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There is no clearer symptom of the deterioration of democracy than a docile press. When the media, in one way or another, cease to be critical of power, the establishment and the elites themselves, it is time to worry, because it means that the powerful can, without major problems, dominate the narrative at will.
That is happening in the United States. And it is notorious. A conglomerate of media outlets, mostly of progressive ideals, carry a ridiculously servile agenda for the Democratic Party and excessively hostile against Republicans, especially the new right or, as some call it, the “populist” right.
There are counterweights, certainly. The New York Post, Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, being mostly conservative, can stand up to the hegemony of most of the mainstream media that dominate, almost at will, the narrative of events.
There are also alternative platforms, where the emerging media position themselves, such as this bilingual countercultural space for Latinos in the United States called El American. But they are still comparatively minor participants.
There is a gigantic problem with the press, a fundamental one, and that is that each one carries out its own agenda, shamelessly pretending objectivity and impartiality. That is why facts appear more and more distorted and news are transmitted and focused in diametrically opposite ways, depending on the owner of the media, its editorial line and its own interests.
This diversity of positions would be positive if each one, in his own space, dared to point the finger against the politician, the party or the public figure of his preference. But it is not done.
If Joe Biden or Kamala Harris lie, the main mainstream media fact-checkers disappear. They go into their caves as if they were forbidden to correct their mandarins. The opposite happened with Trump, who was even corrected on his opinions.
This mean-spirited and unethical behavior by the mainstream media caused trust in the media to plummet to an all-time low of 27%. In a previous article I wrote: “56% of Americans agree with the statement that ‘journalists and reporters purposely try to mislead people by saying things they know are untrue'”, I did not make this up, it comes from the annual Edelman Trust Barometer, shared by Axios.
The American press, at least in large part, is no longer the vanguard of democracy, freedom, institutionality or the republic. And this is serious because a press that is fearful, tamed and not very or not at all free, ends up being subservient to any powerful interest, no matter how obscure.
Democracy and the loss of its allies
Another symptom of the loss of democracy is related to the constant loss of freedoms. The other day the news became official that YouTube, owned by Google, removed the entire speech of former President Donald Trump at CPAC 2021 and, in addition, suspended for two weeks the Right Side Broadcasting Network channel for allegedly violating the rules of the platform. Bullshit.
What actually happened is the umpteenth act of censorship against Trump and conservative or right-wing platforms. It is increasingly notorious this persecution, dramatic, against dissenting voices, against the power of the day, Big Tech and mainstream media. If you go against the narrative you can be persecuted, if you don’t submit to the woke narrative you will be cancelled.
Case in point: “Google-owned YouTube has removed LifeSiteNews entirely, offering no warning or explanation, the pro-life group said on Wednesday,” The Federalist reported. “Before the website’s channel was removed from the Internet’s largest video-sharing platform, LifeSiteNews had garnered more than 314,000 subscribers.”
The other day I wrote an article related to the “racist math” that the Gates foundation is supporting. Yes, just as you read it. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sponsored a sort of academic plan or program to combat racism in math classes.
Such issue was reviewed in a story by the writer Bari Weiss called “Common Sense With Bari Weiss”, in that piece there is a valuable testimony of a mathematics professor who lived and survived the Romanian Communist regime.
Professor Sergiu Klainerman’s text is forceful because it explains that, although in the former Soviet regimes violence and physical persecution was fierce and nothing comparable to any situation in the USA, the woke ideology has another way of acting which does not make it any less totalitarian: the spirit and morale of the enemy is broken.
“Unlike the traditional totalitarianism practiced by former Communist countries, such as the Romania I grew up in, this version is soft. It does not impose its ideology by imprisoning dissidents or physically eliminating them, but through social shaming, mob punishment, guilt by association and coercion of speech,” Kainerman outlined, throwing, after the fact, a hook to the chin at Woke culture: “As far as education is concerned, I think Woke ideology is even more harmful than old-fashioned Communism.”
“You’re just being dramatic,” I’m sure some of you are thinking. Well, no, I’m not. This persecution, direct or indirect, is shattering the freedoms of the once freest country in the world.
Parler was almost sunk by the Big Tech monopoly, GAB was put under the cross by the financial system, Trump is banned by the major social networks; a State University of New York (SUNY) Geneseo education student was suspended for saying “a man is a man, a woman is a woman. A man is not a woman and a woman is not a man,” in a video on Instagram where he explained his social conservative stances based on science and biology.
A domestic terrorism bill aimed at persecuting conservatives is underway, or so explains Democrat Tulsi Gabbard.
So religious, economic and speech freedoms are being lost.
What about the institutions that sustain the republic? There they are, resisting. Holding on. They have not fallen yet, but people’s trust is less and less at every turn. Without going far, a large part of Americans, especially Trump supporters, do not believe in the electoral process. And that is not the sole and exclusive cause or consequence of the rhetoric used by the former president to try to change the results. No.
Democrats did not issue their denunciations to generate confidence as very few want to dig into the dangerous legal campaign carried out to change the rules of the electoral game and those that shout “fraud” are systematically silenced.
Trump made mistakes of all kinds in his last month, from that disgraceful call to Georgia to his speech before the attack on the Capitol, but to blame him for being directly guilty of the distrust in the system and institutions is a brazen overreach.
If today a large part of the country does not believe in the media, the electoral system and some institutions, it is because they earned it in the last few years. It was not Trump, on the contrary, the presence of the Republican in the White House was a breath of fresh air. Trump’s rise to power was, in addition to being necessary, a result of what has been happening in America and around the planet.
The fact that Trump was shot at left and right for four years, turning him into a global enemy, is not surprising, and is the greatest proof that the mainstream media has no scruples.
With liberties increasingly battered and the republic weakened, democracy is, little by little, becoming naked, losing itself in meaninglessness. because alone it is an empty shell. Democracy is a fragile system that needs a series of important complements to sustain it.
Today those elements that serve as foundations are corrupted and completely dissociated from reality. There may be a mirage of democracy, but with the demographic engineering that the Democrats want to implement, added to the persecution of dissidents; the only thing that can be expected from American democracy is a tyranny of the majority or, what is worse, a perfect authoritarianism of political correctness. It hasn’t come to that yet, there is time to reverse it. Or so I hope.
Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.