America has been polarized, chaotic, and just downright strange for the past several years. many wonder if our democracy is on its way out or if this is just “business as usual” for our nation. A new Bright Line Watch survey took a look at the aftermath of America after the Presidential indictments and found some interesting results.
The first and most glaring result of the survey isn’t exactly new news. The survey found that Americans do indeed live in two different worlds where the “facts” are pretty much the polar opposite of each other.
But again, that isn’t exactly a shocking revelation.
The real question is what do we do now?
The survey tackled that question in various ways and it really comes down to a couple of key things.
The first is that the media, on the whole, needs to stop covering everything in such a “hands off” way where language is gussied up and basic facts become “views” or something other than what they are — facts.
In short, when someone lies, call it a lie. Some things are true, some things are not. Pretending that facts aren’t facts but just a “point of view” or “perspective” are doing real damage to our democracy. In other words, trying to be “above the fray” hasn’t worked, isn’t working, and will not work. We will not save anything by putting politically correct language ahead of pointing out facts in no uncertain terms.
That doesn’t mean the media has to be hostile, rude, or overly harsh but it has to stand its ground in the face of people offended by basic facts. Not everything has “two sides.” Some things just are what they are.
An example of facts that are totally verifiable that one side does not believe is that a majority of Republicans think that Trump didn’t even take classified documents to his Florida resort. This is despite Trump admitting himself that he took classified documents and being recorded showing off classified documents to people without security clearances at his Bedminster resort. There are also pictures of documents at his Mar A Lago resort in various rooms.
These are facts, they are not opinions, views, or a perspective.
Most experts surveyed said that the docs case was the best and most solid case not only of the two indictments that have been brought, but even if the January 6th case and Georgia election case were to be brought, the docs case is still the most solid.
From the survey …
With regard to the specific components of the classified materials indictment, political science experts and Democrats are nearly unanimous that Trump brought classified documents to Mar-a-Lago, stored them in unsecured locations, showed them to people without security clearance, and attempted to obstruct the federal investigation into the matter. Solid majorities of partisan independents also regard each charge as true. A bare majority of Republicans judges the first charge (transporting classified documents) to be true as well. Experts and Democrats support prison as punishment for these specific documents charges, as do narrower majorities of independents. Republicans are less apt to support prison but more amenable to fines or probation.
On top of that, the docs case is where people are “seeing the light” the most and where the needle has moved regarding Trump’s guilt. Independents have moved from around 35 percent believing that he moved the documents to around 45 percent. Republicans have moved from less than 10 percent last year to around 25 percent this year.
Keep in mind, this survey was taken before Jack Smith added new counts this week against Trump. The latest revelations have the potential to move the needle even further.
America will always have issues that divide us. But in recent years, as Trump’s grip on the GOP has tightened, some have abandoned reason and facts for “bizzarro realities” that are doing no one any good — except Trump and his allies as they try to seize power wherever it is available.
Trump has already promised to consolidate his power more if elected, and use it to stomp out anyone who opposes him. He promises to usher in a fascist regime if the American people re-elect him.
As the New Republic reports …
One of the central parts of Trump’s fascist plan to consolidate power is to bring independent agencies under presidential control, including the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates television and internet companies, and the Federal Trade Commission, which enforces antitrust law and consumer protection rules.
But that’s not all: Trump also wants to be able to impound funds, meaning refuse to spend money appropriated for programs he doesn’t like. The tactic was banned under Richard Nixon, but Trump insists on his campaign website that presidents have a constitutional right to impound funds. He says he will reinstate the practice, even though it could spark a lengthy legal battle.
He also plans to eliminate employment protections for tens of thousands of civil servants, making them easier to replace. He would then purge intelligence agencies, the State Department, and the defense agencies of officials whom he has deemed members of “the sick political class that hates our country.”
Trump has already said he would launch a criminal investigation into President Joe Biden if he takes back the White House. But his new plans would go a step further and centralize power under the executive branch.
It’s unclear just how much of this Trump would get away with. Congress could pass laws to block him, and many of his plans would certainly get locked up in the court system. But the point is less whether he can succeed and more that Trump is willing to do absolutely anything to get and stay in power.
He has already shown a willingness to act with impunity. Trump repeatedly claimed that presidents can declassify materials whenever they want, “even by thinking about it.” And now, even after he’s been federally indicted for allegedly mishandling classified documents, he still insists he’s done nothing wrong.
This is what America is up against in trying to save our democracy. We need our media to stand up and speak truth. Not only that, we need our media to not mince language and call lies what they are — lies. No, not every MAGA hat wearing Trump supporter will “see the light” about Trump’s con games and plans for fascist control. His slick “reality show” Hollywoodized way of doing things have got some hooked like someone who is addicted to heroin. And as anyone knows, not all addicts, no matter what the addiction, are ever free of that addiction. And even the ones who do become free of it, are only one temptation away from regressing back into the addiction.
But some are becoming free of the MAGA and Q Anon addictions that have poisoned our discourse. That trend must continue. The only way to do it is by totally embracing two of America’s core values — truth and justice. That is the only way our democracy can be saved.