The promises kept are great, but none of it would be possible if President Trump lacked the courage to fight back against the dishonest U.S. political news media. And that, even more than his America First and Drain The Swamp agendas, will be the most valuable and important part of President Trump’s historic legacy.
The media haven’t been honest or neutral at any point in our lifetime, and their leftward shift had become increasingly obvious in recent decades. But when they tried their tricks on President Trump, he — unlike every Republican before him — swung back with a vengeance.
And he’s been swinging back ever since.
Or as Melissa Francis noted: what makes President Trump different is that when he’s attacked by the media mob, “he’ll stand up and rip their throats out.”
And we truly haven’t had anyone go to bat for us with that toughness and courage, or frankly anything even close to it.
I’m 42 years old and grew up watching Reagan be clever with the media, Bush Sr. subservient, Bush Jr. afraid, and McCain and Romney both treat them with glowing praise while admonishing anyone in the base who questioned the media’s supposed heroism.
They were all, ultimately, afraid of the media. And with good, or at least understandable, reason. The media is the most powerful political force in America. They’ve spent decades doing all the heavy lifting for the otherwise feckless and toothless Democratic party. They exist today at the potent intersection of Hollywood’s starpower and academia’s credentialing. There is no mountain the media can’t move because they’re the ones who choose the stories, write the headlines, characterize the tone and set the narratives.
If they want Americans to believe that our nation is a bigoted hellhole, they can do it.
If they want us to believe that the world is going to end unless we submit to liberals who purport a science-denying ability to stop our climate from its infinitely ubiquitous determination to change, they’ll get a large portion of us nodding along with that belief.
If they want us to believe that none of the reproductive choices women freely make before they get pregnant matter unless they can be absolved responsibility for those choices by killing their own babies, that’s easy for the media.
If they want us to believe that Donald Trump is actually a Russian spy who colluded with Vladimir Putin to steal the 2016 election, they’ll take 3+ years off our nation’s life eagerly making that ridiculous case — and they’ll get a big chunk of Americans to believe them.
If they want us to believe that historic social, economic and health-related collateral damage is the only possible response to a virus with a death rate that’s statistically on par with the flu and from which the vast majority of us will have either very mild or no symptoms at all, it’s all in a day’s work for the massively powerful, narrative-controlling U.S. political news media.
They are the most powerful social and political force in America and even as their credibility craters, they’re still the ones who decide what we talk about and how those conversations are framed.
And far too few in the conservative grassroots, media, and politics appreciate the gravity of that reality.
And as is often the case with the brutally effective political phenom called Donald J. Trump, I’m not sure that even he truly appreciates the gravity of that reality. But I know that the minute the media started attacking him dishonestly for telling the truth about problems at our border, he saw just how nasty and dishonest they are — and rather than capitulate to them, he fought back. And as the media has gotten nastier and dirtier, he’s continued fighting back. And like too few on the right have, he’s come to realize that the media — far more than the Democratic party — are the true opposition party to America’s progress and unity.
Of course the media laughably claim that they’re just doing their job and that anyone who doesn’t like the heat should get out of the kitchen. But that claim is just so flagrantly dishonest as evidenced by their ferocity and antagonism always going in the same direction: in service to the globalist left, at the expense of the American right.
If you’re an American who is tired of apologizing for our country while our own leaders invite the world to treat us like a doormat, and if you recognize that Washington D.C. has become a polluted swamp rife with parasites who both hate and feed off of the rest of the country, then you appreciate what Donald Trump is doing even if the media has scared you out of saying so out loud. And if you’re among those who appreciate President Trump’s resolve in pursuit of the America First and Drain The Swamp agendas, then I urge you to recognize that the single most important value he brings is his unwillingness to be bullied or intimidated by the massively powerful U.S. political media. And we also must understand that even with his resolve, they still control the narrative and conversation. Because they don’t actually care about winning the arguments as long as they’re controlling the conversations we’re having.
From an earlier piece…
Pretend you’re starving for food, and I tell everyone you like to kick puppies. You want to talk about getting yourself some food, but I took the conversation somewhere else. So you offer gobs of evidence that you don’t like to kick puppies and, as a result, everyone ends up believing you and thinking I’m a liar. Nice work. Now we can talk about getting you some food. Right? Wrong. Because now I say that I was mistaken about the dogs thing, but I have good evidence that you like to step on cats. This is when, in a sane world, people wouldn’t believe me and we’d all talk about getting you some food. But that’s how powerful the media are. Because now, instead of talking about getting you some food, we’re going to spend the next several months making you prove that you don’t like to step on cats.
You might win that conversation also, but eventually you’re going to die of starvation.
Until we get our heads around that and start calling the media out for it instead of chasing their narratives — until we make the media the story and expose them as being the most powerful political force in our country — they’re going to keep winning.
America might know President Trump wasn’t charged with Russian collusion to steal the 2016 election. But we still lost 3 years talking about it, and plenty of Americans still think he did it.
America might know President Trump wasn’t removed from office during the impeachment hoax. But we still lost 6 months talking about it, and plenty of Americans still think he got away with something nefarious.
America will come to know that the Obama-era intelligence community did a lot of really shady things in their efforts to take down Trump and those around him. But the story won’t last 2 weeks (if that) in the mainstream media, and most Americans will come to believe it was largely a series of technicalities that Trump supporters are wildly overreacting to.
We will get our scraps of justice and “wins” along the way. But unless checked in a landscape-shifting way, the media will make sure none of it ever compares to the larger conversations they start and end how they want, when they want, with absolute impunity and no end in sight to their stranglehold on the American social and political dialogue.
President Trump will have started us on the path to fighting back in a meaningful way. But our work is a long way from over, and we need to make sure every person we elect going forward wields the same strength and fearlessness to keep that fight going. The media are not fair, honest, or impartial. And unless we force them to change by calling them out and no longer letting them lead our national conversations, they will never stop working to divide and destroy us until they’re satisfied that you no longer have a voice with which to oppose them.
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