Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

MAGA McCarthyism

February 27, 2019 --

A high school student, 16 year old Nicholas Sandmann stands his ground January 18, at the Lincoln Memorial as a native American, 64-year old Nathan Phillips, faces him banging on a drum and chanting, and the media and celebrities blame the student for provoking the native American. A television actor, Jussie Smollett claims he was assaulted in Chicago, last month, had a noose put around his neck and was doused with bleach, and the media and celebrities express sympathy for the "victim". There are at least two similar aspects to these events. The high school student was wearing a red cap with the pro-President Trump slogan "Make American Great Again." The actor claimed that he was assaulted by two men who put a noose around his neck, doused him with bleach, and said that this was "MAGA country."

MAGA of course stands for "Make American Great Again.") For the Trump resistance, the president, among other things, is a racist and so are all the things he stands for, including his favorite political slogan, "Make Ameirca Great Again.

It is impossible to escape the sense that young Sandmann was pilloried because he happened to be wearing a "Make American Great Again" cap and that Smollett succeeded, at first, in linking his false report to President Trump. The problem here is that both the original stories about Sandmann and Smollett were, yes, fake news.

The polarization by the Trump-hating media of the president is not going to go away. The media will continue to demonize the president and his supporters, and will put the worst possible interpretation on the president's statements and actions. In brief, the media has become the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party (and GOP establishment figures who also loathe the president). He aim this third year of the Trump presidency remains the ouster of Trump from the White House -- or, alternatively, to keep hiom from a second term.

Consider, at first, the Trump-haters thought that he would be defeated in the primaries, then when he gained the Republican nomination, it was believed he would go down to defeat by Hillary Clinton.

Next was raised a desperate attempt to deny Trump his Electoral College victory. Following the inauguration of President Trump, the attempt to force him from office began in earnest. May 2017 the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, was appointed to look into charged, promoted by high officials in the Obama administration, including FBI director James Comey, that Trump got elected by way of collusion with Russia.

Now it appears that the special counsel report may not support a charge of collusion with Russia but instead provide a "road map" for House Democrats to pursue the president. Neal K. Katyal, in a New York Times op-ed column, February 22, expects that it is "unlikely" that President Trump will be exonerated completely. "So whenever Mr. Mueller turns in his report, do not assume that things are over," writes Mr. Katyal, who is presently a Georgetown law professor and served President Obama as acting solicitor general.

The Trump opposition (including some Republicans) has never reconciled itself to the Trump victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and is doing its utmost to force Trump from office, yet. An anti-Trump column appears in the media with some regularity, asserting, basically that he is "unfit for the office." Recently former FBI official Andrew McCabe told an interviewer that as long as two years ago, when Comey was fired, officials at the FBI and Department of Justice gave thought to removing the president by means of the 25th Amendment. At what point will public opinion speak out to demand a halt to the campaign to distgract the president and force him from office?

The president has, certainly, the capacity to speak directly to the people by, among other things, tweets railing against The New York Times and other media organs. And the media are ever ready to declare the president hostile to the idea of a free press. The media,however, in the context of journalism in the United States, has a tendency to claim the press freedom is under attack when the president does nothing more than speak in his own defense. The president has not put any reporter in jail for criticizing him; nor has he closed any newspaper.(Note that the conservative but anti-Trump magazine "The Weekly Standard" did end publication, but that was only because the public at large didn't support the magazine. Perhaps the world of political opinion did not need yet another anti-Trump publication, especially on the conservative side.)

The president was not a politician before he ann onced his candidacy; he was a businessman and a television personality. He responds to vicious attack the way any American might -- from the heart, not with reference to political sensitivity. It was once said, with some pride, that in America, anyone can become president. It can certainly be claimed now that any very successful businessman who relates to the people at large can become president.

What the incidents cited above, involving high school student Nicholas Sandmann and actor Jussie Smollett seem to point to, alas, is a growing polarization of the nation. All it takes for the anti-Trump resistance to denounce an individual here, or express sympathy for an individual there, is a link to the president. But this is merely indicative of the mindset of the desperation afflicting the political class who fears loss of power and perks consequent to thje Trump presidency. And to understand the destructive force of political polarization we need only turn to the chaotic situation currently besetting Venezuela, where two men claim the presidency, where inflation is out of sight, where millions have left the country.

In the Sandmann matter, a $250 million defamation lawsuit was filed against The Washington Post, charging the Post with having "ignored basic journalistic standards because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump...by impugning individuals perceived to be supporters of the President." The complaint alleges that the Post published two articles and four on-line stories the gist of which falsely accused Sandmann of instigating a confrontation with Nathan Phillips The complaint accuses the paper of engaging in a "modern-form of McCarthyism'" in its treatment of young Sandmann. In truth, the Trump-hating media can be said to be engaging in a new form of McCarthyism in demonizIng the president and anyone perceived to support him.

The Smollett matter now is headed for disposition in the criminal courts in Illinois. There are indications that people in the Trump resistance p will see no reason to explain Smollett as a Trump-hater gone too far. The Sandmann complaint (brought by and through his parents, because of his age), however, seeks to cut through the demonizing and distortion to get to the truth. A new McCarthyism pollutes the political air, turning objective reporting on its head in the attempt to oust Donald J. Trump from the Oval Office.

A google search of polls on how the U.S. ublic views of the media indicates that trust in the media is significantly down. The American people don't need President Trump to alert them to the danger posed by "fake news." The case of Nicholas Sandmann and the matter of Jussie Smollett yield all the evidence we need to realize that fake news is the fruit of the media's anti-Trump agenda. There is another word, LPR believes, for fake news published for political purpose: propaganda. Propaganda is the enemy of straight reporting. In the face of a propaganda-driven media, we still have the courts to turn to for the truth. And the Sandmann complaint bears close attention by the public.