Dear Mr. VP,
I’ve had some false starts today. I keep starting a letter and then finding something else to write about. I think it’s a bad sign when there are literally so many tremendously bad things going on that I can’t settle on one.
I keep coming back to three things:
In order, that’s Dana Loesch saying this:
“They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again. And then they use their ex-president to endorse ‘the resistance.’ All to make them march. Make them protest. Make them scream ‘racism’ and ‘sexism’ and ‘xenophobia’ and ‘homophobia.’ To smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding – until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness. And when that happens, they’ll use it as an excuse for their outrage. The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth. I’m the National Rifle Association of America. And I’m freedom’s safest place.”
Then Brian Karem calling out Sarah Huckabee Sanders after she trashed the news media and insinuated they’re running with this Russia business when it is a “hoax”.
Then our president calling journalist Mika Brzezinski stupid and vain.
There are a lot of things I find troubling about these two videos and 45’s tweets, particularly the us-vs-them NRA video which is virtually one sentence away from calling for an all out violent culture war against the Left. (I admit to being mesmerized by Dana Loesch’s perfectly applied lipstick, though, as she dog whistles her way through a full minute of propaganda. And really fascinated by the fact that the NRA doesn’t mention guns, at all, in this ad. Nothing about guns from the National Rifle Association. Lots of talking points right out of a Patriot militia handbook, though.)
What do all these things have in common and why are they so disturbing to me?
For a group of people who claim to worship the Constitution, the far Right seems to have forgotten there’s more than one damn amendment. Thank you, eighth grade civics teacher Mr. Brewer, for making me memorize this:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Our Founders thought that freedom of the press was so important, so crucial, so necessary to a democracy, that they stuck it in the first amendment. The first one.
I’m not a big John McCain fan. I don’t think he’s some savior maverick. But even John McCain has come out to say that attacks on the media are “how dictators get started.”
Perhaps your boss ought to take a lesson from Thomas Jefferson.
“No government ought to be without censors, and where the press is free, no one ever will. If virtuous, it need not fear the fair operation of attack and defence. Nature has given to man no other means of sifting out the truth whether in religion, law or politics. I think it as honorable to the government neither to know nor notice its sycophants or censors, as it would be undignified and criminal to pamper the former and persecute the latter.” — Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1792.
In other words, if you’re doing nothing wrong, shake it off. Or, to paraphrase my mom paraphrasing Shakespeare, “Methinks thou dost protest too much.”
p.s. If you need to bleach your brain after watching Loesch and Sanders, do what I did.