I’ve been supportive of the new commitment to “truth” by The New York Times even after it helped Hillary Clinton lose the presidential election because of its breathless and untruthful reporting of her personal web server, but now that it let columnist Ross Douthat blame liberals for the rise of the pathological liar President Donald Trump I’m not so sure.
— NYT Opinion (@nytopinion) February 5, 2017
Columnists, such as Paul Krugman and Charles Blow, are writing outstanding and truthful commentary in The Times. The newspaper is calling out Trump’s lies in headlines. But why even run Krugman’s and Blow’s columns if it’s all going to be undercut with the inane, borderline fascist drivel of Douthat? Why not be consistent in the resistance to Trump? Douthat is obviously part of the conservative deployment to normalize Trump, and these are not normal times.
It’s the same old and now unethical journalist equivocation of “here is this argument and here is this other argument” but one side—the Trump side—is neofascism or just plain fascism or a growing authoritarian government, which Douthat blames liberals for because, well, we don’t have the right narrative or story. It’s our fault. That’s a complete lie, and Douthat knows it, or maybe he thinks he’s a great writer and thinker and everyone in huge numbers reads what he writes and he’s so wonderful, brilliant. He’s so great, huge, the very best.
So here’s one narrative, Ross: The mainstream media, like The New York Times, didn’t report the truth for years and years about the rise of fascism in this country because they couldn’t comprehend it, and it was also complicit with it through its corporate model. The Corporation seeks profits. That’s why it exists. Exaggerated headlines and stories about Hillary Clinton’s personal server make money just like Douthat’s blatant lies about the lack of a liberal story that would have supposedly save the day for democracy.
Here’s the column, which, I do concede, is written in language at a decent enough intellectual level that I’m sure Trump couldn’t even get through it. That’s not sarcasm.
My main argument against the post is that Douthat omits all the ominous warnings about what’s happening under the Trump presidency just so far in the last two weeks, ranging from all the president’s and his surrogates’ pathological, compulsive lying to decisions that will destroy the economic foundation of the middle class to signs that new wars, perhaps a major world war, are on the horizon.
I’m sure Douthat himself and his editors consider him a brilliant intellectual, but I view him as immoral and a Trump enabler. If The Times is going to publish this pseudo-intellectual crap in its newspaper as the country descends into chaos, well, then that’s what we’re going to get. A pathological liar is leading our country right now. Ross Douthat knows this, and he has the power of The New York Times behind him, but he won’t say it openly. Maybe he’s a pathological liar, too. Maybe he has some connection to the Trump regime . . . and Russia. Alternative facts, alternative reality, right? Just say it, and it’s true. Right, Ross?
Imagine. It’s Feb. 4, 2017, and you get to publish one of your running columns in the august The New York Times and Donald Trump is president and you’re criticizing good, decent people trying to make the world a better place by opposing him because we don’t have the exact, particular right story to sell to the people who got the pathological liar elected and now don’t seem to care that their emperor lies.
So, by all means, read the column for yourself. Then come back here and read what I have to say about three segments of Douthat’s piece.
If close to half of America voted for Republicans in the Obama years and support Trump today, then clearly something besides the pieties of cosmopolitan liberalism is very much a part of who we are.
The first thing that stands out here is the phrase “cosmopolitan liberalism” as in liberals are elite or whatever, the same right-wing trope, which is a lie. It’s the Republicans who support the wealthy and the elite, not true activist liberals, who vote and work for equality for ALL people. Maybe it’s more about people without education who can be easily swayed by visceral arguments and manipulated by rich people. My second point is that Republicans have systemically worked to suppressed the votes of minorities and the other marginalized people for decades now. “Half of America” doesn’t include people who are qualified to vote but can’t because the system is such a hassle or they’re disinterested because the mainstream media publishes columnists like the immoral Douthat or any other Fox News-like trolls.
Our founders built their a new order atop specifically European intellectual traditions. Our immigrants joined a settler culture, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant, that demanded assimilation to its norms. Our crisis of the house divided was a Christian civil war.
This is white supremacy disguised in intellectual blather. “New order.” This is where Douthat proves himself to be a right-wing freak, possibly a white supremacist. Our country was not founded on the phrase “European intellectual traditions.” It was founded on racism and hate. It was founded on killing native people and stealing their land. It was founded on the institution of slavery. It was founded on the backs of people who suffered and died miserable deaths in anonymity. Ross, all the people who were tortured and killed for supposed European traditions, do you care? Does that not mean anything to you? A “Christian civil war?” Nonsense. You don’t have to be a Christian to know slavery was evil.
Hey, Ross, how many American Indians and slaves had to die to help build a country in which you can now wax philosophical in a major publication about your support for an American president who is a pathological liar and is in the process of creating some form of a fascist state to renew the same hate that led to so many horrific killings?
But so far we haven’t found a way to correct the story while honoring its full sweep — including all the white-male-Protestant-European protagonists to whom, for all their sins, we owe so much of our inheritance.
”We owe so much.” Douthat is essentially saying we need to honor the whites even though they were racist pigs. So he’s saying we should correct the story to “honor” how “white-male-Protestant-European protagonists” whipped slaves and hanged them for trying to escape their miserable lives. How do you “correct” that story? Douthat words might seem intellectual, but he’s essentially endorsing the killing indigenous people and slaves from Africa, and that isn’t an intellectual position.
I get that Douthat is trying to find some way to be one of the two or so conservative columnists for The Times these days so he’s being told or thinks he’s being told to endorse racism and fascism at some level to earn his pay, but his writing reflects he doesn’t have a soul or an ounce of empathy. He’s just as much as a liar as Trump surrogate and fascist, white supremacist Steve Bannon.
The fact The Times is publishing an apologizer for the pathological liar Donald Trump as it promotes its new commitment to the truth to draw new subscriptions to make money to help pay the salary of the apologizer/fascist/white supremacist Douthat is definitely not a good sign. It means it’s business as usual. Maybe it was simply a short-term ruse by a company to milk some liberals out of money.
Douthat should go to work for Trump or Fox News where he belongs. He can distort and equivocate to support the “the white-male-Protestant-European protagonists” in those venues.