Who’s crisis is it anyway?

July 10, 2021

In his “We need a national effort at civic healing” column (Globe July 2, 2021) Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson outlined his view of the gravest threats facing American democracy today.

No surprise the biggest bogeyman was Trump’s “Big Lie”, the January 6th riot and states exercising their Constitutional right to establish election rules.  All are events and issues worthy of debate but to imply that the Republic itself is in danger because of them?  Hyperbole is an understatement.

I present to you today a few thoughts in response to Mr. Gerson’s analysis.  (His column lines in italics, your humble columnist’s follow.)

WASHINGTON — If we were to judge the health of our republic by the sanity and stability of Fox News hosts, these would be dark times indeed.

Sorry Mr. Gerson.  I grew up in the era of the New York Times and the three television networks having a monopoly on the news the America public would see on any given day.  I cannot fathom how much darker these current times would be without Fox News holding the legacy media accountable.

Sure, there’s Carlson, Hannity, and Ingraham during the evening slots but the remaining hours are hosted by some of the best of the best.

Bret Baier, Dana Perino, Bill Hemmer, Harris Faulkner, Shannon Bream, Martha MacCallum, Brian Kilmeade, John Roberts, Sandra Smith are just a few of the hosts who along with dozens of journalists and producers dutifully report out to the American public the news of the day.

I challenge you and anyone reading this to watch Bret Baier’s Special Report for just two weeks and then honestly tell me you’re not better informed because of it.

As we approach the country’s Independence Day celebration, significant actors in our political life have lost something important. They no longer care about the integrity of our constitutional process or accept the existence of a shared public reality. They care only about achieving their preferred political outcomes. This was the motivating spirit behind the Jan. 6 Capitol revolt and is the continuing inspiration of former President Donald Trump’s big electoral lie: If American systems and institutions don’t deliver the results we seek, burn them down.

How is that different from the “Not my President” resistance movement and Hillary Clinton’s Russian collusion narrative that the Washington Post and the rest of the left aligned media spent the entire Trump Presidency peddling to their like-minded minions?  Yet we’re still here.

And lest we forget Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.: “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.” and the plethora of national Democrats espousing the same?

Or the words of author and columnist Rebeca Solnit in the Guardian in November 2017: “The 2016 US presidential election was so corrupted in so many ways, small and large, that there is no reason to respect its outcome or regard Donald J Trump as the legitimate president of the United States.”

And in states across the country, these right-wing, authoritarian populists are rearranging electoral systems to better dispute and overcome future outcomes that displease them.

Wow, just wow, “right-wing, authoritarian populists”?  One too many espressos when that morning?

Sorry Mr. Gerson but establishing basic election guidelines does not an evil authoritarian takeover make.

Poll after poll shows the American public supporting voter ID laws at 80 percent and above.  Is that authoritarian?

When the bipartisan report of the Commission on Federal Election Reform, chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker III concluded that “Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.” was that a right wing conspiracy to suppress voting rights?

This is the main threat to American democracy. It must be confronted.

In this columnist’s opinion the main threat to American democracy is a press so overwhelmingly in support of one political party that it becomes nothing more than a mouthpiece for said party.

Anyone, of any ideological background, who believes that the primary object of politics is to discredit and crush your political enemies is contributing to the crisis. No form of loving your country involves despising half its citizens.

So just exactly where would Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” or Barack Obama’s “they cling to their guns and religion” fall on that scale of despise?

As for the discrediting and crushing political enemies I agree. And I look forward to a Washington Post expose on the role Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have played in the current “crisis” for these past five years.

But we all know that will never happen.  It’s no longer the news, but the narrative that counts.

And that narrative shall not be challenged.  Unless of course you’re an insane Fox News host.

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