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Revisiting the topic of Media, still calling the current version of the GOP… “conservative”
A GOP, controlled by the MAGA wing, is the most serious national security threat since Secession in 1861.
Dear credible media ⬇️
Happy Friday to TAT readers,
As implied in the title, I have written on this topic in the past but… now that election season is officially in full swing, I must sadly revisit the inherent dishonesty of calling the GOP, “conservative.” We need respected and credible media to start reporting truth, not some euphemistic term for the current version of the GOP, that doesn’t apply.
It began with Newt Gingrich’s scorched earth approach to politics in 1989. Of course, this is only in the modern era, but Gingrich’s big donor fueled, open warfare on bipartisanship in the House of Representatives ushered in, the most destructive era since the US House and Senate regularly came to blows (literally) over rhetoric and toxic narratives that ended with the US Civil War. Now, in 2023, in the prelude to the US 2024 election, the country is in a similar state of affairs and with the talk of Civil War common among the MAGA wing that controls the party, imminently dangerous.
A couple of examples:
SCOTUS, is enabling states by reducing the power of the Federal Government, via handing more and more power to the states. Yes, the same ultimately mortal flaw, of the Articles of Confederation. The violent narratives and rhetoric which dominates MAGA, are fueled by the same big donors as the Gingrich era and now includes far more American oligarchs buying unfair legislation, that expands the 1%’s power over all Americans. This includes sustaining and increasing the income disparity between working citizens and the American oligarchs.
The nation is now more armed and with far more dangerous weapons than in the prelude to the Civil War, mostly on the MAGA controlled side of the aisle.
Breaking, bending and rewriting law, to include codifying these laws via SCOTUS rulings is another similarity. The Dred Scott decision and Missouri Compromise are prime examples. Both represent appeasing an increasingly aggressive and unAmerican Confederacy, built on slave supported, agrarian oligarchy. Across most of the South, working whites were treated but slightly better, than slaves. Although religious narratives supported both the Union/ Abolitionist and Confederate perspectives, a very different and aberrant form of religious narrative, supported the immoral and unAmerican “peculiar institution” of slavery.
Although there are other aspects that are close correlations between the Confederacy and MAGA, the four points above are plenty to point out the dangers.
If the points above frighten Americans, then I say, “they should.” If we are to make a real effort to defeat these fears, then we must all work together in order to conquer and defang, the untenable/ anti patriotic narratives of MAGA. Step one… demand media discuss truth instead of the false, euphemistic terms like “conservative,” in defining today’s MAGA controlled GOP and the substantially smaller, but as easily misinformed fringe left, which has no power in the Democratic Party.
Today’s common narratives of MAGA are far more guilty of promoting violence and separation, than at any time since and leading up to and through the Civil War. The post war era has shown the remarkable strength of those egregious narratives, that tore our nation apart 163 years ago. The violence and caustic, divisive narratives of the civil rights era in the 1960s were merely a replay of civil war narratives. The Trump era, is just another form of both the civil war era and its more modern version during the 1960s. It is these narratives that Gingrich and later a more aggressive MAGA movement tapped into. And yes, we should all be terrified of the strong similarities between our history and our current era of a MAGA movement, supported almost entirely on conspiracy theory ideology. These conspiracy theories are now part of the identity of the Republican Party.
Paul Cobaugh, hosted by The Lincoln Project on the topic
of the Narrative Warfare, revolving around the threat to US
national security, by Trump and his MAGA followers
In the field of Narrative, identity is the key to how narratives impact, how humans make meaning out of all that they experience. Skilled operators in influence, know that the power of narrative is the most important element. Narratives require narrators and media today are the most prominent of narrators. Nothing can be done with media imposters like FOX News or NewsMax, Townhall, MSNBC, Daily Caller, Epoch Times, Zerohedge, McClatchy, RawStory and their ilk, but responsible media like Reuters, the AP, BBC News, the New York Times, San Antonio Express, Texas Tribune Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, etc., should they adhere closely to accuracy standards and frame their reporting in the context of America’s true constitutional identity, could provide truth, a priceless tool in restoring our democratic principles. Of course, it is also the responsibility of citizens to be as our founders intended, “well and accurately informed.”
The way for these and other responsible reporting entities to succeed, is to stop perpetuating the myth that today’s primary threat, MAGA and its connections to a global far-right movement that includes nations like Russia, India, Hungary, Italy etc., are worthy of a healthy, democratic debate. It was precisely the unwillingness of true mainstream media to call the shots accurately that enabled the exponential, nation-threatening MAGA movement’s growth.
So here’s my plea… again; “Dear mainstream ethical media, please stop calling today’s GOP, “conservative.” Truth is what people and organizations do, not say. I could call myself a 25 year old NFL player, but that would be about as truthful as calling today’s MAGA dominated GOP, a legitimate political party.” They are a violent extremist movement, period, not unlike the NAZI movement in prewar WW II Germany. If you wish to call them Republicans, fine, just don’t call the GOP, “conservative.” Calling the GOP, conservative merely legitimates, political debate between violent extremists and a legitimate system of political beliefs. News in theory, is to be reported accurately and ethically. Today’s actual truth is that the current GOP is an extremist movement called Republican.
Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. An ethical journalist acts with integrity.
The Society declares these four principles as the foundation of ethical journalism and encourages their use in its practice by all people in all media.
First element of the Code:
Seek Truth and
We may be living in a world of PC and excessive media deference to extremism, but the only way to put things back in order, as our founders intended, is to stop legitimizing violent extremism, by euphemistically elevating them to an acceptable term, like “conservative.” Adherence to journalism’s code of ethics, an accurate depiction as Republican or GOP, rather than conservative, would reframe the current threat truthfully. This would accurately downgrade the status of the GOP from the false, high perch, they now sit on.
Truth is a hard lesson but, it’s also the foundation of our nation’s true aspirations. Having Christian Nationalism and ultra conservative Catholic beliefs shoved down our throats by the GOP, SCOTUS and their elite wealth benefactors, cannot credibly be supported if one beliefs in our founder’s intentions of “freedom of and freedom from, religion. If you want more tangible examples, just try reading the Texas GOP midterm platform. It’s a bullhorn of Christian Nationalism… not legitimate, Christianity. Even with a modicum of constitutional understanding, no one can accurately support the notion, that we are not under attack by an extremist GOP and the wealthy, dishonest oligarchs of the party. Some of these oligarchs are common names, regularly in our newsfeeds, like Elon Musk, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Harlan Crowe etc.
Since we celebrated the birth of our nation last week, just maybe we should all take a moment to review the Civics lessons, so often ignored in our K-12 public education. Truth is the sword that defeats oppression, not euphemisms for extremists.
Sometimes, as in our current era, Benjamin Franklin’s admonition serves as the appropriate phrase;
My very best for everyone’s weekend,