Sunday, February 26, 2017

What’s the Worst Thing President Trump is Doing?

2/26/2017—Here’s a hint: it’s not about immigration. The President has not done much yet. Nor is it about the hatred of immigrants that is now leading to criminal acts against Muslims and others—sometimes American citizens who only look like Muslims to the attacker. But here again, President Trump is not overtly encouraging any of this and will eventually condemn it. He’s responsible, but it is not his worst act.

Nor is it any of the terrible policies he is pushing. The wall at the border and the tearing up of trade agreements were what he was elected to do. Might as well blame the American people. All that will be reversed later.

Climate? Environment? Healthcare—unfortunately, all are Republican Party positions and would be worse if Vice President Pence were President. Pence would be more organized.

No, it is the attack on the Press. His barrage of “The fake news media” and the “Enemy of the American people.” This is the worst for two reasons: first, only the media can be a watchdog on an Administration that controls Congress. But we sort of know that.

The second reason is the more profound. We all sort of agree with him. No, of course, most people don’t consider the media to be the enemy of the people. But most people probably agree that the media is biased—either for Trump, like Fox News, or against him—like the mainstream media. Postmodernism has convinced us that there is no such thing as truth and so we consider the highest objectivity to be a balance of conflicting biases.

I’m not saying we are wrong about this. Not exactly. But it has caused us to surrender the naïve notion of truth. The media should be objective. We know or suspect that the mainstream media probably is horrified by Trump and is against him.

But when Trump is long gone. Truth in this society will have declined even one more notch. And this is why Trump’s attacks on the press, which, remember, is a constitutional value in the First Amendment, have not sparked much outrage. People who don’t like Trump don’t like it. And vice versa. And regular Republicans, who have lived for years with a troubled relationship with the truth on matters like global warming, probably don’t have any feeling about it at all.

No truth--no democracy. That’s a fact.

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