In the months following Trump’s inauguration, Congress had a singular focus: to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. The goal was twofold; first, by repealing the ACA, GOP lawmakers would finally fulfill seven years’ worth of campaign promises to their constituents. And second, the elimination of Obamacare would free up a lot more money that could be used to offset that golden goose of the Republican Party: tax cuts.
“I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”
-James Baldwin, “Autobiographical Notes”
A large swath of the population has begun to define patriotism as unquestioning loyalty. Criticism of our society or our leadership, they claim, is an expression of hatred for our country and therefore must not be tolerated. Acknowledging that this country is not perfect, they assert, is not a simple exercise of free speech. It is tantamount to treason.
By and large, media outlets tend to lean in one direction or the other on the political spectrum. It’s a shrewd business move, really — the average consumer doesn’t just want a dull recitation of the facts. They like to be told what those facts represent; they want the information placed in context for them, and outlets are more than happy to oblige.
Consumers can always check the news wires (Reuters, AP and the like) for the latest information and use that information to inform their stance on a given issue. If we all did that, however, there would be no need for FOX News, no need for MSNBC; those outlets exist not to give us the news, but to tell us how we should feel about the news.
This is not ideal.