Let the Politicians Act Like Politicians; The Rest of Us Should Be Better

In an election year, we all grow used to politicians twisting one another’s words for maximum advantage. That’s always happened, and it always will. It’s our job as citizens to cut through the political spin, figure out the truth and vote our conscience. The difference in this political cycle, more than any other before it, is it’s not just the politicians who are constantly spinning the truth. Formerly responsible institutions have rejected the goal of objectivity in exchange for political expediency. You cannot find the truth in this election cycle unless you actively seek it out. The only way to do that is to look beyond your political bubble.

Two recent examples point this out clearly. First, the media twisted President Donald Trump’s generally upbeat defense of America at Mount Rushmore into a racist screed defending the Confederacy. Second, many conservatives today believe that Joe Biden wants to defund the police.

If you love Trump and stayed in your online bubble, you are prone to believe that Biden wants to get rid of our police. He doesn’t. If you love Biden and stay in your completely separate media bubble, you probably believe Trump delivered some dark, racist defense of the Confederacy. He did the opposite. For those of us worried about our country tearing apart more than we worry about any specific political position, this dynamic is something we have to attack with all we have.

The cycle is the same on each side. Trump and Biden are both prone to bouts of severe rhetorical inelegance. If you want to take a slip of the tongue out of context for either one, you have plenty of opportunities. There are armies of extreme partisans on Twitter, on guard every minute for a new opportunity to do this. Each snippet that can be exploited will be exploited. The result is a country where half the people think Trump wants to bring back the Confederacy and half the people think Biden wants to get rid of the police. We have to stop.

At Mount Rushmore, Trump never even mentioned the Confederacy. He touted Frederick Douglass and the Tuskegee Airmen among America’s greatest heroes (to great applause). He also spent extended time touting Martin Luther King Jr. and the “righteous movement for civil rights”. What he attacked was the growing radical movement to redefine American history and demonize America’s founders based on today’s standards. A lot of Americans share this view. You may not like it, but what Trump said was not a call for segregation or a return to the Confederacy. Sadly, you would not know any of this based on the coverage of Trump’s speech from previously responsible outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post. The Times called it a “dark and divisive speech.” The Post was even harsher:

“President Trump’s unyielding push to preserve Confederate symbols and the legacy of white domination, crystallized by his harsh denunciation of the racial justice movement Friday night at Mount Rushmore, has unnerved Republicans who have long enabled him but now fear losing power and forever associating their party with his racial animus.”

To be clear, Trump has called for the preservation of Confederate monuments, a position I do not share, but his speech at Rushmore was, if anything, a call for national pride in our great history at a time when that history itself is under attack. It was not, as the Post called it, “a dystopian speech.”

This problem is not unique to the coverage of Trump. Many conservatives believe Biden wants to defund the police. The Trump campaign and some conservative outlets have made this case. Biden addressed it directly in an op-ed in USA Today: “I do not support defunding police. … The better answer is to give police departments the resources they need to implement meaningful reforms, and to condition other federal dollars on completing those reforms. … Every single police department should have the money it needs to institute real reforms.” Biden has also not defended the anarchy we are seeing on the streets of so many of our cities: “I said from the outset of the recent protests that there’s no place for violence and destruction of property. Peaceful protesters should be protected and arsonists and anarchists should be prosecuted.” This is a view shared by many conservatives and many Trump supporters.

The point here isn’t that there are no differences between Trump and Biden. There are huge differences. But the differences are not the ones many of us think we understand from the comfort of our ideological bubbles. To break out of this, we all need to read what the other side is actually saying. It’s often not as bad as you think it is when you take the time to look into it. If we don’t stop demonizing our opponents and twisting any slip of the tongue to give it the worst possible meaning, we will not climb out of the national tailspin we are in. We can’t count on most of the media to help. Until the election is over, many media outlets are not going to be able to detach from their political goals to tell the truth. Each of us needs to take responsibility to figure that out for ourselves.

Neil Patel co-founded The Daily Caller, one of America’s fastest-growing online news outlets, which regularly breaks news and distributes it to over 15 million monthly readers. Patel also co-founded The Daily Caller News Foundation, a nonprofit news company that trains journalists, produces fact-checks and conducts longer-term investigative reporting. The Daily Caller News Foundation licenses its content free of charge to over 300 news outlets, reaching potentially hundreds of millions of people per month. To find out more about Neil Patel and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com

COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM

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16 Responses

  1. Excellent points. I have been touting this for years. Do your homework, or do not complain if you are duped. It may take time to ferret out the truth, and it may take effort, but it is well worth it if you get the truth and that enters in to your decision on not only voting in an election, but gives you a chance to consider other policies.

    1. I think for the most part people who voted for the democrap party where duped. This article was very coy in it’s presentation. Example; “To be clear, Trump has called for the preservation of Confederate monuments, a position I do not share”. I do not or ever thought slavery was right, but when you destroy the history you are bound to repeat it. Biden is an ill person and it shows. The only reason he is being pushed into this election is he will never serve his full term. He will die in office elevating the vp to potus. We will never see a Constitutional Republic again as if it has already been so severely changed to a liberal communist form. Do you want to be governed or ruled is the question? Biden like most of our career politicians have never had to work as most Americans do every day. Biden is a career politician and will mold himself to whatever the current situation exists. Trump was a career businessman and not a politician which shows in his desire to make things works for the better. Yhea, do the research!

  2. Actually Biden DID say in his own words he wanted to defund the police . He said to re-direct money from police to other places , that is the same thing as DEFUND people
    He is demented & doesn’t know where he is most of the time . You want HIM running this country ?????? HELL NO .

  3. WRONG TAG LINE FOR THIS ARTICLE! THE MAJOR PROBLEM IS THAT DEMOCRATS AND RINOS ARE NOT ACTING LIKE POLITICIANS AT ALL! MORE LIKE WHINEY LITTLE CHILDREN WHOM ARE NOT GETTING THEIR WAY! CAN’T STEAL TAX DOLLARS, CAN’T BUY THAT 4TH OR 5TH HOUSE, OR THAT 9TH CAR! GEEZ IT SUCKS TO BE POOR!! NOT TO MENTION KNOWBODY IS HOLDING THEM TO HONOR THE OATH OF OFFICE THEY TOOK TO DEFEND THEIR CONSTITUTION AND WE THE PEOPLE!! IF BREAKING THE LAW WORKS FOR THEM THEN WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO SHOOT THEM WITH IMUNITY FROM ANY PROSECUTION!!

  4. I don’t know about this information. I have a recording of Biden saying that police funding should be reallocated. What does that mean?? The democrats are saying defund but give the money to professional pacifiers. Is that reallocation?? Either way the police are cut and weakened.

  5. I totally disagree with the writer of this article.

    It should never be “the job of the citizens to cut through the political spin, and figure out the truth” IN ANY ELECTION for ANY CANDIDATE or FOR ANY PROPOSITION.

    Anyone who presents mistruths as facts; or presents any unprovable statement about any candidate or proposition as truth, should be immediately arrested and imprisoned for a minimum of 10 years and banned from ever holding political office in this country at any level.

    Furthermore, ALL politically aspiring individuals should be put through a thorough background check and required to provide extensive background information on themselves. Failure to do so should be disqualifying.

  6. This idiot should realize tearing down Monuments/statues of Our History is the Communist way of dissolving the TRUTH! Our forefathers, of All “colors” loved this Nation of Freedom!!

  7. I enjoyed reading this article written by a fair and educated man. A hundred and sixty years ago, Our Country suffered a terrible travesty when the Southern States took up arms against America in defense of their economy and way of life. They were wrong, BUT, many men of courage fought bravely and honorably on both sides.
    Many heroes perished wearing both the Blue and Gray. Tearing down the statues of brave heroes will not honor anyone and only make the Country suffer more anguish.

    In reference to politician’s speeches, they are sometimes misconstrued and also point their emphasis towards their immediate audience. Putting Donald Trump and Joe Biden in a debate would be a travesty. Enough said.

  8. I JUST WANT TO SAY TRUE AMERICANS WE CAN NEVER EVER LET OUR GUARD DOWN AGAIN THERE MUST BE CHECK AND BALANCES ON ALL SIDES PUT FORTH AND IF WE ALL FOLLOW THE RULE OF LAW WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO COME OUT OF THIS BUT WE MUST NEVER FORGET!! WE UST NEVER FORGET 911!! WE MUST NEVER FORGET THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE DIED FOR US !! LETS GET WITH IT TRUE AMERICANS FIGHT TO THE END — STAND OUR GROUND I AM WILLING ARE YOU?

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