Musing about Donald Trump, Fake News and other Faux Outrages


 

Musing about Donald Trump, Fake News and other Faux Outrages
 


10 February 2017 at 5:42:04 PM
salon

Quite a few people I know have been in mourning since Hillary Clinton was not elected, and Donald Trump was. I can understand that feeling because I had it when John Kerry didn't win. I swore off politics for awhile and didn't write much on this blog for probably 6 months. I'm not sad this time. 

I didn't watch Donald Trump when he had a reality show. I always thought he was a blowhard with an ego the size of the universe and I'm not enamoured of people like that. Perhaps a lot of the people who voted for him were ones that liked his show and wished they could be like him. Don't know but I do feel that the whole "THE APOCALYPSE IS HERE" is as overblown as Donald Trumps sense of himself. 

I also believe that this whole *fake news* thing, regardless of which side it's coming from, is misdirection. There are, of couse, some news items we simply cannot know about, others that are leaked in order to provide information to the public. But to say that there are only certain media outlets that should be trusted and relied upon, particularly after cable news antics during this last presidential election, looks like a ploy to prevent citizens from being able to attempt to verify information for themselves and form their own opinions. 

In other words, shouldn't there be pushback onto people themselves to perform at least a rudimentary attempt to discover facts in any instance. I've seen people forward on sheer baloney, including bizarre conspiracy theories, without even a half hearted effort to see if what they're passing on or believe is even true or could possibly be true. When any media entity, including this one, puts out information, it is the obligation of an informed citizenry to determine if the information is credible. When, as seems to be the case lately, one entity (lets pick CNN for example), says "We are the ones you can rely on, the others are fake", but they breathlessly pass on immediate rumours without waiting for confirmation that something is accurate or true, that entity discredits itself, unless there are immediate mea culpas. 

It may be that in Thomas Jefferson's day, when freedom of the press and freedom of speech were enshrined in our constitution, that there was an expectation that a free press would always counter the effects of a secretive government. Certainly the press was expected not to be a house organ dedicated to public relations but adversarial. Once corporate media decided to look for profits rather than holding the feet of the elected to the fire, we all began to suffer; "fake news" and its cousin, "repeated dogma", have taken over. Of course, an ordinary person does not have the access or wherewithal to know if something leaked from the CIA is true (and since when has the CIA become something respected rather than loathed?). But there are a lot of items people CAN know and should, if they expend even a small degree of effort. 

I don't know yet if I will watch Donald Trump's inauguration on the teevee. On the one hand, I'm tired of hearing Democrats say that Trump is illegitimate. Clinton whined about this type of thing before the election when she was sure it would Trump followers acting like stomping children. The exhaustion also applies to John Lewis. He sure can have his opinion, he insulted Trump but people act surprised that Trump commented back, regardless of the content or worth of Trump's premises. I also recall when John Lewis trashed Bernie Sanders. Lewis is entitled to respect over his civil rights activity, but he is not immune to criticism. 

I'll probably make fun of Donald Trump regularly. Right now I feel *meh* about him. He changes his story so often that he's not, to me, a credible person at any time. His saving grace is that at least you know what is coming out of his head at any given moment, since he tweets. I can't understand the people who want to limit his freedom of speech to tweet if he wants. Frankly, I think this will cause other world leaders to not take him seriously and see him as a crank, not someone to believe in and trust. But we'll see. 

Does Trump being in office change anyone's mind about what they previously valued and believed? Only if bullies and cowards seek to prevent citizens from speaking up and speakup FOR their values is this an issue. If we look beyond any one person in office and consider the secular constitution that our forefathers gave so much time to, AND speak up for those premises rather than coweing in fear, we can't go wrong.

 

 

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