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Reckless or ruthless?

Reckless or ruthless?

A television screen shows Donald Trump speaking during a press conference. (Justin Lane/EPA/Newscom)

After two conventions in late July, it’s clear that the United States has three major political parties (Republicans, Democrats, and Mediacrats) and three minor ones (Libertarians, Greens, and the Fox News Network).

Mediacrats include five networks—ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and NBC—that together pulled in 70 percent of those viewing the Republican convention and 89 percent of those viewing the Democratic effort one week later. Fox, with its Republican tilt, has clout, but five pro-Democrat competitors immensely outweigh it.

Those five will have the biggest impact on the presidential election, and during their convention coverage they scolded Republicans 63 times for trying to “work up a big hate for Hillary” (the words of NBC’s Tom Brokaw). When Democrats worked up a big hate for Trump, the journalists offered only five mildly negative comments.

The Media Research Center also noted that during the two conventions CNN aired 18 Democratic public relations videos but only three Republican ones, skipping videos on the Benghazi attack and other Clinton nightmares. MSNBC ran prime-time interviews with Democrats five times during the GOP convention, with Brian Williams explaining, “We like to bring in the other side, as in fairness we’ll be doing when it’s the Democrats’ turn.” Fairness, rest in peace: During the Democratic convention, no such interviews.

Brokaw told viewers what they should think about Trump: “someone they will only think of as a demagogue.” Clinton demagoguery brought no such reaction: Instead, CBS co-anchor Norah O’Donnell touted “her steadiness, her readiness, her experience, and her empathy.” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, as always, provided comic relief with his over-the-top assault on the GOP convention as a “witchlike ritual … bloodthirsty … bloodcurdling.”

Mediacrats are sending us two messages. First, to quote CBS’ Bob Schieffer: This campaign is “going to be about Donald Trump: Do you want him or don’t you?” Second, what’s often implied but not said on the major networks: If you want Trump, you’re stupid.

Both messages are wrong—and I say this not as a Trump fan. This campaign is equally about Clinton: Do we want her? Secondly, as one very smart person with a security clearance told me, if he had done what Clinton did with her emails, he would lose his job and face potentially 10 years in prison.

Some smart people will vote for Clinton, but many others will vote for Trump, unless headlines like these intimidate them: “We must shame dumb Trump fans” (Salon), “Donald Trump’s malicious stupidity” (The Week), and “Note to Donald Trump: You’re on Fire, Stupid” (New Republic). Googling “Donald Trump stupid” the day after the Democratic convention yielded 38.5 million results. (Of course, googling “Hillary Clinton stupid” brought up 28.7 million results, but should a secretary of state who used a private, poorly defended server be nearly 10 million behind?)

So, given the miserable choice the two macro-parties have given us, how do we defend ourselves against Mediacrat attempts to call this a race between a Clinton within the normal range of presidential ego and a Trump who’s outside it?

First, don’t believe the media lords: Clinton’s astounding falsifying makes her every bit as much an outlier as Donald Trump. Trump often proceeds woefully on misinformation. Clinton makes fewer obvious factual errors but, as Mary McCarthy once said of fellow author Lillian Hellman, “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’”

Second, recognize that Trump is generally reckless and Clinton generally ruthless. (Sometimes it’s vice versa.) Trump is a proud adulterer. Clinton is a proud pro-abortionist. Since character counts, both will almost certainly be presidential failures. Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan both spoke of how much good can occur when a leader doesn’t care who gets the credit. We’ve seen for eight years how much bad can happen when a leader drives in traffic with high beams and runs over anyone blinded by the lights. We’re facing four more years of that.

Third, remember that we are voting not for one person but for tens of thousands of executive and judicial branch appointees. We at WORLD will try to give you more information about the candidates’ entourages and what their ascendancy is likely to mean. Let’s not rush the process. We have three more months (and three presidential debates) in which to see how these two candidates operate under extreme pressure. We should consider third party candidates as well. This is not a year for early voting.

Finally, as the election comes closer, partisans on both sides will become more critical of those not on their bandwagon. In the Civil War the Confederate motto was Deo Vindice, “God will vindicate us.” Meanwhile, Unionists claimed God was on their side as they sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” But as Abraham Lincoln said in his second inaugural address, “It is quite possible that God’s purpose is somewhat different from the purpose of either party.” Don’t let others intimidate you. Happily, God’s still in charge.


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  • securehope
    Posted: Fri, 08/05/2016 09:49 am

    I.think Daniel 4:17 is a relevant thing to keep in mind this election season. "This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men."

  • MF
    Posted: Fri, 08/05/2016 11:36 am

    Thank you for the reminders in the last paragraph.

  • Allen Johnson
    Posted: Fri, 08/05/2016 01:37 pm

    As for the current election cycle hubris, one might need to understand and accept God’s calling upon himself or herself within the spectrum ranging from the ideal to the pragmatic. The Old Testament is replete with examples of the tension between the prophets, priests, and kings, and stabilizing the society and upsetting it. We play out our roles. Jesus never said His Kingdom would come through political means, but inferred (well, said straight forth) that the kingdoms of this world are the domain of the devil (see Luke 4:6). But yes, we can come “out of the wilderness” to work for the good of our neighbors and general society, as the early Church so marvelously did even though it had no direct political influence. However, let’s be realistic that the Christian Church in North America and Europe is losing its Constantinian-type influence, and rather than pout or tantrum or worse, grovel and compromise to worldly political factions, let’s follow Jesus within the calling the Holy Spirit has anointed each of us. Let us appreciate or at least accept the  tension between idealism and pragmatism—recognizing that in that tension we will wrestle and fight among ourselves—yet finally remembering that we each gather at The Lord’s Table as sinners welcomed into divine forgiveness and healing and reconciliation, and that "The kingdom of the world [will} become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and He will reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 11:15). So let’s be people of HOPE!

  • Hawkdriver
    Posted: Tue, 08/09/2016 12:25 am

    Very well said Sir.

  • Bill Taylor
    Posted: Fri, 08/05/2016 02:23 pm

    "Krugman Asks the right Question" points out that if the Democrats impliment Hillary's stated "open borders" policies, no conservative will ever win the White House again.

  • MC
    Posted: Mon, 08/08/2016 07:51 am

    It would seem prudent to listen to the opinions of evangelical leaders who are much more informed than the average person (ie: Dr. James Dobson). And I totally understand where the "Trump is a proud adulterer" statement is coming from. But, it's worth noting that there once was a guy named David who commited adultery (and even got the husband killed). Do we know that Donald is still proud of his behavior? Realistically, there are only two people who can win in November. As for me, I would rather go with the individual who chose to run with a Mike Pence as VP versus a Tim Kaine. 

  •  austinbeartux's picture
    Posted: Mon, 08/08/2016 02:18 pm

    Anonymous--you made good points, but you shouldn't compare David with Trump.  David was "a man after God's own heart" and sought God's forgiveness.  Trump said he's never asked God forgiveness for anything.  A WORLD of difference.

  •  Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Mon, 08/08/2016 02:34 pm

    David committed adultery and murdered the husband--and Israel suffered severely because of it.  Why does every comparison of Trump to David omit this fact?

  •  austinbeartux's picture
    Posted: Mon, 08/08/2016 02:20 pm

    As usual, great article.  Olasky 2020!  : )

  •  JOHN B STONE DMIN's picture
    Posted: Mon, 08/08/2016 03:08 pm

    I am sorry-but aren't you giving a message of despair here?  I can think of 2 major Presidents that until PC set in forever, it seems, that would be far more shocking in what they did as well as said, and they are considered good guys: Andy Jackson and Teddy Roosevelt. Staying at home, not voting and watching Hillary go into the White House --not the Big House-- is especially unappetizing. With govt agencies like the IRS weaponized, how long do you think WORLD will last? How many Evangelical churches will lose their non-profit status?  And don't forget the genocide of Planned Parenthood which Hillary supports as PP funds her.  I won't vote for Trump holding my nose, either. I think of the police chiefs and the military vets who see how our nation is convulsing into anarchy. POTUS Bullying the Gov. of North Carolina over the commonsense use of public bathrooms --- yet another sign of the end of freedom in our country. Come on---what do you expect your reader to do?  

  • SG
    Posted: Sat, 08/13/2016 03:12 pm

    Stanley...Look at the 'first' "LADY" ON THE LIBERAL SIDE!  Do we want that either?

  •  Snowgardens's picture
    Posted: Wed, 08/17/2016 10:18 am

    thank you for your excellent summary 


  • Jim
    Posted: Thu, 08/18/2016 12:32 pm


    Thanks so much for your article. I have been extremely bothered by the rhetoric and character issues of both candidates. Your characterization of them in your second point: "Second, recognize that Trump is generally reckless and Clinton generally ruthless. (Sometimes it’s vice versa.) Trump is a proud adulterer. Clinton is a proud pro-abortionist. Since character counts, both will almost certainly be presidential failures. Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan both spoke of how much good can occur when a leader doesn’t care who gets the credit." What dismal prospects! Thanks for the reminder that "God is still in charge!"


  •  David Troup's picture
    David Troup
    Posted: Tue, 09/20/2016 11:01 am

    "We have met the enemy and he is us." -- Pogo
    I believe, sadly, the two candidates represent who we are as a nation.  Rush Limbaugh calls politics, "smash mouth football".  That happens when you jettison moral norms.  If have no common ground to appeal to, then we are left with force.  In this case.  If there is no right or wrong, then you end up with pure power play.  No one expemplies this more that Clinton and Trump.