Over the last few years, our country has lost some of what always made America a special place. I can’t quite put my finger on exactly when, but it has been a continual chipping away of the veneer. I can remember when opinions were just that, opinions. Not only that, but they were debated, discussed, and the old adage “Let’s just agree to disagree” was the order of the day. Sadly, no longer.
Pride in America was valued and practiced. Now it is labeled nationalism and somehow has been given a less than desirable connotation. Freedom of speech, religion, and the press were accepted, and most people saw the wisdom of their protections in the Constitution. Now, many think those protections should be stripped away as antiquated notions of the past.
Starting with the press, we relied on the news media to give us the facts. We needed the news and relished deciding for ourselves. I have come to despise watching an interview or a speech and then having some “news” talking head tell me what I just saw and heard. The problem is their rendition of the event is nowhere close to what I saw and heard with my own eyes and ears. What started as a particular spin of the news has become an outright rendition of the approved position void of all facts or truth.
I remember when cable news began; the “trusted” network was CNN. It was a new idea, news all the time. That claim was bolstered by the booming and unforgettable voice of James Earl Jones announcing “This, is CNN.” As more and more news organizations arrived on the scene, the quest for unbiased news reporting became a revenue-driven quest for ratings. Enter the commentators. Now the news was more theatrical, more slanted to a particular point of view. This approach is not all wrong, but when the commentators ignore plain and obvious facts and events and characterize them differently than they are, it signals the death of the free press.
Today, there is no longer any straight reporting mainstream news agency. Fox, in my opinion, is closer to news, even though they lean clearly to the right of center. They constantly promote the older way the American people used to look at things. They show pride in America, are supportive of the military and law enforcement, and are not afraid to have a religious message or two. Sadly, they stand alone in that field.
The other main cable news networks, CNN, MSNBC, and the rest, are no longer news agencies. They have become biased and absent of serious reporting. The main “news” shows they host are message portals for one opinion or slant on the day’s events. It seems all news has become nothing other than political.
This loss of objectivity, this failure to report the news, this attempt to sway the public in a particular direction instead of letting the viewers decide by presenting unbiased and straight facts is appalling. We counted on the hard-nosed reporter to dig down into the story, give us the facts, and not attempt to become the story themselves. Newscasters today are nothing more than actors reading a script for the most part, and that script is almost always closer to fiction than the truth. It is such a loss, resulting from the new wave of those who cannot stand to hear any other view but their own. Sad.
How did we get here?
We got there because we let ourselves be led down the path of wokeness. Americans saw the rise of the cancel culture, and either were afraid to go against the radical fringe that lives by this code or just figured it wasn’t worth the effort to oppose it. That complacency allowed those forcing their “higher” moral outrages on the rest of us to be emboldened. The news media jumped on the bandwagon mainly out of fear of losing an audience. In that effort and the rush to out-left each other in the quest for ratings, they got exactly what they were after. They indulged the left and saw them as a loyal audience, that is, as long as they held the woke party line, one that was decidedly left of center.
The problem with that approach, although they captured the audience, is that audience grew smaller. Not only that but the farther left the media went to secure their hold of that crowd, the more and more mainstream Americans they lost.
The media is seeing their ratings plummet and their most substantial competition, Fox News, grow in strength. This has not gone unnoticed, as is evidenced by the rise of NewsNation and NewsMax. Both organizations are capitalizing on the fact that the American people are starting to see how untrustworthy, clearly partisan, and biased the mainstream media has become.
And since we started with the press, we need to address other institutions that were once trusted to uphold the ideals of America that have lost their way and bowed to the partisan progressive cause of the day. I am talking about our educational institutions, from higher education, where scholastic freedom was prized, to the local school board focused on teaching. Education used to be focused on reading, writing, science, and math. Now it is gender identity, racism, and perceived emotional trauma.
Colleges that protected and staunchly taught the virtues of the Constitution, free speech, and equal rights do not stifle ideas and speech if it doesn’t fit their particular slant. Unfortunately, here too, the cancel culture and threats from the progressives have destroyed revered institutions of freedom of expression and higher learning. Now speakers that don’t pass the “wokeness litmus test” are shunned, banned, and attacked. Professors that refuse to give up this academic freedom and stand against this new wave of censorship are chastised and fired. Administrators fear the loss of their careers, so they bend to the progressive pressure.
Local school boards are not immune either. Here is where this really gets out of whack. School boards, who are elected by the parents of the children they are tasked to serve, now push ideas and curriculum that the parents oppose. The board members have taken on the idea that they don’t have to listen to the parents and the parents have no say in their children’s education. Nowhere in America is that tactic more visible than in the school board meetings. The dictatorial behavior of the board members has so angered the parents that law enforcement has become involved and, in more than one instance, refused to do the bidding of the school board when it came to targeting parents. It is the nature of law enforcement members to uphold the Constitution, and they are taking an individual stand against the woke parade.
As the American people see more and more of this insane behavior, as more and more everyday people are affected by the likes of the cancel culture, those ordinary Americans are starting to push back. Be it through elections or the power of refusing to bow down to the almighty idol of progressiveness, the cancel culture and its cousin “wokeness” is starting to see its shelf-life expire.
I predict a new wave of thinking soon. I see those that have sold their integrity to the cause of the left to protect their careers being called to task for not doing the right thing. Politicians that have swallowed this load of BS will pay the price in the future as the American people look around and see what a mess they have made of our country and stand up and say, “enough is enough”.