I tried posting on this blog earlier, but it didn’t work, so I wrote the following for my personal blog. So this is a test: let’s see if this works!
Time to Stand
Posted on January 28, 2017 by Brian Vroman
So over the last several months I have gotten a bit lazy and have ignored this blog, but now it is time for anyone with any kind of a voice — no matter how small — to speak up. Trump and his minions are already doing great harm, and present an enormous threat to American democracy.
I could write about many issues — his stance on immigration, his orders to expunge facts he opposes from federal websites, his vanity, his unfounded assertions that over three million “illegals” voted for Hillary Clinton, and on and on. But today I want to discuss the Voice of America.
The VOA is a venerable organization that has historically played the positive role of providing reliable information to those in other countries where the media is controlled or intimidated by their government. VOA was presided over by a non-partisan board of directors. But now, buried deeply in a defense bill, was a provision which changed VOA in two important ways. First, the board of directors was replaced by a CEO who serves at the pleasure of the President of the United States. Second, VOA will now be authorized to broadcast to the American public.
What does this mean?
The Trump Administration is doing all that it can to discredit the media, because the media is in a position to question what he says and does. So it appears that as part of this war on the media, Trump and his henchmen are creating their own, separate “media” organization which will be under the direct control of the POTUS. In other words, they intend to use a once respectable organization with its fine public image to further propagandize the American people. We do not need a state controlled media outlet — we need an independent media that will hold Trump, and anyone else who holds power — accountable.
This is all part of a larger right wing War on Truth. For many on the right, when the facts don’t conform to your beliefs, you don’t modify those beliefs, you change the facts. Thus, when science shows that species evolve and that climate changes as the result of human activity, you don’t take those things into account — you trash science! Likewise, when the media broadcasts inconvenient truths, instead of responding appropriately, you work to undermine the media.
It is almost certain that some leaders on the right know good and well what the truth is, but see it as opposed to their interests. For example, there is a lot of money to be made by ignoring Global Warming, even though human society will ultimately face a reckoning. But one suspects that the rank and file on the populist right — as well as, quite likely, Trump himself — either no longer no what truth is or never did. For them, there is no objective set of facts, just assertions, which allow anyone to have their own “alternative facts.” Thus, rules of logic and evidence no longer matter, and we find ourselves ever more adrift in a sea of nihilism.
So it is time for everyone who can to stand and be heard and to push back against this nonsense any time we have a chance