Mainstream Media Is Playing Into Trump’s Neo-Fascist Hands
I’m sticking with democracy and the Guardian. I trust the Guardian to illuminate what’s really happening as America faces an election in which one of the two likely candidates engaged in an attempted coup. The reason I write a column for the Guardian is the same reason I read it daily: I trust it.
Not just the facts it conveys but also its judgment about what to convey – the stories it believes worthy of reporting, and doing it in ways that illuminate what’s really happening.
That judgment is especially important as the US faces an election in 2024 in which one of the two likely candidates was engaged in an attempted coup and has given every indication of wanting to substitute neo-fascism for democracy.
Again and again, the mainstream media have drawn a false equivalence between Donald Trump and Joe Biden – asserting that Biden’s political handicap is his age while Trump’s corresponding handicap is his criminal indictments.
But Trump is almost as old as Biden, and Trump’s public remarks and posts are becoming ever more unhinged – suggesting that advancing age may be a bigger problem for Trump than for Biden.
The Guardian has been picking up on this, but why isn’t the mainstream media reporting on Trump’s increasing senescence?
Similarly, every time the mainstream media reveal another move by the Republican Party toward authoritarianism, they point out some superfluous fault in the Democratic party in order to provide “balance”.
So readers are left to assume all politics is rotten.
A recent Washington Post article was headlined: “In a swing Wisconsin county, everyone is tired of politics.”
“How do Americans feel about politics?” the New York Times asked recently, answering:
“Disgust isn’t a strong enough word.”
But where is it reported that the mainstream media have contributed to making people tired and disgusted with politics?
And where is it acknowledged that this helps Trump and his Republican allies?
They want voters to be so turned off of politics that they’re unaware of Biden’s accomplishments, such as an economy that continues to generate a large number of new jobs, with real (adjusted for inflation) wages finally trending upward, inflation dropping and no recession in sight.
Plus, billions of dollars pumped out to fix and improve the nation’s roads, ports, pipelines and internet. Hundreds of billions allocated to combat climate change. Medicare, now lowering the cost of prescription drugs. Billions in student debt canceled. Monopolies attacked. Workers’ rights to organize, defended.
One person interviewed by the Post admitted, “I can’t really speak to anything [Biden] has done because I’ve tuned it out, like a lot of people have. We’re so tired of the us-against-them politics.”
As if the “us-against-them politics” is the fault of Democrats as much as it is Republicans, when in fact the GOP is the party of dysfunctional politics.
Much of the GOP no longer accepts the rule of law, the norms of liberal democracy, the legitimacy of the opposing party or the premise that governing requires negotiation and compromise.
Why isn’t this being reported?
Trump and his allies want Americans to feel so disgusted with politics they believe the nation has become ungovernable. The worse things seem, the stronger Trump’s case for an authoritarian like him to take over: “I’d get it done in one day.” “I am your voice.” “Leave it all to me.”
By focusing on Trump’s rantings and ignoring Biden’s steady hand, the mainstream media are playing directly into Trump’s neo-fascist hands.
I’m sticking with democracy, and the Guardian.