The elites of society are not inherently corrupt and incompetent. They could have told the American people the truth after their complicity with the Bush Administration’s evils in invading Iraq, franchising torture and spreading terrorism.
But they didn’t, and now we have a president that actually makes people miss George W. Bush. (Ludicrously, the old media are congratulating themselves on the caliber of their competitive reporting with regard to Trumpism.)
The old media conflates facts with truth, and then wonders why Trumpistas play fast and loose with the facts.
Facts are what can be demonstrated to anyone with a rational mind and decent character by appeals to evidence. The truth is much more difficult, something continuously uncovered and discovered through questioning and remaining with the facts.
The nature of truth is that the more you find out, the less you know, and think you know.
Isn’t it true that because the darkness that erupted in America after 9.11 through George W. Bush’s Administration was not faced and brought forth, it grew, and manifested Trump?
After invading Iraq for no reason, after Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, America needed a truth and reconciliation commission. Instead, we got a whitewash at worst, an interregnum at best from the Obama Administration.
Contrary to the conventional wisdom of the commentariat, the problem with America is not merely that “civically, we’re in a dangerous place when it comes to how we view, treat and talk about people we disagree with.” The rot goes much deeper, and has infected the core. We dislike each other for a reason.
We need to dispense with trivial explanations like, “over the past decade in particular, the internet and social media have changed the game.”
Whenever you hear someone talk about “the internet,” you can be sure they’re way behind the curve. It’s worse than the calligrapher railing against the printing press, because there’s no longer any distinction between the net and the old media, or for that matter, the physical world.
The net has not only become inextricably woven into our physical world; it’s the digital analogue to human consciousness itself. Good and bad, dark and light, fake news and ‘real’ news—it is all one messy reality.
What the former gatekeepers of political and cultural acceptability and respectability are really lamenting is the loss of their gatekeeping role. Trump is bypassing them, but so are truth-tellers.
What’s driving the old media’s Russian obsession is not, as Trump maintains, that Democrats can’t accept that Hillary lost. Rather, it’s that America’s elites can’t accept that such a venal, crude and incompetent man is President of the United States.
People no longer read the major newspapers because they accept their authority and expertise, much less their view of reality. They read them to see what the powerful are thinking and saying on the issues of the day, and to contrast it with other perspectives.
Like the politicians with whom they were far too cozy for far too long, the old media operates in terms of half-truths and half measures, and sees that as a virtue.
Half-truths and half measures are the necessary stock-in-trade of politicians. Or they used to be, when politics meant the craft of compromise.
That was the hope and promise Barack Obama ran on, and when people realized he was all head and no heart, they turned to a man who has neither.
At a time when right-wing extremism holds the reins of power, for journalists and commentators to hew the line of “balanced journalism,” and take the hackneyed view that “the truth is between the extremes of the right and the left” greases the skids of fanaticism.
Stuck on the two-dimensional spectrum between right and left, conservatives and liberals alike are unable to perceive the fluid truth in three-dimensions. Too many, across the stupid spectrum, remain chained to the old myths. And the more they assert them, the more links in the chain they add.
Even now, the myths, which once held some truth but have become outright lies, must be upheld: We are a good and great people, and America is still an intact country.
For the purveyors and beneficiaries of the status quo, political orders, systems and values are always “evolving,” never in crisis. There is no possibility of a turning point because a crisis is perpetually avoided by bromides like, “the truth is somewhere in the middle.”
It’s not. Militarism has become as unchallengeable as “our heroes.” “America First” is a dangerous nationalistic regression.
American leadership has become a worldwide joke. Pax Americana is history. And the post World War II international order is crumbling before our eyes.
The question is: Can there be a change in direction?