• Victor C. Bolles

Windage


The Huffingtonpost reported in 2016 that only 6% of Americans trust the media. Journalists are incredulous! Why that is only a couple of percentage points better than that swamp, the US Congress. We are just reporters, they wail. We just call it like we see it. You can’t blame us for what we are reporting.


The University of Indiana’s School of Journalism reports that only 7% of journalists identify as Republicans (they probably all work for Fox News). Four times as many (28%) identify as Democrats. That’s pretty overwhelming. But a whopping 50% identify as independents.


Independent? If they’re so independent why do over 80% of them vote Democratic? Consistently since the 1960’s. And what about the other 15% that report “other”? I doubt that they are voting Libertarian. Hell, even ESPN has been outed for liberal bias and political correctness. Man, when you mess with my sports you gonna be in trouble (ESPN lost 762,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2017).


I believe that journalists truly believe that they are unbiased. They believe that moderate Republicans are right of center while moderate Democrats are centrists. They don’t believe that Social Democratic Europe is left of American principles. Instead, they believe that the European social welfare state is what America should be if we were as enlightened as the Europeans.


Indiana University, School of Journalism


There is a left wind blowing in American newsrooms and citizens need to add some windage to their reporting to compensate for that bias. This left-of-center bias is not just in the newsroom. It is taking over political discourse all across the country. More and more people want more from the government. More healthcare, more education, more, more, more. More and better healthcare is a good thing. But if the cost is more government, isn’t there a point where the government ceases to be our servant and becomes our master (if we haven’t already passed that point)?


Americans are in danger of losing their essential freedoms (about which Ben Franklin warned us). Freedom is a rare thing. Throughout human history the vast majority of people have not been free. In ancient kingdoms, vast empires and modern dictatorships, the number of people that were free was ridiculously small. A fraction of a percent. Most people were slaves, serfs, peasants, helots or peons. They were bound to the land that they worked but did not own. Their survival was dependent on the good will of their lord and master.


You have to understand history in order to know how rare and precious freedom is. And fragile. The Germans lost their freedom when they voted for Adolf Hitler. The Italians lost their freedom when they chose Mussolini. The Venezuelans lost their freedom when they succumbed to Chavez’ promises. Why did they do it? They wanted something. They wanted something and were willing to wager their freedom to get it. They lost that wager.


These people didn’t lose their freedom to foreign aggressors. They lost their freedom to their own leaders. Leaders that they had selected.


Don’t feel smug, my friend. Freedom is just as fragile in America as it was (and is) in those other countries. The 2016 presidential election shows just how fragile our precious freedoms are and highlights the danger they still face. The Democrats, led by Ms. Clinton and Mr. Sanders, espoused the “what works” philosophy of the left as described by Saul Alinsky in his book, Rules for Radicals (described as the bible of the left). Ms. Clinton actually wrote her senior thesis on Mr. Alinsky but turned down the job offer to work for him (by the way, former President Obama’s job as a community organizer was for a group founded by Mr. Alinsky).


But President Trump also believes in the “what works” philosophy although I doubt he has read Mr. Alinsky’s book (or much of anything else). He won by promising to use the coercive power of the state to provide vanished blue-collar jobs among other things. He would have probably promised to make the trains run on time if our railroads were as bad as Italy’s were (Google it if you are confused). Populists believe in the use of state power just as mush as leftists.


The problem is that Americans are electing leaders that promise to get them things. Things like free healthcare, free college education, and high-paying jobs that don’t require any skill or experience. Our leaders state that these giveaways reflect American values and our media backs them up. They may reflect current American values but they don’t reflect the values or principles on which America was founded, the most important of which were personal liberty and economic freedom.

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