What’s wrong with our country? Well here’s a major fault:
That people could hear Donald Trump’s words below, read them as I’ve just done, and then go out and vote for this man. For Trump is no longer speaking to the anger of people fed up with our politicians, fed up with political correctness, things for which I did give him a little credit (although not enough to vote for him). For in fact by his totally reckless words below he is revealing his own abysmal ignorance.
By CAITLIN MACNEAL
FEBRUARY 26, 2016
During a Texas campaign rally on Friday, Donald Trump told voters that if he is elected president, he will change libel laws to make it easier to win lawsuits against media outlets.
The Republican presidential candidate raised the issue while complaining that news networks only show his rallies’ crowds on camera if there is a protester. He then turned his attention to the New York Times, which he said is “totally incompetently run.”
“I think the media is among the most dishonest groups of people I’ve ever met. They’re terrible. The New York Times, which is losing a fortune, which is a failing newspaper, which probably won’t be around that much longer, but probably somebody will buy it as a trophy, keep it going for a little longer — I think the New York Times is one of the most dishonest media outlets I’ve ever seen in my life,” Trump said. “The worst. The worst. The absolute worst.”
And then he complained about the Washington Post.
“I have to tell you I have respect for Jeff Bezos, but he bought the Washington Post to have political influence, and I got to tell you we have a different country than we used to have,” Trump said. “He owns Amazon. He wants political influence so that Amazon will benefit from it.”
“That’s not right, and believe me, if I become president, oh do they have problems. They’re going to have such problems,” Trump continued before launching into his plan to alter libel laws.
He said he’s “going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.”
“We’re going to open up those libel laws. So that when the New York Times writes a hit piece, which is a total disgrace, or the Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected,” Trump said.
Trump told the media that “we’re gonna have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before.”
Current libel law dictates that public figures can only win a lawsuit against a media outlet if they can prove that the paper published a negative piece with the intention of malice.
In today’s New York Times, Trump’s most detested publication, right up there with the Koran, David Brooks in his op ed piece, The Governing Cancer of our Time, sums up well what’s happening in regard to the Donald Trump phenomenon:
And in walks Donald Trump. People say that Trump is an unconventional candidate and that he represents a break from politics as usual. That’s not true. Trump is the culmination of the trends we have been seeing for the last 30 years: the desire for outsiders; the bashing style of rhetoric that makes conversation impossible; the decline of coherent political parties; the declining importance of policy; the tendency to fight cultural battles and identity wars through political means.
Trump represents the path the founders rejected. There is a hint of violence undergirding his campaign….Trump’s supporters aren’t looking for a political process to address their needs. They are looking for a superhero. As the political scientist Matthew MacWilliams found, the one trait that best predicts whether you’re a Trump supporter is how high you score on tests that measure authoritarianism.
This isn’t just an American phenomenon. Politics is in retreat and authoritarianism is on the rise worldwide. The answer to Trump is politics. It’s acknowledging other people exist. It’s taking pleasure in that difference and hammering out workable arrangements. As Harold Laski put it, “We shall make the basis of our state consent to disagreement. Therein shall we ensure its deepest harmony.”