Whether or not you believe the president is morally or legally complicit in the copious scandals surrounding his presidency, there is no doubt Donald Trump is emotionally incapable of dealing with hostile media coverage or political scrutiny of any kind. While he was a private citizen, he had some ground for complaint, but now he’s president.
He ran for the office, the most public of all public citizens in our republic, so his ceaseless complaints should concern anyone who values accountability in government. Sadly, it’s abundantly clear with this presidency that most Americans are also emotionally incapable of dealing with hostile media coverage or political scrutiny of the president.
It should surprise no one that this president, exhibit A of the “Me Generation“, is as morally degenerate, totally self-obsessed, unapologetically ignorant, and utterly dismissive of social institutions and traditions that have held western societies together (ex: a free press, marriage, jurisprudence, etc.) for centuries, as he is.
So should it be any surprise that his supporters, many being from the same generation, accept his flaws as normal. They believe Trump, like them, is entitled to behave however he wants. Cheating on his wives? No problem. Lying to the American people? Absolutely fine. Putting his family and friends into governmental offices? Not even a blink.
Protecting Donald Trump from the “biased examination of the corrupt media” has become a full blown cottage industry on the right. It’s even spawned thriving web communities and numerous outlets, driving billions to political outlets that parrot the president verbatim, but it does beg the question of where this ridiculous entitlement come from?
Well, it’s an idea that’s been percolating in the right for decades now, pushed primarily by the pop-con talking heads of right-wing media. Sure, the media has been guilty of manufacturing news on more than a few occasions. This is a fact that’s been fairly well documented, and, as far as these cases of press malfeasance, the right is totally justified.
But the fact remains that a free press is necessary to an open and, hopefully, relatively honest public discourse. The reason we believe the press has a duty to tell the truth and should be held accountable when they fail to do so is because we are a society that values truth telling. Unfortunately, that’s been reduced own to “fake news!“. Why?
To be brutally honest, yes, it’s because stupid people vote, and nuance is simply lost on them, but that’s only part of it. Again, overt suspicion of the mainstream media has been part of the right-wing rhetorical culture for decades now, though this had been because George Washington’s “I cannot tell a lie.” was still an American philosophical touchstone.
While our culture was based on the precepts of “Truth, Justice, and the American Way“, a degenerate like Donald Trump could never have become president. It’s only when the culture no longer values connects either truth or justice to the American way that a man so demonstrably without personal integrity or honor could become politically relevant.
And such a man, being so demonstrably without conscience or integrity, is only politically relevant because Americans have become unable to hear something that they don’t like, even when it’s true. When we stop caring about truth, we end up crucifying what is important in exchange for what isn’t, and history proves this never ends well.
If we really want to make America great again, then we need to break out of the echo chamber we’ve imposed on ourselves and be willing to hear things we don’t like. Sometimes the things we don’t want to hear are true. Every American should fear an America where telling the truth is a crime, no matter which party makes it so.
Liberty is For The Win!