Biden’s big day was met with big cheers from the media celebrating the “victory of democracy”.
In today’s article, Hail to the Thief, I asked a simple question.
Democrats and their media claim that this charade is a “victory for democracy”.
But where is this democracy? Where are the adoring crowds, the joyous mobs celebrating, and the people cheering the tremendous victory of the democracy of Google, Facebook, Amazon, AT&T, Comcast, and their D.C. lobbyists and associates over the Rust Belt and the flyovers?
Biden and the Democrats celebrated their democratic victory with barbed wire, troops patrolling empty streets, political terror, and the threat of even more political repression to come.
Democrats and lefties love talking about democracy. As many commenters on Hail to the Thief pointed out, Communist and Marxist dictatorships make a point of calling themselves, “democratic”.
But what does democracy actually mean to them?
The Washington Post’s fourth-biggest hack, after Rubin, Boot, and Attiah, is its media columnist, Margaret Sullivan. And the employee of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, has some thoughts crowdsourced through the usual oligarchy.
Our goal should go beyond merely putting truthful information in front of the public. We should also do our best to make sure it’s widely accepted — “to create a public square with a common set of facts,” as Tom Rosenstiel, an author and the executive director of the Virginia-based American Press Institute, put it.
How do we create this “common set of facts”? Dialogue? Nah, censorship, suppression, and political litmus tests.
Journalists long ago made a virtue of getting input from both sides of an issue. It’s generally a healthy practice, but it also became a crutch. And when one side consistently engages in bad-faith falsehoods, it’s downright destructive to give them equal time.
The NYU professor and press critic Jay Rosen put it memorably: “In the same way that you might begin an interview with a pro forma, ‘this is on the record,’ or ‘how do you spell your name?’ journalists (and talk show bookers) should set the ground rules with, ‘Very quickly before we start: who was the legitimate winner of the 2020 election?’ ” If the answer is “we need to investigate that” or “President Trump,” simply withdraw the opportunity.
Or, you know, did President Trump win the 2016 election because of Russian post-election ads on Facebook.
In the bad-faith political world we live in, these kinds of sound policies will be branded as liberal bias and a free-speech violation. Not so.
And anyone who tries will be silenced. And it would be bad faith to object to that.
But given that democracy depends on a society accepting a common set of facts, it is urgently necessary to do something. Something, that is, beyond what we’ve always done before.
Done before? Like lie and censor harder.
It doesn’t enter Margaret Sullivan’s tiny little brain that the media behaving this way is exactly what has destroyed trust in the media. It’s why the Edelman survey shows a majority of Americans believe that the media lies and that it does so for political reasons.
Sullivan’s response is that the media needs to build a tighter echo chamber and keep it clearer of any political dissent.
It hasn’t worked yet, but the beatings will continue until public trust in the media improves.
Democrats like Sullivan keep insisting that we need a “common set of facts” for “democracy” to work. There are a number of implicit assumptions in that. The most obvious one is that they can’t share a country or an electoral system with people they disagree with and that the job of the media is to eliminate those people.
In Obama: It’s Impossible to Have a Democracy if People Disagree With You, I noted the same attitude.
“If we do not have the capacity to distinguish what’s true from what’s false, then by definition the marketplace of ideas doesn’t work. And by definition our democracy doesn’t work,” he fumes.
But the whole point of a “marketplace of ideas” is that people decide that for themselves. If people don’t decide for themselves, there’s no marketplace of ideas and no democracy. And in a democracy and a marketplace of ideas, people will disagree about what’s true or what isn’t.
The Democrat argument that a government and a society can’t function if people are allowed to choose ‘falsely’ has been widely accepted by an illiberal liberal elite.
What Obama is actually saying is that the whole concept of a marketplace of ideas doesn’t work. A marketplace of ideas doesn’t work because some people will draw conclusions he disagrees with. And democracy, which he defines as Democrat rule, can’t function that way.
“I can have an argument with you about what to do about climate change. I can even accept somebody making an argument that, based on what I know about human nature, it’s too late to do anything serious about this,” Obama rambles on. “I don’t know what to say if you simply say, ‘This is a hoax that the liberals have cooked up, and the scientists are cooking the books.’”
“Where do I start trying to figure out where to do something?” he concludes.
It’s a remarkable admission for a law school graduate, a community organizer, a politician who got to the highest job in the land by promising to bring the country together, to confess that he has no idea how to talk to half the country and can’t imagine even figuring out how to do it.
This is where we are.
When the Democrats say “democracy”, what they really mean is their power and control. To them, democracy requires that we accept their ideas, their “common set of facts”, and when that doesn’t happen, they roll out totalitarian techniques for eliminating the political opposition. It’s not democracy they’re after, it’s tyranny.