Please don’t answer, “I don’t know.” (He’s on third).
BK Reader launched in 2013. During the publication’s first three years, I refused to weigh in. I chose not to write any letters from the editor, op-eds or personal commentary. Because, as a news site, I didn’t want to show bias in any form.
As you can see, I’ve changed my mind.
Every month, beginning in July 2017, I’ve tried to build a little connection with you, the readers, by sharing a piece of me in the form of a letter, always out of love. Of course BK Reader’s reported news will remain as it has been: relevant to the needs of the individual neighborhoods and accuracy in account. However, my letters decidedly will reflect my point of view.
It’s no coincidence that I started to speak up around the election of Donald J. Trump as U.S. President. Yes, Trump’s chutzpah and audacity is to credit for my own. Truthfully, the man has forced out of the closet most Americans on both sides of the aisle.
Still, with all of the “coming out of the closet” going on across America these days, why is it that the Democrats or the “liberal left” or whatever name you want to call them still cannot figure out their position in the game? For the past 20 years or so, Democrats have struggled to keep step with their electorate and when it comes to presenting a united message, seem totally confused. Meanwhile, the alt-right have hijacked the Republican party and have elected a man that has taken decency out of our national discourse and turned it into one that is full of deflection and subterfuge
Through strategy and effective word play, the Republicans have replaced Truth with Trump. The Washington Post compiled a list of more than 2000 misleading or false statements in Trump’s first 355 days in office. It’s like the right have gone totally left (off the rails) and the left think they’re right yet, while the right confuse the left about which way to right what’s wrong. It reminds me of the Abbot and Costello skit, “Who’s on First Base:”
Who’s on First Base.
I don’t know!
He’s on third.
No, he’s on second!
If you don’t follow the above dialogue, watch the skit and listen closely to see how it makes sense.
Although the right is telling the left exactly who they are, explaining their position and pointing at their base, the left refuses to listen and is flabbergasted and confused when the right manages to score again.
While on the campaign trail, DJT spelled out all of his plans if he were elected. He pissed us off. He made us gasp! He seemed an impossibility! Yet, he was still elected. And… he’s doing exactly what he said.
Even today, he shows his hand with daily glimpses into his thoughts over Twitter. So there should be no confusion around his mentality. Trump literally gives away his personal thoughts most presidents know better to keep inside their heads (we were taught the difference as children). Still with all this free DJT intel, why is there still confusion around the best offensive (or at least, defensive) strategy to take? Instead, we, the social media-obsessed, have a field day over his 5th-grade level tweets, right alongside the media, while the Supreme Court upholds Trump’s Muslim travel ban, right under our noses.
No wonder so many people have such a love-hate relationship with media: “Fake news” is a real thing. The lines have totally blurred between what’s important and what’s sensational; what’s opinion and what’s true. Even the most liberal of news stations are guilty. In the name of so-called balanced debate (read: ratings), the media continues to provide a platform for the professionally inexperienced and never-heard-of-before nut jobs to spew their ignorance, lies and nonsense arguments, right next to respected economists, climate change experts, leading neuroscientists, professors and psychologists… presenting them side by side in a split screen for a debate, as if the two sides were in any way equal in their understanding of the same issue.
By giving a newly-elected Joe-the-Plumber politician the same platform as astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson for a debate on climate change, the media is allowing opinion to level off with science, diluting the power of evidence and legitimizing alternative facts.
Our elected officials are not off the hook either. The latest New York Magazine cover asks, Where’s Barack Obama? But when the Democrats had Obama, the former president was not nearly as effective as he could have been because half the time, the Democrats wavered around around which parts of his agenda they were willing to support. Unlike the Republicans who move in lock-step fashion with DJT, many Democrats were hesitant to lend Obama their absolute full support for fear of alienating parts of their base. Meanwhile, Republicans had such a united front, they got away with stalling on approving Obama’s Supreme Court Justice nominee (done never before in history)– long enough for Democrats to turn the ball over to DJT who is now filling those seats with his pets. If Democrats let that happen while Obama was president, how effective can we expect them to be with Trump?
And we, the constituents, what are we doing? While skewering Permit Patty on Instagram may feel cathartic, and poking fun at Trump’s poor spelling on Twitter feels like sport, we’ll have to do far more than that to change the direction of this country. If we want change, we will have to vote– not just the party line, but– for elected officials with a clear strategy for shaking up the status quo. And then, we must hold them accountable: Watch how they vote and who they caucus with; Observe what bills they author and who benefits. Are your elected officials moving in a way that shows they are fighting on your behalf, the constituent, or are they just interested in keeping their job?
Shame on our elected officials who have been largely ineffective.
Shame on the so-called “liberal left media” for pandering to the unreasonable right.
And shame on me, for failing to speak up for those first few years for fear of alienating certain readers when my priority should be always transparency, authenticity and truth.
Everybody has a role to play in fixing what has broken in this country. But first we need to establish where we stand, our position in the game, and then hold ourselves accountable.
At the very least, we need to recognize: WHO is on first base.