I tried sitting through FOX News’ commentary/critique yesterday, following Joe Biden’s report on the status of the nation, and in particular the American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. After a few minutes, and when one of the conservative panelists had the temerity and amnesia to call Joe Biden a liar, I gave up hope. I flipped over to CNN as a palate cleanser before finally dining on MSNBC to soothe my liberal hunger. When I turn out a piece for my readers to ponder, I rely on truth to make my points, trying my best to use only reliable sources and quotes to bolster my opinion with facts.
I asked myself, five minutes into watching FOX News, which was as long as I could stand, why am I bothered so much by what I was hearing. It finally dawned on me, they have no respect for their viewers’ integrity or intelligence. Their party base, including politicians, is filled with a scary conglomerate of controversial characters—bordering on being racist, violent, and anti-American. Conservatives would tell you that Democrats have their share of “nut-bags too;” the woke, the canceled, and the snowflakes. Name-calling has long been used as a marginalizing political tactic since the Vietnam War. When any anti-war kid, needing a haircut was called a Pinko, to the predecessors of climate change advocacy, being labeled tree-huggers, so-called fringe groups have been present in politics.
The newest word is ‘woke’
Like the word, liberal, which conservatives managed to make a bad word for forty years ‘woke’ is the new buzzword to avoid discussing a prickly issue. Climate change; ‘oh he is just woke’ an off-color joke; ‘oh she is just woke’ gun control; oh here come the woke. Racism oh that woke CRT. Liberals, if I might use that word, should be proudly woke at every turn, it shows the ability to examine one’s past and make the future better. Some attempts are foolish but the attempt is what makes it a noble endeavor. For the media, it also shows a healthy respect for the reader, listener, or watcher.
Conversely, commentary based on ridicule, lies, fear, and racism is a prime example of what the writer or reporter thinks of his audience. If one’s aim is to lie to you, scare you or appeal to your worst instincts, although the truth is available, they have no respect for you. It is either that or they believe that is what you are. The cynicism involved in believing that an audience is so vile that the suffering of others is entertainment is beyond sad.
When Republican Matt Gaetz (R-FL) went out of his way to say of the first black Secretary of Defense, “Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin might be the stupidest person to have ever served in a presidential Cabinet in America's history,” that was meant to feed the thirst of his prattling audience. While thousands are now dying per day of Coronavirus in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis spends his days comparing death to freedom in a misguided attempt to appease his Trump base. This is not a new phenomenon in Republican politics.
In the 2011 presidential Republican debate, the subject of healthcare came up. Moderator Wolf Blitzer asked Candidate Ron Paul a hypothetical question; what happens to a 30-year-old working man in a coma? “What he should do is whatever he wants to do and assume responsibility for himself,” Paul responded, adding, “That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risk. This whole idea that you have to compare and take care of everybody…” Blitzer, as if wanting to give Paul a chance to clean up his answer asked, “Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?” shouts from the audience were, Yeah!. I will never forget the sound of bloodlust from the people who shouted Yeah! I may be a, woke snowflake, but that is better than the slumber of a selfish death cult.
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