One of the many reasons that I loathe Donald Trump is that he is responsible for destroying the political middle ground.
Let’s just say that you think that CNN has become one long rambling op-ed, doesn’t give enough attention to data and research, and, at its worst, is a form of disaster-porn that is freeloading on the surge in viewership that happens during any natural disaster. If you think that, you have to keep those thoughts to yourself, because a Trump supporter might take those thoughts, make them go viral, and then fuel the “FAKE NEWS” people on the extreme right.
What if you have real concerns that the school closures are having massive, permanent, detrimental impact on the academics and social-emotional life of children? Shhhh. Keep it to yourself, because the other side wants to open schools even in the most dangerous areas of the country, to find a wedge for private schools and vouchers, and is looking for an opportunity to delegitimize the teachers’ unions.
And what if you hear stories about chaos and danger from parents with kids in colleges that are located in low-income urban areas? Or flipping channels, you stumble upon news stories about burnt out neighborhoods in Portland or Kenosha? What if those stories upset you, because innocent residents and business owners have been ruined? Those things just can’t be talked about, because the real issues around policing in urban areas are finally getting their five minutes of attention, and we don’t want to benefit Trump, who has claimed the “law and order” hill.
I’m ornery. If you tell not to talk about something, it just makes me want to talk about it. That’s how I’m wired. But I do recognize that the number one goal is to get that incompetent ass out of White House, so I can keep my mouth shut for a couple of months if that’s necessary. But what if our silence drives people to the Trump-side? If we do get Biden in the White House, can we start talking again or have we been permanently silenced?
So, let’s say I come across a NYT article that I don’t think is true or I think the reporting was shoddy or has some fatal flaw. Now, I think that 95% of what appears in the NYT is totally fine, but let’s just say that the 5% really bugs the crap out of me. I have been hesitant to talk about the 5%, because I’m afraid of that the extreme right will use my comments and distort them, and my comments will lend bolster their belief that 100% of what appears in the NYT is false.
And others on the left believe that, too. So when we all see that 5% of crap, you can tell that we think it’s crap, because we all shut up and don’t talk about it. Nobody is telling me not to talk about the 5%. I’m just trying to be very, very careful.