Let us start with this premise; we must acknowledge that almost everyone loves to reflect longingly on “better times;” it’s not just an “American thing,” it’s part of the human condition. We like to claim that times “before,” were far better than now. The “before” can be anything from before we, ourselves, were born, or simply a time earlier in our own personal lives.
Much of this comes from imagery and personal memories. Americans aware of their nations’ history often wax nostalgic about the 1950’s; this is almost always associated with pictures and stories we were told of the post-World War II high, the booming economy, and the nation as a whole having established itself as the world’s leader. Sounds great, doesn’t it? And it was…unless you were a woman or a person of color. Things weren’t so great for them, let alone anyone questioning their sexuality or even their gender.
Generation X-ers, (people of my age), tend to glamorize the 90’s, thanks to the fact that the economy was booming, most of us were in our 20’s, and, as we remember it, everything was just great! People got along, most were happy, and there was a fitness and health boom. Not to mention Seinfeld, Friends, the dawn of fast-paced action films like “Speed,” grunge, alternative, rock, pop and country music were all wildly popular! Everyone played Super-Nintendo, we all talked “around the water cooler,” and there was the promise of this fancy and exciting new thing called “the internet.” Meanwhile, we were ushering in the age of school shootings across America and slowly beginning to literally destroy the foundation of societal America by handing out participation trophies and launching the “self-esteem movement,” designed to make our children feel better about themselves by telling them that they were always correct and right and special.
My point is this; things are always crystal clear in our brain’s rear-view mirror because we’re able to self-edit and omit at will. Which is how many people today decry the biased media, as though it’s never existed before; completely ignoring the facts of the past and the reality of the present.
Forgiving the use of hyperbole, there was never an un-biased, fair, or bi-partisan media, writ large, in America. Walter Cronkite, AKA “The most trusted man in America,” was loudly and proudly “liberal,” by his own definition, yet we’re told was un-biased in his reporting, an almost unbelievable assertion, especially when you take the time to review many of his most famous moments. The “big 3,” news reporters of the 90’s, Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, and Dan Rather, were all leftists entrusted with telling Americans the news, when what they actually did was skew the facts and events to fit their political narrative. This, in fact, was the “justification,” for the rise of Rush Limbaugh and, later, Fox News…to balance the playing field by lying, omitting, and distorting the “news,” in the opposite direction of what had been previously considered to be factual.
The argument that there was a time when we were given facts by news reporters is infantile, naïve, nostalgic, and provably untrue if you desire to indulge yourself in the time to research the facts, as opposed to what you’ve been told, or what you have chosen to remember. Plus, it misses the point.
Prior to the turn of the century, even with Limbaugh exploding and Fox News emerging, there was an understanding and acceptance in America that has long since disappeared, much to our detriment. No matter our disagreements, many of them volatile and powerful, there is something we have completely lost unlike at no other time in our history, save the Civil War. We have lost our Americanism.
Tribalism is the state of being organized by, or advocating for, tribes or tribal lifestyles. Human evolution has primarily occurred in small groups, as opposed to people’s cooperation in society as a whole, save one exception: America, prior to 2000. Don’t misunderstand; there’s always been what I call micro-tribalism in America, but as a nation we still rallied around the country as a whole. We were, at the core, Americans, which was defined as our ability to freely fight with one another, but always acknowledge that we were united as one nation. That notion was shattered in the presidential election of 2000, has never been repaired, and is worse than it’s ever been since 1861. There is quite literally NOTHING that unites us as a nation. A year ago I used this same analogy with a different name, but it’s no less true; if President Biden were assassinated tomorrow, there would be no national unity. Half the nation would mourn, the other would cheer and you know damn well the same is true had it been Trump. We’ve become a nation of tribalist cannibals; willing, even hoping, to eat our own in an effort to recreate the nation in our own image, while not even allowing the other opinions a voice. It’s the most un-American we’ve ever been.
Enter social media. Pause for vomit. Continue.
Social Media isn’t simply that; 53% of all Americans say that social media is their primary, if not only, news source. You read that correctly; more than half of this nation gets its’ “news,” from social media. Think of all the lunacy you see posted daily on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, and everything between, and then soak in the knowledge that 53% of people use that as news. https://letter.ly/how-many-people-get-their-news-from-social-media/
In fact, many tech conglomerates site that fact as the reason they had to become more “involved,” with the dissemination of “facts.” After all, if you are one of a handful of people who control and operate more than half of the nations’ access to information you have a “moral obligation,” to be mindful, don’t you? The answer of course, is hell no, but we don’t live in a sane society. It is neither big tech’s job, nor the government’s, to control, translate, meter, limit, or deny our access to not just information, but also each other’s thoughts. In the government’s case it would be unconstitutional, in the instance of 3 major corporations controlling 90% of all social media, it’s a blatant violation of American anti-trust laws. Either way, it’s wrong and reprehensible…and most notably, dangerous and dishonest. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/16/facebook-fake-news-coronavirus-190054
Enter the modern day Walter Cronkite; there isn’t one. Rather, there are many, fractured into our various tribes. Sean Hannity, Rachel Maddow, Tucker Carlson, Chris Cuomo, Mark Levin, and Anderson Cooper are all considered the modern day Cronkite by varying factions of about 10% of the nation. Meanwhile, The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Examiner simply spend each day printing articles that completely contradict one another, thus cancelling out the truth. But hey, at least they’re all speaking and being heard or read.
Enter big tech; they took a decidedly different role in terms of weaponizing their bias and influence. Rather than deciding to simply slant every story to fit their narrative, for the past couple of years, big tech has taken to deletion; the active removal of opinions and, in many cases, news stories printed in legitimate (albeit biased) entities like the New York Post. Silencing what you view as the opposition is the mark of dictators, tyrants, cowards, and lunatics. It’s also a sign of both fear and malicious secrecy, meant to intentionally make sure people never find things out (or when they do, it’s far too late and/or irrelevant).
Sadly, there’s no way to bring this topic to an end without getting political, so allow me to take a moment to discuss the putrid state of such. Anyone who claims that the administration of Donald Trump was not the most overtly dishonest one in modern history is a delusional liar not to be taken seriously. And, for what it’s worth, about 140 days in, Biden is giving him a run for his money. (Remember…the America/Mexico border is closed…and there is no immigration crisis…say it five times in the mirror and Salma Hayek will show up behind you with a hook for a hand and disembowel you…which some of you might like, now that I think about it).
There…I said something bad about both sides, which, for some reason is required in today’s America in an attempt to show that you aren’t on one team or another. Why any of you align yourselves with either of these parties is beyond me and a topic for another column entirely.
With all of that said and established, the truth is that Big Tech is markedly liberal, and admittedly so. When they embarked on their mission to help feeble minded Americans have access to only the truth, they did so by assuming anything conservatives said was false. It was, and is, a childish and disgusting way to approach information: cover your ears, scream “LA LA LA LA LA” over and over and never let the person you disagree with be heard is not a way to run a platform designed to share both information and opinions. And yet, they’ve been doing it for two years.
For the last 15 months, if you had the audacity to suggest, assert, or question where and how Covid-19 started, you were labeled as a “conspiracy theorist,” and on social media your posts were tagged and often deleted for containing “false information.” After all, it was KNOWN that the virus began with a bat in a wet market, eaten by a human, and so the transmission began. Turns out, there’s always been pretty compelling evidence that the virus was created by humans in China, perhaps with the knowledge and consent (and maybe even money) of America, and escaped the laboratory. https://www.foxbusiness.com/media/coronavirus-origin-wuhan-lab-gop-report-facebook-fact-check
To be completely candid, that story bores me to tears, and is not my point. No matter what the truth is, my life will be altered in no way at all, and nor will yours. We aren’t going to war with China, none of us are going to see financial reparations, and we certainly aren’t bringing back 600,000 dead Americans and 100,000 small businesses that were lost to our idiotic managing of the pandemic.
What doesn’t bore me is the canary in the coal mine. Everyone now acknowledges that it’s more than likely that something we were told was flatly untrue and not allowed to be said out loud, is now probably more than likely, true. Hmmmm…
Posts claiming that masks did nothing to stop the spread of Covid were also labeled and handled in an identical manner as the Wuhan Lab theory. Multiple studies saying such about masks were banned…in fact, as an experiment try posting the University of Louisville study that came out last week entitled “Masks didn’t slow Covid Spread,” and let me know if it’s allowed. After all, it’s a respected university that relied entirely on CDC data to come to its’ conclusion. That certainly SHOULD be something we all are allowed to see, debate and discuss.. https://townhall.com/tipsheet/spencerbrown/2021/05/26/new-study-refutes-fauci-efficacy-of-mask-mandates-n2589990
The governor of Florida had a press conference of his deleted from You Tube because on it were accredited and respected doctors and disease specialists explaining why Florida’s approach of “living with the virus,” was safe and effective. People who posted scientific studies showing that lockdowns did more harm than good, were similarly blocked and erased, as were those who questioned the 2020 presidential election results.
Which of those, if any, were actually all true? And/or at least worthy of discussion or debate. Well, certainly they were all worthy of discussion or debate in a free Republic such as the United States is designed to be and clearly has stopped being.
All of this demands the question: what else is knowingly and maliciously being kept from us to even consider, let alone discuss and think about amongst ourselves? We aren’t just being lied to overtly every day by Rachel Maddow on one side and Sean Hannity on the other, we’re also being shielded from access to things. As I’ve always said, a lie of omission is still a lie.
And in an odd, ironic, final twist, there’s one thing that isn’t being hidden from us at all, by anyone, on either side; which is unheard of. Everyone from Tucker Carlson to 60 Minutes, to all social media and mainstream news, along with talk radio are all brazenly talking about multiple and verifiable sightings and recordings of UFO’s by the American Military. One of the most covered up, whackadoodle topics of the past 50 years is suddenly mainstream, normal, fascinating, and acceptable for all sides to cover. It shouldn’t take a tin foil hate to make most Americans take pause and ask why, suddenly, are all sources of information spending inordinate amounts of time, with almost no political spin, on a subject that up until recently was considered fodder only for tabloids and kooks. And yet, none of us are doing that. I promise you that there’s a reason…and when we find out what it is, it will be far too late.