Sunday, November 20, 2016

Any Chance They'll Ever Get It? I Hope Not.

The left, including many mainstream democrats just do not get it. They cannot get over the fact that Donald Trump won the election. After all, wasn't Hillary entitled to win? That pretty much tells the story. The left is always entitled to get what they want because they are females or blacks or Hispanics or whatever. And they truly believe it.

But one Columbia University professor does get it. His piece in the November 20, 2016 New York Times is entitled "The End of Identity Liberalism." Said Professor Mark Lilla: "...the fixation on diversity in our schools and in the press has produced a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life." "By the time they (young people) reach college many assume that diversity discourse exhausts political discourse, and have shockingly little to say about such perennial questions as class, war, the economy and the common good."

The "common good." That is a notion that is completely contrary to the notion of "identity politics." The "common good" is a concern of Republicans and conservatives only. The left says Hillary lost because of the glass ceiling, or because of biased and false news stories, or because of the electoral college or because of... It does not occur to the left (most of today's democrats) that they lost because most Americans were unhappy with the direction that the country has gone under their leadership, and under Obama.

The "glass ceiling" argument is one of those "identity" issues that the left believes contributed to Clinton's defeat. I still see letters to the editor bemoaning the defeat of the first woman candidate for President, as if being a woman entitles you. They fail to recognize what a flawed candidate she was, and what a flawed campaign she ran. Like many on the left and in the mainstream media, Hillary totally believed that Trump supporters were "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic." It was identity politics taken to a new height.

The same rationale applies to the left's belief that the electoral college caused Hillary's defeat. The electoral college gives every state a say in who is elected President. Yes, Hillary won the popular vote; but the campaign was run based on the electoral college vote - not the popular vote. And Trump won 30 states to Hillary's 19 plus the District of Columbia. Maine split their electoral votes. But the elitists of the left believe the West Coast and the Northeast should control the country - on a permanent basis. After all, the "flyover country" is nothing more than working class/blue collar whites and rednecks - and who cares about them anyway? They are not one of the favored "identity" groups. The electoral college assures that a Presidential candidate must appeal to large areas of the country. How long would our country last, given the extreme divisiveness already, if one or two regions of the country were able to permanently dictate to the rest of the country?

We should not neglect to mention the left's hypocrisy. If Hillary won the electoral vote but lost the popular vote, they would be thrilled with the system. They were appalled that Trump said the election might be rigged and would not guarantee his acceptance of the results. Now who is unable to accept the results? Many on the left actually want the electors who make up the electoral college to switch their votes to Hillary, with no concern whatsoever about the damage that it would do to our democracy and republican form of government.

Of all the beefs the left has about their defeat, my favorite concerns the complaint about biased and false news stories. Both the November 17th LA Times and the November 20th NY Times had editorials on the subject of false news stories in the digital universe. They both opined that Google and Facebook needed to better police their information platforms. The argument is absolutely stunning, for two reasons.

The first reason is related to an Op-Ed piece by PA President Mahmoud Abbas in the NY Times at the end of 2011. In an email exchange I had with the then Public Editor of the Times I complained about that very issue - false histories in news or Op-Ed pieces, and all the lies told by Abbas in his opinion piece. The reply I received was that, while editorials and Op-Eds should be factually accurate, "it is much harder to part because deploying facts to support argument tends very often toward coloring them right to the boundary between accuracy and distortion." (For the full exchange, see the 1/21/12 post "Media Bias, Part III.") So, while the Times will not monitor themselves, they expect Facebook and Google to do what the Times will not.

But the second, and far more significant point regarding factual reporting is this - we on the right believe that on a daily basis the mainstream newspapers distort and mislead the public. Who is going to oversee them? Not Facebook or Google, even with regards to their online editions. No, these papers do not believe they are in need of any monitoring. Conservatives understand that the mainstream media has long ago given up on accurate and fair reporting of news in favor of their left-wing agenda. In fact, most Americans now believe that. So, how do we monitor the propaganda of the mainstream media that passes for reporting?

Here is one recent example. The November 15th edition of the NY Times had a front page article (continued on page 17) about various controversies surrounding potential Trump nominees. Richard Grenell was mentioned as a possible pick for UN Ambassador. He had worked under John Bolton when Bolton was UN Ambassador. What was the controversy surrounding Grenell? When he worked on the Romney campaign some religious conservatives complained about Mr. Grenell being gay. How in the world is that a controversy about Grenell? It might be a controversy for the Romney campaign. The NY Times has been the leading paper in the country pushing for gay marriage and gay rights. If Trump were to nominate Grenell for UN Ambassador, it would make Grenell the highest official to ever hold office and to be openly gay. But does the NY Times give Trump any credit for considering Grenell? No, because their left-wing agenda takes precedence over truth (that was a made up controversy concerning Grenell); and it also reveals the left's bias in really only caring about liberal gays (or liberal women or liberal blacks, etc.).

In a final bit of irony, the publisher and editor-in-chief of the NY Times put out a letter to their readers concerning their coverage of the election. It was a non-apology apology. Said these two: "...we aim to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism. That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor..." Having acknowledged no bias on their part during this election, one wonders why they feel a need to "rededicate" themselves to the truth. If anyone actually buys this nonsense I will make you an offer. Pick out any edition of the NY Times from now going forward, and I will show you one or more examples of the paper's continued left-wing bias. It has happened virtually daily since that letter was issued. Let me know - we'll do coffee.