As some of you can tell, this TG gal is a political news junkie. Or, that's how I've been described. Most people don't see how national and world politics affect their lives, but people like me are keenly aware of how the big picture affects little people like us.
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Lately, the many foibles of the Trump administration have been in the news. I am one of many people who think Vladimir Putin has some Comprimat on Trump, and this more than serves to explain why the political, social, and economic institutions built up over the past 70+ years are being dismantled by our president. Sadly, I also believe that Mike Pence was chosen by Putin to be Trump's VP, so that even moderate Republicans would be afraid to remove Trump from office.
Most of the news sources I ingest tend to lean slightly left of center on the above chart. I enjoy ingesting articles from the Associated Press, Reuters, the three major TV networks, the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Der Spiegel (I wish I could read the German version of the site), and other relatively centrist news outlets. I'll also ingest articles from the Wall Street Journal, Reason.com, the New York Post, and the Washington Times. And for fun, I'll read the leftist Palmer Report. But for the most part, I try to ingest news of real value, whose sources are verified, and who try to base their reporting on fact instead of strongly biased opinion. As a result, I find that I can sometimes say good things about Trump, a man I personally hate and despise.
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Unfortunately, many people choose news outlets to confirm the biases they already have. Hard left leaning folk may get their "news" from Patribiotics and the Palmer Report, while thise on the right get theirs from Newsmax and Infowars. So it is often hard to have a reasonable conversation with someone whose "facts" do not jibe with reality.
A while back, I had an online conversation with a TG Trump supporter. One of the common problems with such a discussion is that people like this take Trump's claims as truth without testing it against other sources. Although these claims are easily proven as wrong (such as the US having a trade deficit with Canada), Trump supporters ignore the truth in order to keep their faith with a false messiah. Sadly, he will sacrifice them in the end to preserve his power with his base.
People like the Trump supporter above have caused the GOP to lose its spine. No longer do they put their country first. Instead, they have developed a transactional basis for power. GOP leaders ask Trump to give them his ignorant base to win elections and plunder this country for the plutocrats, and he gets power to destroy the social norms which have served to preserve America as a democratic republic. These leaders allow Trump to collude with Russia, each willing to sell out this country for the short term high from the power binge they now are enjoying.
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What will happen when today's GOP, now drunk on power, eventually comes to its senses and finds out that they have lost that power to either Trump or to the Democrats? Will their lies hold up with the base? Will the base even matter at all? I keep reminding myself that this nightmare will eventually pass. But what cost will we pay for this political insanity?
So many things are being done wrong now, that I can't begin to itemize them. We are destroying America's ability to have influence beyond its size when it comes to economic treaties, military treaties, and scientific treaties. For example, the USA has signed a treaty never to militarize space. Trump is about to break that. Trump wants to break up NATO and NAFTA. He is unraveling the very tools which allowed the have outsize influence in our small world. And he is giving Russia everything it could dream of in the process.
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At home, families are breaking apart over politics. We haven't seen things this bad since our civil war. Yet, I feel that reason will eventually prevail. Conservative pundits such as Joe Scarborough and George Will have abandoned supporting today's GOP. And there are many GOP leaders who are retiring, rather than support the party of Trump.
It will take time for things to heal. But we must maintain the health of our centrist news organizations, so that civil America has a chance to see reality without the biases of left or right. Polarization and social isolation is the danger we must deal with now, and the only way to counter bad propaganda is to flood the media with objectively reported news....