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Monday, Jan. 15, 2018: Trump’s attacks on the media, Trump manipulates the truth, collectivism is a failure

Trump’s attacks on the media

One major result of the Trump presidency has been his ability to delegitimize the media. Trump has consistently bashed mainstream media news sources with which he disagrees and has insultingly and erroneously dubbed these media sources as “fake news,” leading Americans to believe these media sources are “fake” and disregard or dismiss these sources of news. The president has taken to Twitter to advertise his “fake news awards,” in which he plans to target “the most corrupt and biased of the mainstream media.”

Legitimate “fake news” — news that is a hoax or is intended to intentionally deceive people by making false claims — has undoubtedly plagued society as of late with toxic results. We see this all of the time in the inaccurate news headlines of celebrity deaths oftentimes from shady, unverifiable sources. We also see this in the tabloid media sources, which make unreasonably far-fetched claims about public figures while facing little to no consequences.

These sources of media deserve the title of “fake news,” yet Trump’s notion of “fake news” entails any news media source with which he disagrees. While I think mainstream media sources slant liberal on the political spectrum, it is both inaccurate, as well as damaging, to dub these media sources as “fake news.”

Trump bashing and dismissing these legitimate sources of news as fake news only hinders the ability of the mainstream media to function successfully and for journalists to correctly cover an issue and broadcast simply the news for the masses.

Joe Sczurko
Windham

Trump manipulates the truth

My family loves talking all things political, and what usually begins as a calm discussion quickly turns into an intense, contentious debate. In an attempt to avoid another fight over politics, I kept things light and decided to read some of President Donald Trump’s tweets aloud to my mother. I started with my favorite as of late: “…Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart … I went from very successful businessman, to top T.V. Star, to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius … and a very stable genius at that!”

My mother laughed at the fact that the ruler of the free world just called himself a genius. She defended his tweet, saying that he had accomplished all the things he mentioned. Her unwavering support of Trump made me question how many other people are more focused on the accuracies of his tweets rather than the inaccuracies.

My issue is that Trump’s tweets are often consumed by the public as the final say. It seems that many people aren’t questioning whether the things our president tells us are true. Trump has manipulated this idea of engaging with the public and informing the people. He has manipulated a whole system in order to deceive the people who are only partly paying attention.

Nina Mahaleris
Old Town

Collectivism is a failure

In the early 20th century, collectivism was all the rage. Russia, Germany, Italy, Spain and many South American countries, including Mexico, staked their future on it. The collective menu included socialism, which is governmental ownership and control of production and distribution of goods, and communism in which goods are owned in common and are available to all eliminating private property.

The United States stood almost alone bound by its then-150-year-old Constitution protecting individual rights and freedom. The following decades witnessed the spectacular and deadly failure of the collective, including Germany, Italy, Russia and China, as the United States steadily maintained its adherence to the principles of freedom.

Today, even as the failure of Venezuela and other socialist nations drives mass migration into the U.S., there are those who still want to take us down the collective path. Free government services, direct payments to individuals and government mandates are not free — they must be paid for by private businesses and working individuals. Class envy, class warfare, villainization of businesses and free markets, and suppression of Christian beliefs all work against freedom and personal responsibility.

Margaret Thatcher, a great woman, summed up the problem: “The problem with socialism is — eventually you run out of other people’s money to spend.” Sadly, we are borrowing money and giving our children and grandchildren the debt to repay. I doubt our generation will be remembered as great — at this point naive is the best we can hope for.

Joe Grant
Wiscasset

 


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