It’s hardly surprising that two months after such a contentious election, emotions have not died down. President-elect Trump is set to be inaugurated on January 20, and the excitement and anger this elicits is at an all-time high.
To many, the 2016 election was a binary one. Voters’ only choices were Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. You just had to choose one of the two. Any other ideological leaning was incorrect. In fact, not supporting one meant you actually supported the other, and vice versa. Still unsure how that whole phantom vote is/was applied.
Though the campaigning has ended and the final vote cast and counted, another decision between two opposites remains. This is the binary choice between choosing to believe President-elect Trump or the press. After all, there can be no middle ground. That’s the only conclusion one can reach, right?
The answer is no. In fact, give neither “side” the benefit of the doubt.
Be extremely skeptical of anyone who believes — or disbelieves — the whole Trump/Russia report automatically.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) January 11, 2017
Donald Trump has not even moved in to the Oval Office, and we’re already being tested as a nation in a post-election sense. The unsubstantiated, shocking, salacious dossier published by BuzzFeed is just the beginning of this several years-long journey of sifting the false from the true. Trump isn’t just any soon-to-be president; he’s Donald Trump. He defeated Hillary Clinton by way of the Electoral College, is regarded by many as “not our president”, and made his name on the campaign trail with braggadocio.
It certainly is tempting – as someone who never supported Trump the candidate – to immediately assume things of him. After all, he has shown himself to be a classless, perverted, juvenile liar. It’s not as if his character is shining and gracious, and allegations made are out of step with these things. But assertions are not facts, and reputations do not make accusations instantly credible. Just because a “report” or news story exists which one could see lining up with Trump as a person does not make it the truth.
Conversely, the media is very easy to dislike. They also have a character problem, and it’s been evident for quite a while. Just this past year is a perfect example of their extreme bias. Hillary Clinton sailed smoothly across the media landscape when she was running for president. Standards that the press held others to did not apply to her at all. Since the election, the media, and the Left in general have been obsessed with determining “fake news” from real. In that quest, some have placed certain conservative outlets in the “fake” category. Obviously, difference of opinion is not the same as being incorrect or “fake”. This is true of their assessment of us as well as our assessment of them.
Caleb Howe said it best after Trump’s win:
In January, begin holding President Trump (which he will be) accountable. Hold your representatives and senators accountable. Do what political activists are supposed to do, especially conservative activists. Fight the bad, encourage the good. Fight the power, and also use it.
Now and in the future, we should praise Trump or the press when they’re right, and call them out when they’re wrong. It’s not a comfortable pill to swallow, but it’s the high ride of moral authority.