Some years ago an old friend, now passed, told me how his mother had been his religious mentor for most his life. There wasn’t a spiritual lesson that he had studied that had not been annotated by his mom.
He told me this to explain one of his crucibles later in life, for it seems that when his parents were in their late 60s, his father had undergone major surgery, but when he came home to recuperate, Mom refused to allow him to get totally well again. Possibly in some spiritual pact with God she had turned her life over to caring for him, and care for him she would, whether he wanted it or not. God had put him in her care, and she was going to keep him there.
I’ve read of such things. So in hearing this story I could imagine either a comedy or a tragedy unfolding. And tragedy it was. His parents argued about his driving the car to MacDonald’s for coffee with his buddies, or, heaven forbid, play golf. He couldn’t leave the room without telling her where or why. She even stood by the bathroom door when he had to go. He confided to his kids that every day was a combat.
After about two years of this, his dad left and lived alone the last few years of his life.
The purpose of my friend’s story was to tell me of his re-visiting his own relationship with God because of these events. Without elaborating, he said his mother did many things to blight his father’s path; sneaky things, dishonest things, even mean things. And when the children would bring those things up to her, she would alternately cry, or deflect, or invoke God in what my friend, at least, believed to be an unholy defense.
His confession to me was that everything his mother had ever told him about God, every annotation in his Bible, every underlined passage, he said he had to go back and revisit, rethink and relearn all over again, just to make sure it could stand alone. He had to learn God all over again without his mother’s fingerprints.
Something like that needs to happen in America now. More of our personal history has been annotated by the American Media than we know.
Donald Trump and the Media’s Russian Dolls; Defining History
An AP analysis only this weekend (7/15/17) stated that “the day-after-day drip-drip-drip of revelations over the past week about Donald Trump Jr.’s contact with the Russian lawyer in 2016 underscores the White House’s inability to shake off the Russia story and close the book on a narrative that casts a shadow over Trump’s presidency.” (Jonathan Lemire)
Jonathan Lemire’s function at AP, it seems, is to paint a narrative of an isolated Donald Trump, beginning when he first took office. So the drip-drip of the Russia story merely feeds into an already established profile of a man standing alone, which, if things work out, will also be a tragic figure. It’s not yet clear what part of Trump’s portraiture the Associated Press is supposed to paint, perhaps his furtive eyes, or maybe the dark office corner in which he’s crouched, or perhaps the thumb he will be sucking, but what is seeming to become clear is that various members of the Media have accepted this assignment to paint one part of Trump into an official media composite that will someday be made public…should be ever actually fall.
Factually there’s nothing Russian to shake off here, and never has been. This Trump Jr story is the latest of several iterations on the same Russia theme, and will likely end up in the same dustbin, buried along with all the others that have borne no fruit, and are not likely to be resurrected down the road because Democrats’ fingerprints are on these Russian collusion stories more than any Trump official.
Still, the Media won’t stop. They can’t stop. So we need some insight into why this is so. Why are they barking up a tree in which there are no possums?
By chasing this Russia theme, as dogs to a whistle, the Media has silently admitted that Donald Trump is an existential issue to them beyond the threat he poses to the Democrat Party, the Left, and even the culture known as the Swamp. At some level in the Media culture there is a stand-alone component that Trump threatens some possession that is exclusively theirs.
What Donald Trump has done, perhaps by accident, or maybe cunning…
…has been to threaten the Media’s power to shape the narrative of American History.
Every American above the age of millennial can fit this notion into their own personal history. After a cursory backward glance into my own life, I can see the Media’s fingerprints on almost all the major historical events of my lifetime. I need to delve more deeper into those, for clearly since JFK, MLK and Vietnam, the American Media has defined the shape and meaning of our history.
Like my departed friend and his mother, I need to take pencil and paper in hand and re-review the events of my life with new evidence. I suggest you do the same.
We all should go back and rediscover America all over again, and determine how much of what we saw on network television, read in national magazines and newspapers, were actually true. We need to know how much of our history, and how we saw it unfold, was actually true.
What Donald Trump has upset, perhaps irreparably, is how the Media views itself…not as the presenters of news, but as the the Definers and Guardians of History.
Consider: Trump has separated the Media from the leftist herd by calling them out as “Fake News” while never speaking of the Democrat Party in the same disparaging terms. A few names, “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer”, and of course “Crooked” Hillary, he has denounced personally, but he has largely held his hand open to Democrats to come and take it…if they agree with him and find it politically expedient to do so, which many will consider come election season, come summer, 2018. (I’m not sure if any Republican has ever offered his hand on these terms.) Most Americans other than the rigid and ideological, consider this practical and wise.
Most of all, Trump has, with the flip of the tongue, destroyed media’s relevance for half the population.
This had never happened before. And is catastrophic for the Media.
While never liked by a majority of Americans of any political stripe in my lifetime, never considered to be honest or objective by any majority, (even while Cronkite was alive), when the national Media told us something mattered, it mattered. That’s relevance, and it was theirs to declare..
But Trump has snuffed that out for almost half of the Media’s national audience, and they know they likely recaptured it in a generation. Gone like a wild goose in winter, the Media’s corporate brain trusts are still dealing with the consequences of this great migration, and in true corporate fashion, not very adeptly, witness their ham-fisted attempts at playing the “Song of the Volga Boatmen” on a three-stringed balalaika.
True, the Media hasn’t lost the faith of the voters that matter most to them, the political elites, in the northeast corridor and blue sanctuaries around the country. But these amount to little more than 14% of the total population. (138 million voted in 2016, while only 27 million follow the national news Media on a regular basis.) and those elite’s grip on their constituencies is loosening.
Trump’s anti-Media “fake news” meme is falling on a lot of ears on the street, an airborne virus carried offline, by word-of-mouth. The existential problem the Media has is that Trump is totally in charge of spreading that virus. Every new job, if only in Michigan is a loss. Every rescued black-American from the Plantation is also the Media’s loss for it exposes a lie they first fostered fifty years ago.
In short, the Democrats can be eaten from the bottom up, and the Media can’t stop it. And there aren’t enough sociology professors who can send snowflakes in blacks masks and hoodies out to burn down enough (blue city) downtown areas to really make a difference.,
Taking down Trump or writing his History?
A History of History
Every event worth mentioning always produces at least two histories. The one that is written down always gets more credence than the one that is not, as often as not, simply because it was written down.
In modern times, when events are written down twice, they are almost always contested, if only around the edges. This is how scholarship was born, and sustained.
But short of a cataclysmic event, History is largely what is written down last. When the Soviet Union fell in 1991 there was not an extant piece of written history left there that told Russia’s actual history before 1918. All those histories had been rewritten. So, when the USSR fell Russians had to learn other languages in order just to be able to know the history of their own country.
So it is, then, that in some societies the distinction between History and Propaganda are forever blurred. An agreed-upon component of “civilization” is not its political institutions but its general agreement on what is Good, and what is Bad, and that it is pursues the Good.
Ayn Rand pointed this out in her 1971 series of essays, The Return of the Primitive.
America’s Authorized History is being rewritten to pursue the Bad.
Of course they’d all like to take down Donald Trump, but as in all things, luck is involved. The steady drumbeat of Russia or Impeachment haven’t really been imprinted on the public’s mind, and possibly never will, until or unless there is finally some “there” found there.
What the Media now knows is that only Donald Trump can provide the necessary “there” in the equation for his downfall. No amount of fake news can create it.
So Trump represents the turning of a new page for the Media. For while they have created false narratives to history for many years, they have become so afraid they have turned to creating fake news, back-to-back-to-back, upon which to build those false narratives, things (we’re not aware of yet) they have ever tried before.
Not just cable news wannabes such as CNN and MSNBC, but staid, old, once respectable New York Times, WAPO, and the AP and Reuters, seem to be willing to give it a try.
This is a recent phenomenon, and one based on desperation. A last charge of the Media’s Light Brigade?
But there is that long term impact the Media sees itself as having on History, and must save. This has nothing to do with undoing Trump in the near term, but in preparing history for how it will treat him in the long term. He can leave office early and his history will be written one way, or, he can do his 4-8 years and history will be written another. But the Media still claims the authority to use narratives written today to destroy any Trump, or conservative legacy, in the future after he departs. They know how the “History of Trump” will be written will impact on the sort of person(s) who will succeed him
It’s that long game, that the early Media thinkers in the 1900s brought to the progressive ideological table that has defined their most precious gem….their ability to define History.
The long game of the Media is, and has been for years, to lay the groundwork for writing the themes (narratives) for histories yet to be played out. In Trump’s case they are as much about the lies students will read about his time in American History books printed in 2014 than the truths learned about him now. For high school students and college students alike, these texts need to have a section set aside for the deconstruction of the Trump presidency, whether he completes it or not, but based on what the Media thinks about him today.
This is how sure the Media are about its own biases, per Ayn Rand, above, that students not even born already have a few pages, even a chapter if the subject merits it, telling them of this terrible man and his presidency and the fate that nearly befell America because of him.
The groundwork for those chapters are being laid today. And the textbooks into which they will be inserted are likely already in print.
This is how well the Left and Media plan ahead…highlighting how far behind our defense of civilization has fallen..
You may remember Dinesh D’Souza’s book and film, “America: Imagine a World Without Her” (2014) in which he interviewed Howard Zinn. Zinn, a leftist-historian, published A People’s History of the United States in 1980, and it was so dishonest and biased that by the time of the Clinton Administration it had become a text in many public high schools and university history departments. It also became a franchise, so is still in print, and revised regularly, even though Zinn died in 2010. There are even special editions printed for middle-school children, and curriculum programs in anticipation of schools that wish to turn their social studies programs toward the progressive as early as possible. (Hint: Heroes and Anti-Heroes, Morality and Immorality, can both be sold to 11 year-olds with equal enthusiaasm, all depending on the venue.)
The history of Trump’s failure is being written now even though he has not yet failed. And may never. It doesn’t matter for the narrative has to first be established with contemporaneous writings, and the modern Media was always supposed to provide that first narrative. That first impression.
History is the Media’s last redoubt.
If Trump succeeds than the history of his failure will simply be stored away into some repository of un-history, but the history of who he was, what he meant to America, is still out there for some 22nd Century Howard Zinn to dig it out and try to rewrite America. The USSR proved this is a never-ending battle.
But should Donald Trump actually stumble any time in the next 8 years, all these fake wounds will be opened up anew, and “…in their flowing cups freshly remembered” (Henry V, Act 4, Scene 3) do exactly what they were always intended to do, cause memories to burn hotter and brighter.
To reverse this mis-management of History, in the past decade or so there has arisen counters to the Left’s intrusion into America’s history, especially, Larry Schweikart and Michael’s Allen’s Patriot’s History of the United States, itself a New York Time best-seller in 2004-2005, and still top ten on Amazon’s list of best selling history books. I only read Patriot’s History in 2008. It had been a best seller for four years, but I had never heard of it. Nor had I even understood how badly it was needed, until I saw Zinn with D’SDouza.
(Every person reading this article should buy a copy of this book, available used and new, hard back and soft-cover, from under $10, at Amazon.com. And pass onto at least one friend that this book should beon every bookshelf.
Plain and simple, we need to replace Zinn’s History’s position in American schools and universities with Schweikart and Allen’s “Patriot’s History” and reclaim our History.
I wish it could be me, but there’s a Pulitzer in it for the scholar-historian who can go back and find the events that shaped the lives of our generation, but which, it turns out were misshaped by hidden biases in the Media; print (newspapers, magazines) radio, television. “A Media History of the United States” by whatever legal title can be used, would be an added supplement to the things we need to do to take back lost ground.
Just to be fair, I’d begin with the “terror bombing” of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor, Feb 15, 1898,. setting off the Spanish-American War.
Publications: Famous Common People I Have Known and Other Essays
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