Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Newspaper endorses presidential candidate. Internet goes berserk.


Every once in awhile, I like to read my hometown newspaper.  It helps me stay in touch with the community where I grew up, even though I couldn't wait to leave it when I was coming of age.  I grew up in a very conservative, Republican loving, military heavy, southern values area.  I have many Facebook friends who knew me in school and a lot of them are Trump supporters.  I have said it many times and I'll say it again.  I think people should vote their consciences.  I don't understand why people endorse Donald Trump, but I can respect their choice to do so.

I had stronger feelings against Mitt Romney than I do Donald Trump.  I think it's because, for one thing, Romney had a much more realistic chance of winning than Trump does.  For another thing, Romney probably believed in a lot of what he said.  I think Trump simply says what a disenfranchised community of people want to hear.  Romney is also very religious.  Trump is not.  On the other hand, Romney has actual political experience and Trump doesn't.  Moreover, the rest of the world seems to think Trump is a moron.  I kind of laugh at Trump, while Romney did kind of scare me for awhile.  I was very relieved when he didn't win the election in 2012.  

Yesterday I noticed that my hometown paper, Daily Press, ran an editorial that indicates their editorial board's support for Hillary Clinton as our next president.  I must admit giggling as I read the comments.  A lot of people don't seem to understand what an editorial is.  Many people were disgusted and promised to cancel their subscriptions.  A few people commented that they simply wanted the news with no slant, perhaps failing to realize that media outlets regularly slant things.  And more than a few people asked how in the world the editors can endorse Hillary Clinton-- a Democrat-- in an area so heavily populated with military veterans, many of whom are diehard Republicans.

I couldn't resist sharing the article with my Facebook friends.  I commented that I could not understand how anyone would get the idea that Donald Trump will do anything for the military.  He considers himself above the military.  He doesn't give a shit about military people, except as a means to promote his ridiculous xenophobic agenda.  Actually, when I think about it, I have to wonder why so many military folks are pro conservative anyway.  Conservatives are supposed to be for a smaller government with less interference in a person's personal decisions.  And yet, we see Republicans trying to curtail a woman's rights to make her own personal decisions about whether or not she wants to have an abortion.  Republicans try to tell homosexuals they can't get married.  Republicans support sending military servicemembers into war zones and then don't want to make medical care more accessible for them, especially once they get out of the service.  

Having both grown up the daughter of an Air Force officer and been the wife of an Army officer, I can attest that there's no other job where the government has as much say over a person's life than the military does.  Moreover, the military system is pretty socialist, too.  Government housing, government healthcare, government subsidies on groceries...  granted, most of the housing has been privatized and no one has to shop at the commissary.  Those who live overseas are most likely to be forced into government housing, which isn't always awesome.  Indeed, sometimes military servicemembers get royally screwed by the government.  But people in the military sign up for that treatment and accept it for as long as they're in the service.  In exchange for signing up for the military, servicemembers get a lot of perks and benefits from the government.  It surprises me that they don't recognize it. 

I had some fun reading the comments from people from my hometown as they condemned the Daily Press for rooting for Hillary.  It was angry comment after angry comment.  Lots of people opining that the editorial board was wrong or had been "bought off".  Lots of people threatening to cancel their subscriptions over the expression of an opinion in an editorial.  The funny thing is, most of these Republican folks champion "rights".  One of our most basic rights as Americans is the right to freedom of expression.

An editor writes something locally unpopular and people in my community immediately react by threatening to cancel subscriptions.  They have every right to do that, of course, but what are they actually doing when they cut off their financial support of the paper?  Are they not kind of guilty of trying to "buy off" the paper themselves?  Write something we agree with and we'll keep subscribing.  Write something controversial or against our values and we'll cut off our support.  It's pretty hilarious that so many people accusing the Daily Press of being "bought off" don't see that many of them are sort of doing the same thing when they threaten to withdraw financial support over an opinion they don't like.

Aside from that, I think some people from my community could use a refresher course in learning what an editorial is.  An editorial is, by definition, an opinion.  If you don't value free expression of opinions, aren't you kind of going against that whole "freedom or expression" thing Americans are always plugging?  Of course, when it comes to reporting the news, impartiality is very important.  But an editorial is not news.  It's an opinion.  All Americans are entitled to opinions and freedom of expression.  Get pissed if you read a news article that is biased (and you probably do that every day). But recognize an editorial for what it is.  You don't have to agree with it.  It's simply an opinion.

2 comments:

  1. I wonder if part of the issue is that the newspaper itself is losing its potency. People don't understand an editorial or the editorial page because even among those who still subscribe, It's still not their primary news source anymore. They don't realize there's a historical precedent practically since the onset of newspapers for newspaper editorial boards to take a stand on local , state, and national elections, as well as propositions. Or maybe they understand it until they don't agree with the recommendation of the editorial board. But I really don't know. It's sad to lose newspapers. They're going under financially all over the country.

    As much as I don't want Trump to have the secret code, Romney scared me more as well. His wife scared me, too. I think she really either believed in the White
    horse Prophecy nonsense or otherwise thought she had some sort of spiritual confirmation that Mitt would win, which was why she took the loss especially hard. Anyone would take the loss hard, as she and her family put everything you have into an election. She really seemed to think until it was beyond over that Mitt was still going to win, and wasn't believing polls. It's almost as if some head honcho Mormon gave Mitt and/or her some sort of anointing that specified they would win.

    It was interesting to me that she came up with her "Stop it!" line to critics almost right after Dieter Uchtdorf said it in a similar but differing context in general conference just before. And her use of the term "You people" was telling.

    Some things about the Romneys wee really bothersome to me. The whole incident with strapping the dog in a kennel on the roof of car was beyond bizarre. It was cruel that he would do it, weird that his wife wouldn't overrule him, and even weirder that he thought the American public would find any humor in it. He had no ability to read people. Why not strap the kennel to the roof but put the dog inside the van or SUV or whatever with the family?

    And their whole idea that they could relate to ordinary Americans' hard times because Mitt actually had to sell off stock to pay college expenses! Very few wives with babies get to keep going to school when their husbands are students, because SOMEONE had to work. They had stocks of course. So Ann would boast that she only paid a sitter when she had class. Almost any other woman lucky enough to still be in classes with a baby at BYU couldn't afford a sitter. She had to trade off babysitting and care for the children of others when she wasn't in class. Ann would know nothing of that.

    I may believe that Ann actually raised the children. (She may not have, but maybe she did.) I don't believe she scrubbed all the toilets and floors in those homes, though. There were records of scanty payments to house help. I suspect most of the payment was under the table, whether to undocumented workers, I don't know. What they actually claimed was to Mormon women.

    That whole incident of Mitt and others pinning the kid in school down so that Mitt could cut his hair really got to me. The idea that he supposedly didn't even remember it was worse. it was bad if he lied about not remembering it, but REALLY bad if he could do such a thing and truly not have any memory of it.

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    Replies
    1. The Romneys are another political family I can do without.

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