Tuesday, January 17, 2017

What a responsible media would be asking the 'protesters'

I cover the agriculture community, and in it are many people who justifiably have mixed feelings about the incoming Donald Trump administration. As I and my colleagues have reported, people are optimistic that Trump can ease the grip of regulations on farmers, but they're concerned about his positions and rhetoric regarding immigration and trade -- two issues that are of the highest importance to farmers.

Many are looking to Congress to help shape policy; for instance, negotiating for comprehensive immigration reform in exchange for Trump's wall and border security. They hope that Trump will work with Congress and find compromises rather than take the "my way or the highway" attitude that we saw all too often from the last two administrations. And many hope he moderates his language on Twitter.

But concerns about Trump's policy positions and approach are far different from what we're seeing from the organized Left these days, which should be seen as nothing less than a modern-day Bolshevist movement. We have public figures openly calling for martial law to prevent the peaceful transition of power. We have members of Congress attacking the legitimacy of a freely elected leader and refusing to work with him. We have organized anarchist groups that aren't just protesting the inauguration, but making plans to disrupt it by blocking roads and intersections and even using chemical weapons and violence.

Check out this conversation between two "protest" organizers caught on tape, courtesy of Project Veritas:
Luke Kuhn: “Yeah, if you had…a pint of butyric acid, I don’t care how big the building is, its closing.”

Scott Green: “And this stuff is very efficient, it’s very very smelly, lasts a long time and a little goes a long way.”

Colin Dunn: “I’m trying to think through how to get all the sprinklers to go off at once. There’s usually a piece of like fusiable metal or a piece of glass with liquid in it that will blow.”

Luke Kuhn: “The message has to be, we do not recognize the city government either. If you try to close us down we will look for your house, we will burn it. We will physically fight the police if they try to steal one of our places. We will go to war and you will lose.”
It would be reassuring if we had a dominant news media that identified this behavior for what it is -- domestic terrorism -- and soberly examined the existential threat it poses to our country and the freedoms our Constitution guarantees. But unfortunately, as I wrote yesterday, much of the major corporate media is an active participant in fomenting the unrest. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, they were seen begging the civil right's icon's son, Martin Luther King III, to bash Trump. Across the country, reporters, editors and producers have been taking to social media to essentially guarantee high-profile coverage to any protests of the inauguration in their communities.

A quick sampling of corporate-owned local news sites in Northern California found absolutely ZERO stories about the Project Veritas revelations after the story broke. Lots of wire stories about Rep. John Lewis and about how California is gearing up for legal fights against the Trump administration, but NOTHING about how radical groups were planning to derail the swearing-in of a new president.

In these times, it's never been more important to have discerning news consumers who demand a certain level of standards from the news organizations that they use. As these protests unfold in the coming days, in Washington, D.C. and in our communities, here are some of the questions we should be hearing from reporters: What exactly are you protesting? Are you against the idea of citizens electing their own leaders? If having Trump as president is unacceptable to you, what would you like to see happen? Did you vote, and who for? What would you say to the argument from Trump supporters that these protests are just people who are upset that their candidate lost?

Questions like these will instantly tell the audience who just wants the legislative branch to fulfill its constitutional role as a check on the White House, and who wants to blow up the whole system.

For members of Congress who call Trump "illegitimate", we should be hearing reporters ask the following: If you think the incoming president is illegitimate, what would you like to see happen? On what basis in the Constitution are you questioning his legitimacy? If you believe the freely elected president is illegitimate, how do you expect your own constituents to trust that you will serve in the best interests of the people who elected you? If you can't work with the president of the United States, how can you be an effective congressman? Shouldn't you resign?

Such questions would help the audience separate people like Rep. Barbara Lee, who's staying away from the inauguration on specific policy grounds, from the likes of Lewis, who just doesn't tolerate any opposing views.

In my lifetime, the terms of Democratic and Republican presidents have been exactly evenly split. In America, the pendulum always swings, and whoever is out of power now will be back, usually in eight or 12 years if not four. When President Obama was elected on the promise to "fundamentally transform" America, there were no inauguration protests to speak of. Yet the Left is becoming increasingly intolerant of the right of the people to choose its leaders, when they aren't the chosen ones. And this intolerance is shared by many in the major corporate media, who realize their best chances of economic survival are with an authoritarian government that will recognize them as "official" sources and shut down or heavily scrutinize alternative media.

It will be one thing if we see signs like "One person one vote -- abolish the Electoral College," or "Congress should stand up to Trump on TPP." At least they're advocating working within our current system of government. But if the news outlet you use (either local or national) is giving fawning coverage to people who hold signs saying "Trump is not my president" and calling his supporters fascists, that outlet is not looking out for your best interests or your freedom and you should look for new sources of information. The nation's future hangs in the balance.

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