By: Forrest R. Church, Publisher
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
We do not need a crystal ball to know what is coming to America in weeks ahead. News cycles often repeat as does behavior; especially concerning politics. As we near the November midterm election I can just about predict what will hit major news headlines in weeks ahead.
Just one of many “dirty political” tactics we are bound to observe will include major character assassination tidbits leaked in close political races throughout the country. Opposing sides have held onto facts the public is unaware of such as a past DUI convictions, politician’ children with drug problems, leaked emails using a racial slur from thirty years ago, a less than politically correct photo from college in the 60’s, secret relationships, etc. These tidbits of information will of course be released precisely when experts in whichever campaign believe it will hurt their opponent the most in the polls.
Political ads will also begin appearing everywhere we look, with politicians accusing one another of being nothing less than slime. Good luck finding a football game to enjoy, you may want to mute the commercial break unless you enjoy the type of rhetoric I’m blabbing about this week. But let’s be honest, while I’m sick of it before it has really begun, many Americans love the division and bickering. It is like an all too true soap opera I guess.
Get ready, it is coming, I will apologize in my first column after the November midterm if I am wrong and our politicians at the state and federal level actually act like mature adults and have civil debates, campaign stops, etc. Heck, I hope I’m wrong. Anybody want to bet a cup of coffee on the matter? And no, I’m not saying all politicians will go this route, but many campaigns will.
This of course will flair up division in our country which as my past columns have stated is exactly what many politicians want – to divide and conquer, it is all part of the game plan.
WE BECOME “SUCKED IN”
I understand to a small degree on how this poor behavior occurs. First and foremost political camps and certain media outlets have followers who listen to their rhetoric as faithful as many follow their religion, maybe even more so. These mindsets are quickly spread by “followers”.
Too strong of a personal observation to mention? Let the thought simmer and just be observant between now and the midterms.
As a person of faith I’ve seen people of religious following more or less give a pass concerning Biblical teaching to approve of politician behaviors. That’s not me being overly judgemental, just observant.
(Politician Name) can act out in ways that a lifetime of Biblical Studies says to avoid, yet it is okay and even encouraged when the politician does it. They get a religious free pass I guess.
I should not be surprised by this type of behavior from some as many in the political realm themselves point blank state that their faith and political stances are not two in the same.
I will never understand this concept; I do not believe you can separate your faith from your political stances. How can you amen scripture on Sunday and on a Tuesday night campaign stop contradict that same teaching? I have a feeling rotten tomatoes and eggs are awaiting, my email can be found in the closing.
Reading through social media posts I have seen people I highly respect take a virtual sucker punch at those they disagree with politically by calling them everything but the anti christ. Then the kicker? They wonder why people become upset.
Anybody throwing a punch, whether virtual or physical, should not be surprised when one is tossed back. Yet people on both the left and right side of the political aisle do this 24/7. I thought most Americans were taught as children this type of behavior is not acceptable?
What can be bothersome is often these social media outbursts where family, friends and community associates start to take jabs at each other is typical not due to an original thought by those posting the content on social media. They are simply sharing something they heard in a debate from their favorite political figure, a podcast, a youtube broadcaster, etc. I have listened/ watched folks that are popular on Youtube bash someone in politics from a certain angle. Sure enough in the next 12 hours you can see people on social media sharing that angle on their walls and starting virtual fights. Thus the question needs to be asked, is this on purpose? (Of course it is) …
Watch a Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity show when they are fired up about a topic, take notes, then see how many people in your social media circles share these stances as if they had the original thought themselves.
The point I’m trying to make is this vacuum sucking us in, is a well known and proven tactic, used in the political realm. #hatred #division
Maybe I’m naive, I cannot believe it has always been this way in America. It seems it is all too easy to hide behind our computers/smart phones taking jabs at those we disagree with politically vs the old school fashion of talking about these differences over breakfast and still having respect for one another after the last cup of coffee has been consumed. Am I ignorant?
I try to avoid getting overly political in my columns. No matter what is said, people will become upset. We live in a society where someone cannot have a difference of opinion. In the name of ‘I am correct’ a lifetime relationship will simply be thrown in the trash because people like one old politician over another. Makes Thanksgiving enjoyable, huh?
Though I have had a lot of readers contact me in the past agreeing with me on whatever subject matter I have blabbed about, I have had an occasional reader and/or customer discontinue supporting us simply because they disagreed.
News Coverage Note – Keep in mind that my personal opinions as a newspaper publisher has nothing to due with our non biased reporting. If I am guilty of anything, it is giving opposing views that I personally disagree with more of a voice than those that I amen personally. I cannot tell you, even with local news, how many coverage articles on local matters I have sent to the press as written by our coverage team, when I was upset personally by the coverage itself. It is not up to me to twist information on a school levy, a teacher’s salary advertisement, fish farm coverage article, etc. My goal is to ensure our writers have covered all angles and given all sides a fair shot in coverage, including sides that may not be popular by the majority.
How many news outlets, whether local, regional, national or international, do you feel in your judgement make this kind of effort?
During the last election in which we included AP news there were several instances where those on the right side of the aisle called me personally a liberal baby killer because they thought the AP content was slanted. Those on the left had no idea how to take a media outlet that in their view did not lean heavily to the left and called me a non progressive sellout because we gave President Trump what I considered fair coverage. I wrote a column longer than this one previously on the matter concerning whether readers even desired non bias news anymore. They say they do, but god forbid if a fact is published they disagree with.
It can be hard to live in harmony when opposing sides point a finger at others and spew hatred towards them simply because they disagree on a political concept. If you are a fair and balanced news outlet, which I hope our readers have always felt we are, there is rare unity, everybody hates us for not taking a side.
Maybe it is easier for me since if a politician’s mouth is moving I immediately think how is this benefiting them personally, not necessarily those they serve?
Where am I going with this column full of babbling? Be prepared for some serious division and hatred in the weeks to come and even after the midterm election. I hope and pray the process goes smoothly, that results are transparent and that some level of unity among Americans finds its way to the surface on the backside.
My gut feeling and observation (personal and professional) is that rough weeks and months are ahead. I hope we can individually think for ourselves ahead of time, knowing what is coming down the pipeline, and decide ahead of time how we are going to react to ugly behavior when it shows its ugly face, often from those in our circle.
Food for thought …
Do you agree or disagree with, as my wife says, long winded comments? Have thoughts? Send a note if you like anytime. Email: publisher@thevillagereporter. com Mail: 115 Broad Street, Montpelier, Ohio 43543.