As we ponder our daily feeds, either rejoicing at an inevitable victory in November, or cringing as a Republican, knowing defeat is almost certain, it might be time to consider making some changes to society so that this type of thing (Donald Trump) doesn’t happen again.

Why exactly do we have Donald Trump as a real possibility of becoming president?

  • Democrats don’t want him.
  • The Republican leadership doesn’t want him.
  • Hispanics don’t want him.
  • Muslims don’t want him.
  • Women don’t want him.
  • Blacks don’t want him.
  • Big Business doesn’t want him.
  • Investors don’t want him.
  • Catholics don’t want him.

No Republican has ever run alienating all of the above. Yet this one is! So the question has to be asked since it IS obvious that he got the most votes and  often by rather large margins….. how did so many Americans get fooled into voting for someone so unqualified and so unbalanced they are unable to handle the office at hand?

The most likely answer is that they voted for something else they thought they were getting, but like Trump University students, they got shafted.  We can be dismissive of them,. calling them stupid “whatevers”…. But the reality is that most of them aren’t stupid. They have decent brains and they know how to use them, just lapsed in this one solitary case… In the real world they run businesses, they run state governments, they perform difficult tasks for their employers; no, they are not stupid as measured by a psychologist.  But somehow they all got duped….

I was curious as to how. How could so many Americans get this wrong?  Trump received 13,406,108 votes by someone’s calculation… Many were members of my extended family.

I saw a glimpse today as to why…..when Sean Hannity just showed us why the upcoming blowout Trump loss, wouldn’t end the GOP’s civil war..

“On his radio show Wednesday, Hannity rather amazingly sought to pre-blame the Republican establishment for a Trump loss in 2016.

If in 96 days Trump loses this election, I am pointing the finger directly at people like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham and John McCain and John Kasich and Ted Cruz — if he won’t endorse – and Jeb Bush and everybody else that made promises they’re not keeping,” Hannity said.

He added: “I have watched these Republicans be more harsh towards Donald Trump than they’ve ever been in standing up to Barack Obama and his radical agenda … . They did nothing. Nothing.”

Right here, even after a disastrous convention, even after the def-con 5 week afterwards, Sean Hannity is blaming moderate or actual working members of the Republican Party for Trump’s ultimate upcoming blowout in November. How silly is this?  Did those 7 Republicans he mentioned by name, pick on a Gold Star family? No, all seven were blindsided by the affair and had to quickly distance themselves from Trump’s controversy because most of their constituents do love and support the military.  Did those 7 Republicans throw out a crying baby?  No, all seven of them love babies, albeit better when they aren’t crying. Did those 7 ask 3 times why we couldn’t use nuclear weapons?  No, all seven of those already know why…….

Yet Hannity is blasting these members of the Republican Party for not standing with Trump while he appears to be grasping for the detonator on his explosive suicide vest….

Who is this Hannity,  … the freaking devil?

And that’s when….. I understood….

IF YOU ONLY SEE ONE SIDE OF EVERY ISSUE, THAT IS ALL YOU ARE GOING TO BELIEVE……

So instead of ignoring all the Republican memes today, I asked most of them,  “do you ever watch the Fox Network?”  And all of those posting memes still supporting Trump, said “yes”…  I said, “how often?”  and as you would expect, usually the answers paralleled “all the time.”

So here’s the problem with Free Speech.  When you give only lies not balanced by truth, you will get people who’ll believe the lies.  For how could they not?  If you reach a lot of people, you have a lot of people who’ll believe the lie over truth…because to them, what they know, they deem IS the truth.

It correlates to this:

“Sean Hannity’s ratings boost, on the other hand, has been phenomenal. Hannity now comes in third in the demo, right behind Kelly, and fifth overall. His audience grew by over a third since last April, and it seems very clear where that dynamic originates. While Bill O’Reilly has been somewhat sympathetic to Donald Trump, Hannity has been outright enthusiastic about Trump.”   POSTED AT 2:01 PM ON MAY 9, 2016 BY ED MORRISSEY

Hannity with 1.8 million viewers versus 1.3 million votes for Trump? Any correlation?

One thing about television viewing is that you can’t watch two screens at once. You can read two newspapers one after another, you can read multiple reports on line one after each other, you can switch stations on your car radio driving home from work.  But if you want to see news told to you by a human face sometime between dinner and bed, you are going to watch one channel, the one you feel most comfortable.  And a good network, is going to profile itself to your demographic so you will feel compelled to watch and thereby help it boost its ratings.

Thus, you will only get news you want to hear.  Most likely what you hear will be a fabrication. It may even have no truth.  They may leave out several vital points in its telling and put blame on other’s actions to provide a possible reason which explains the gap over what they purposefully hid. (Example: Hannity’s spout above). If you only watched that one channel or network in an alternate universe, you’d never know about the real world.

Trump’s ascendancy makes this a national crises. Instead of having two choices for president, we now realistically only have one. Up to this moment we thought we had enough safeguards in place to protect our liberties so we wrung our hands in exasperation, but never thought we’d ever look at doing something about it. But the idea of a Trump presidency makes many of us think our nation is about to end.  After Trump’s nuclear exchange, some think the whole world is about to end.

Yet on my social media, I see there are still many people who “don’t see it”. Every counter argument or piece of additional evidence handed to them is ignored as coming from the “liberal” media. And no doubt this is very bad for a democracy. You need discussion. You need opposing views.  But we have large numbers of people who willingly support a tyrant solely because he won’t moderate or soften his views under any criticism (or reality).

That veteran actually gave him his purple heart? (I’m betting at some future point in his life, he’s going come to his senses and want that back).  In his own mind, or in his own fabrication based on what he’s been told about America, he obviously believed that his gesture was magnanimously going to change America’s opinion of his hero. “We veterans support you, Mr. Trump.”  That is not something one does flippantly or lightly. I bet he has no idea that most of America right now is thinking him the biggest deluded fool on our planet.

We must ask how can that be?  What brought us to this point? How can someone so attuned to what makes America great, be so deluded?  I looked to find collaboration. I remembered the often quoted PEW study on the polarization of America’s views.  We heard a lot about this in 2014 leading up to the mid term election.

Democrats and Republicans by this study were more ideologically divided than in the past.

Divided We Fall

Prior to Gingrich’s revolution, we could all get along for the most part. In 2014, everybody was the bad guy.  What could have created that?

Political intransigence for one.  Gingrich’s revolution after 1994 was based on not compromising with anybody; it was either his way or the highway… (When it went negative after they shut the government down, he softened his approach). But back in 1994 uncompromising was something brand new and prior to him we’d never seen the likes of it before.  Some blame both sides (Republicans usually) for intransigence, but when one blindsides you with a sucker punch, you don’t respond with, “oh, dude; looks like your hand accidentally impacted my face. Let’s have a beer and talk about it”… You punch them back with every intent on hurting them as hard as they hurt you.  (It’s how wars get started.)  Gingrich probably was the catalyst that started the migration to the poles instead of remaining happily congregated together in the center.

But that could not have happened in a vacuum. Had the same occurred in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s, Gingrich would have lasted just one term and no one would have supported him.  Prior to that, being recalcitrant was simply unelectable. It had been tested by fringe candidates, all who were never elected. No, something was different in the nineties that insulated this group of iconoclasts and allowed them to continue with impunity.

The repeal of the Fairness Doctrine—which had required that stations provide free air time for responses to any controversial opinions that were broadcast—by the FCC in 1987 meant stations could broadcast editorial commentary without having to present opposing views. Daniel Henninger wrote, in a Wall Street Journal editorial, “Ronald Reagan tore down this wall (the Fairness Doctrine) in 1987 … and Rush Limbaugh was the first man to proclaim himself liberated from the East Germany of liberal media domination. —Wikipedia

When the Republican Party won control of Congress in the 1994 midterm elections, the freshman Republican class awarded Limbaugh an honorary membership in their caucus.

On October 7th, 1996, Rupert Murdoch launched the Fox News Network  to just 17 million subscribers. He publicly announced its formation on January 31st, 1996. In February he wooed Roger Ailes from NBC”s “America’s Talking” to run it. At its October 7th launch, only 10 million households were able to watch Fox News, none in the major media markets of New York City and Los Angeles. Many media reviewers concentrated in those two cities had to watch the first day’s programming at Fox News’ studios because it was not readily available. By the 2000 presidential election, Fox News, which was available in 56 million homes nationwide, saw a staggering 440% increase in viewers, the biggest gain among the three cable news television networks…. Wikipedia

Strange things began happening according to the Pew Study.

Polorization

We became more antagonistic to the other party. In 1994 almost no one thought the other party was a danger to the nation’s well being. Of course they may be misguided, but a danger? Ha. Even in 2004 there were statistically none feeling such. But that has significantly changed in the past 10 years.  Now the others’ unfavorables hover around 40% with 3/4ths of them in each party considering the other party to be an enemy to the nation’s well being. In light of this almost all of us would be willing to fight for our country to protect it from danger. So if we are being teased into thinking our country is sinking into mortal danger by “those other people”, then it very likely that among some of us, our emotional fight or flight propensities would be liable to surface easily.

Have you ever noticed how well people get along, until politics get mentioned?

Activism
That is because more and more we have little in common.  Not in reality. In the real world we have quite a bit in common. Most of us belong to the 99%. Most of us have some type of spiritualism or religion.  Most of us graduated through public school. Most of us watched the same shows growing up, heard the same musicians on our radios, and read many of the same books our schools insisted we should.  We have a lot more commonality now due to media’s intrusion in our lives, than did our ancestors living in the last century.  So why is there no middle ground?

And I think Sean Hannity showed us exactly why today.  Which would be just another media grab for his persona, if it weren’t for the following news items going on at the same time.  Question of Trump quitting?  News of Trump letting Pence run both domestic and international policy while Trump concentrates on “Making America Great Again”?  I love babies; get that baby outta’ here, what was she thinking? For the third time, can you tell me why we can’t use nuclear weapons? I’m just not there yet with endorsing possibly my future House Speaker for his Congressional seat up this November… Not to mention his continuing obsession with Khan’s DNC mentioning his name.  And if you do follow conservative media posts, you saw as recent reality begins to dawn that they’re about to lose big, their posts have begun filling up with talk of armed civil war, as in the Bundys-on-steroids….

Sean Hannity showed us exactly why today…. There was no rationality in his statement. None. It was a complete fabrication, a complete misinterpretation, and totally and completely irrational.  Yet it was said, to the Wall Street Journal even.

It was “Fire” in a crowded theater!  Courts have ruled that saying “fire” is not an exercise in free speech and such can be deemed to be criminal and damages can be leveled against it perpetrators.

So, if we survive after this November, for the future how do we fix it?  I sweat thinking what could happen. I really don’t think we ever want this to happen again,  do we?  I would rather we have more civil public discourse between ideas and values, instead of Jerry Springer fist fights, slurs, name calling, and massive societal “unfriending”‘s…. Am I alone here?

If we choose to fix this, we will need to come up with a line over which one cannot cross, one that separates free speech from yelling “fire” on our public airwaves. We will need to come up with some way that holds our news celebrity people accountable for what they say.

  • Opening them to lawsuits, could be one option.
  • Forcing equal time, could be another.
  • A daily fact check of the night before, available to all, might work.
  • A revocation of a necessary license if caught in a lie just once.

But these come with their own problems. Just imagining the opposition leveling these against us should give us pause in pursuing any of the above to curb future harm.  If not very careful, we could be creating more harm towards the free exchange of ideas.

Other options could include posting a Madow or similar report following a Hannity or similar report and vice versa on the other side’s channels.  Imagine after hearing Ted Cruz, you got to hear Bernie Sanders?

Or placing such equal time laws and responsibilities only on our most successful characters… Perhaps starting at over 1 million regular viewers, you do have to have some fair and balanced reporting on the same channel, even the same show… That would still allow for legal unlimited expression on cable among everyone else without moderation. Those independent shows no matter how extreme, never were a problem. There are so many of those, I never watched; nor does anyone else except their mother perhaps. Therefore whereas Bill O’Reilly must have someone pointing out his inconsistencies right after he utters them, so should Rachel; but Jamal the Reggie Bandmaster can say anything thing he wants at 3:30 am.

Or perhaps only allowing even numbers of opposing-view stations in a market at a time. You have Fox, you must have another to enter at the same time; just that you can’t have large areas under only one network.

Yet these two ideas also have their problems with enforcement and creation. Whatever reasonable solution we eventually find, it will need to stand up to court challenges against anyone’s misconception over what the First Amendment allows.

When television first landed, we had restrictions, particularly the Fairness Doctrine. Reasons being for one, we were a lot closer to WWII and saw a once great and noble nation (one fourth of us were German too) go down a path of someone’s senseless power addiction and their nation’s ultimate destruction.  Also we knew well how the Soviet Union kept their population from rebelling against what no American would accept as status quo. We had seen under totalitarianism the power of a single voice in media and we only allowed television if it agreed to benefit all its citizens, not just titillate them.  By today’s standards, heavy censorship was applied and enforced.

Can we go back to that?  Doubtful as it seems right now, we may not have heard the last of Trump’s crazy utterances. Our future may dictate that option again be available to us, reluctant as we are right now to accept it.  But to stave that off, this topic now becomes one more thing we need to consider during this election cycle…

When Hillary wins, what are we going to do with the Fox News Network to make sure such disinformation or manipulation never happens on such a scale to harm our nation again?

We hate each other… not because of who they are, but because of what we are told they want to do to our country.  Even Cowboys and Eagles fans get along better than Democrats and Republicans once Fox News becomes the topic of conversation. We should not be in such straits.  Our uppermost levels of animosity should always remain in sport’s fan-ship; not in whether our democratic nation can last as a democracy.  On that topic we should all be working together towards a common goal. We need to kill that messenger who keeps dividing us, even when deep inside we really don’t want to be divided……

Antipathy

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