Once upon a time ago in a townhall Q&A, Barack Obama was asked about his stance on gay marriage, his response being: “with respect to gay marriage, I do not support gay marriage.” This wasn’t said in 1988, or even 1998 but some 13 years ago in 2008 during his first presidential run. How easy one forgets that Obama, who has risen to patron saint like status by our media denizens, held a position not too long ago that would now get most conservative politicians in hot water in 2021.
Since I was a student, I’ve been in support of gay marriage and since I wasn’t running for office I didn’t have to worry about the vote of independent conservatives, in other words I could stand by my opinions, as I do today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to this positive step we’ve seen in our country as it relates to this topic, rather I wish to highlight that Obama was a politician in 2008 and to this day is a politician albeit much much wealthier. Because politics has become the WWF, should the political winds change, don’t be shocked if Obama one day becomes the heel (see Eric Weinstein’s piece on kayfabe to understand this reference).
In 2021 Obama was asked about how his daughters will approach “cancel culture” in their university, commenting that “…they have a pretty good sense of ‘Look, we don’t expect everybody to be perfect. We don’t expect everybody to be politically correct all the time, but we are going to call out institutions or individuals if they are being cruel.’ ” Quite a pampered take on an issue (I don’t like the phrase ‘cancel cutlure’) that has already cost innocent people their livelihoods. As mentioned, but worth repeating anyone who simply voices Obama’s 2008 town hall response verbatim in 2021 would in fact face a litany of attacks, accusations and perhaps even a “cancellation” for the crime of holding such a “bigoted” viewpoint.
I dig up the past to show how the collective memory of American society, driven primarily by the media, higher education, and tech firms conveniently glosses over parts of even contemporary history that don’t fit nicely into “Marvelization” of politics with your bad team on one side and the good guys on the other. Not only has the turn our society taken become intellectually dishonest but highly unhealthy for society that would be villains are heroes and vice versa as you’ll see in my examples.
‘Vote For Cuomo, Not The Homo’
Andrew Cuomo, the hero of the Covid pandemic, who through his amazing foresight and leadership could do no wrong when it came to Covid 19 (as you can also read in his book) has a history that I doubt that many highly paid journalists at CNN would ever report on. After all, how could you report negatively on the governor when his own brother is a newscaster!
This same man who would stop Covid in its tracks was campaign director of his father’s mayoral run back in the 80s. His opponent was Ed Koch, a life time bachelor, who like J Edgar Hoover simply couldn’t come out as gay because just like Barack Obama circa 2008, we didn’t have the same social acceptance we do now as it relates to homosexuality. It has recently surfaced that posters were conveniently placed in the Italian-American sections of parts of New York reading: Vote for Cuomo, not the Homo. Credit to the Fifth Column podcast for raising this topic (can’t remember which episode it was).
While I’m no fan of Trump, it’s worth setting the record straight as to which New Yorker is the more homophobic of the two: In a 2000 interview with Advocate magazine, Trump offered the following response on the topic of gay marriage “I think the institution of marriage should be between a man and a woman. I do favor a very strong domestic-partnership law that guarantees gay people the same legal protections and rights as married people. I think it’s important for gay couples who are committed to each other to not be hassled when it comes to inheritance, insurance benefits, and other simple everyday rights”
The Case of Donald Trump
Before jumping into this section, the problem I have had with our media apparatus since 2016 and contemporary society is the amount of noise, emotion and intellectually devoid statements made about Donald Trump. If you can’t talk about someone only in a negative light because they are a jerk, then you have a problem.
I also shouldn’t have to excuse myself for writing about this subject but I will anyways in order avoid the various landmines associated with Donald Trump or the buckets I can be placed into (bigot, racist, Republican, conversative).
What’s my crime? Well there are 2 problems. First, I’m digging into history and repeating facts which don’t matter anymore! Secondly, you aren’t allowed to write anything good about Trump. As a compromise to the situation I find myself in, I’ll borrow some text from Cops.
WARNING WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ IS FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
Donald Trump is one of the most interesting cases of forgotten short term history and subsequent political spin. We’ve all seen the famous picture of him with the Clinton family by now, as well as his now infamous WWE appearance. I won’t rehash such points as they are more or less well known in most circles. Rather, it’s worth remembering that until he picked up the Republican mantle, Donald Trump was very much a part of elite circles, he had his enemies for sure but he was by no means persona non grata.
If you study his pre 2015 character, he’s been rather consistent in his political viewpoints over the years. In an attempt to try to figure him out, I’ve watched some of his interviews during the ’80s and ’90s where many of the positions he argued for then even made their way to the campaign trail (criticism of China, advocating tariffs, patriotism) along with his penchant for picking fights and airing such grievances on live television.
There was plenty of negative to say about Donald Trump back then, he always had his share of enemies going back to the 80’s. That’s actually the point here. He’s never been one to avoid conflict nor is he a saint, I think most of those who knew of him, also knew this was his character. The image he’s been made into post 2016 is something else altogether. Let’s say that pre-2016 Trump was a wealthy Archie Bunker, not well liked by many, filled with controversial opinions but not overtly violent or genocidal. That essentially was his character.
Due to this wealth and financial status though, he wasn’t purely looked down upon. Not all viewed him in a positive light, but many in fact viewed Trump as inspirational. Yes, inspirational. If you can bear to read another paragraph about the evil orange man, you’ll see what I mean.
Rewriting History: Donald Trump and African Americans
I recently stumbled upon an old episode of the Fresh Prince, produced in 1994, where Donald visits the Banks family in order to buy their home. In a twist of irony, the main female character, none other than Hillary Banks, is absolutely infatuated with him but it’s not just her, the entire family Banks family is in awe of Donald Trump. “It’s the Donald, oh my god” says Carlton, nearly falling over. A young Wil Smith even offers to mow the lawn for an extra $50,000 on the sale price.
It’s worth remembering that since his first campaign run Donald Trump was characterized as a bigot, racist, homophobe (see above), etc. I would just like someone to explain to me then why in the early 1990s when racial issues were comparatively worse than they are today, a nearly complete African American cast was honored to have him on the show.
Donald Trump also happens to be a hip hop cultural icon, having been referenced in over 60 rap songs over the years, almost always in a positive light:
“Yo guess who’se the black Trump” – Raekwon
“I smoke and make dough like Trump” – Westside Connection
“I’m just trying to get rich like Trump” – Ice T
In 1998, an artist called E-40 even made a song after him called Trump Change.
In an eerie foreshadowing of what was to come 10 years later, Donald Trump even did a mock campaign for Eminem of all people, endorsing him for president. In his own words: “Slim Shady is a winner!”
Of course, Eminem along with the Hollywood, media and institutional establishment completely turned their back on Donald Trump once he threw away his “D” and picked up an “R”.
Once again, don’t confuse the dedication of this section to Trump as some sort of praise for him. I think his presidency was a disaster, I didn’t vote for him in 2016 and despite my distaste for Joe Biden couldn’t vote for him in 2020 either.
The purpose of bringing up the case of Donald Trump is to show the power that the media apparatus (social media, TV, newspapers) and institutions like universities have in shaping our opinions, something that I find very dangerous.
I would hope in this piece that one could see the point I’m getting at. If the powers that be as outlined above could be so off the mark about Donald Trump, then what else could they get wrong? I’ve shown that Trump was more progressive than Obama or Clinton on the subject of gay marriage. I didn’t bring it up here because Trump did make it a campaign topic but he was against the Iraq war in the early 2000s, a more progressive position than Biden or Clinton. Then there is the case of Cuomo, who will be heaped praise for his handling of Covid only because of the 2 New Yorkers, he is not Donald Trump.
Sadly the time has passed so most people will always assume Trump was colluding with Putin and that’s how he won the election, not even considering the unpopularity of his opponent.
Furthermore, one can walk the streets of New York wearing a Mao, Stalin or Che Guerva shirt with no negative reaction whatsoever, this is despite the fact these men were all mass murders. Substitute the same garb with a red Maga hat and you are now the modern day equivalent of John Mclain standing with his sign in Die Hard III. Frankly, I find it scary that, for better or worse, the truth and free thought seem to be distorted for political gain.
The current president of the United States has a laundry list of skeletons in his closet that have all been swept under the proverbial rug so that democracy will not die in darkness.
The same president who is being asked now to cancel student loans, backed the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act which made it far more difficult for students to declare bankruptcy on their loans, a law I disagree with. Strange that America’s “Trusted News Source” failed to bring that one up during his election bid.
On the subject of corporate news, let’s not forget that Joe Biden also had a sexual accuser in the run up to the 2020 nomination. Remember that it wasn’t so long ago that efforts were made to block Brett Kavaungh with basically no evidence while in the case of Biden there was that esoteric call with Larry King in 1993. Unfortunately for this accuser, because Biden has a (D) next to his name then #beleiveallwomen simply doesn’t apply.
This is a bit older news, and for the record I’m more forgiving of events dating back 25 years ago or longer because people do change, yet it’s worth a reminder that Biden’s first presidential run in 1988 was a failure amidst plagiarism accusations. Kudos to Washington Post for actually being the source on this one. And yes I do like to give credit when it is due.
Plagiarism aside, the other skeleton lurking in Biden’s closet is the evidence that surfaced on his son’s laptop. Recall that the grounds for impeachment of Donald Trump were his investigations into Hunter Biden’s dealings in Ukraine. Evidence then surfaces in the run up to the 2020 election that there was some truth to these claims.
How does our corporate media class react? Obviously in a fashion that is becoming of a tyrant: they forbid the news from seeing the light of day. Now that Biden is in office, are there any calls for impeachment? Simply read about some of the evidence on that laptop, none of which is under dispute and tell me those aren’t grounds for impeachment?
There were plenty of national security compromising details on the laptop but Biden will be saved from impeachment or other ways to discredit his presidency because a much larger power apparatus encompassing our media and tech platforms surrounds it. So in other words, our corporate media class can simply tell us to “forget” such news.
Joe Biden’s Gaffes Have Become Parabolic
There are literally hundreds of gaffes throughout Biden’s political career, some more egregious than others. Personally, I think gaffes are weaksauce when it comes to political discussion, similar to crediting or discrediting a sitting president with the performance of the economy. I would imagine that if we were recorded every time we said a public statement there would be a similar number of errors.
With that said, now that Biden is president, the media simply overlooks the obvious: Joe Biden is no longer making harmless flubs, he is in a state of mental decline. Simply listen to him speak a few years ago and it’s evident that Biden is not same individual he was when he served as Obama’s Vice President. Once again, corporate media simply chooses to “forget” his non-nonsensical ramblings, overt gaffes, and sometimes comical statements.
I bring this up only to illustrate the double standard set by the media apparatus in 2021. On the one hand we are told that America is rooted in bigotry and oppression with white men being the culprit yet in the run up to 2020, the media encouraged black voters to cast their ballot for the very description of the supposed oppressor: an old, wealthy, elitist who in 2012 told an entire room of black voters that Mitt Romney would put “ya’ll back in chains.”
Of course none of that mattered in 2020 because the media apparatus only cares about pretending to care about racism, or so called equity or basically anything their well paid activist, non journalist class of elites read from their teleprompters but don’t actually believe themselves.
“Who Controls the Past Now, Controls the Future”
This line, which I’m guessing is originally from 1984, I always associate with a Rage Against the Machine song. I am actually growing of tired of so many Orwell comparisons in contemporary society, not because I don’t think they are accurate, it just gets old. There is plenty of truth in this quote which is why I guess we often fall back on Orwell. It also explains one of my motivating factors for this blog which is to ensure that truth remains preserved.
I’m sure my discussion of Donald Trump alone will get me dismissed by many, which is exactly the point. If you want to understand why someone would bother voting for Trump, remember that not just a single news station or solitary newspaper but an entire media apparatus is trying to convince the public of what is in many cases the overstretching of a statement to its extremes.
Without going into too much detail, consider that now a year into the Biden presidency, the Trump/Russia collusion situation is slowly unraveling. Only a handful of renegade journalists who leaned left bothered to question the evidence; the rest of the media ran with it, and now it is too late because of our corporate media class’s short term memory.
The initial distaste for Trump when he ran is understandable. Being a jerk, mean spirited or a bully can, but doesn’t necessarily equate to racism, bigotry, or homophobia. The media will take some hits of credibility by omitting the truth or stretching it but when it becomes a play on morals, such as Hillary’s famous “deplorable” quote then you galvanize a certain subset of the country
Sadly, this constant battle to score points combined with emotionally driven social media campaigns means that credibility and trust have been lost along the way. This is my explanation for why even something like the pandemic became politicized when it should have been an issue to unite the country.
Then again it makes sense why the pandemic was politicized in our climate. When the same media implies a moral tinge voting preferences, spends millions of dollars reporting as to why the candidate you voted for is a Russian asset and then subsequently a Ukrainian asset but also demands you believe everything they have to say when it comes to science, can one be at all surprised that some aren’t going to go along?
It’s also why I don’t pay attention to mainstream news outlets, journalists and stay far away from propaganda spreaders like Facebook. If we had good journalists on television, who weren’t highly paid activists, they would on occasion highlight what I’ve mentioned. They would also report the positive things that Trump has done. After all, no human or person is 100% bad or evil. But that’s not how the game works.
Our Institutions Suck, Let’s Build New Ones
Overall I take a page out of the book of Steven Pinker and am optimistic about the future. Our institutions are failing us so let’s create new ones. I no longer pay attention to CNN or Fox News, they are both propaganda outlets and are better to be ignored for the most part.
Besides LinkedIn I stay away from social media. Twitter favors one side of the aisle with its blue check marks becoming some sort of modern day ecclesiastical religious class. I don’t trust what Facebook does with my data and think the platform is the modern day cigarette and simply doesn’t deserve my attention. Finally, our educational institutions are corrupt beyond repair so let’s just ditch them.
What I do instead is support independent minded podcast and journalists. They are the future anyway as legacy media is breathing its final breaths.