters are not only defending him, but cheering him on. Anyone who dares to push back on the idea of Americans being enemies in that broad sense is labeled a enemy collaborator.

 

You guys are being like the very people who hate. You are adopting the worse characteristics of the militant left.

Now far be it from me to disagree with the boss on an issue of this importance (because, by and large, I wholeheartedly support his thesis–that, and I’d like to keep my cushy gig here), but I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that there is some truth in what President Trump says when he calls the news media an “enemy of the people.”  Granted, the language he chose uncomfortably invokes tinpot “Peoples Republic” dictatorships, and for that reason I would have chosen something different;  but Trump may actually on to something here.

I’ve railed for years about how a biased media is a threat to the Republic (usually right before the bartender tells me that maybe I’ve had enough and it’s time to call for a cab).  The reason that the Founders specifically set aside protections for a free press in the First Amendment is that they understood that a government–even a freely-elected one–was going to try and get away with as much chicanery as it could, and that the best bulwark against that was a press that would hold it accountable to the voters.  The problem these days, however, is that we don’t have a free press.  Oh, they may be free to do whatever they want without interference from government;  but rather than exercise that freedom, most of the media (at least on the network level) have willingly chosen to become a de-facto propaganda organ for progressive causes in general, and the Democrat party in particular.  With the stories they cover–and, more importantly, the stories they don’t cover–they have actively sought to advance a narrative for the express purpose of pushing the country farther and farther to the left, all while nurturing and providing cover for Democrat politicians.  And they’ve done this by openly lying about their motives, presenting themselves as neutral when they are anything but.

In other words, the news media have been trying to push us to a one-party state–one in which government becomes bigger and more intrusive, while civil liberties (at least the ones leftists don’t like) shrink ever smaller.  That is the very definition of a threat to the Republic.

Does that make the media an “enemy of the people”?  The answer is more gray than even honest Trump critics might think.

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Marc Giller

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