Broken all the way down: Our national discourse is thoroughly broken—broken all the way down.
It's been this way for a very long time. The destruction has largely been the work of the "mainstream press corps," with a giant assist from decades of silence from our own "liberal" world.
In what way is our discourse broken? Consider three examples from the past eighteen hours:
Dana Bash on Social Security: Unlike many other cable players, CNN's Dana Bash is thoroughly competent.
Despite this fact, here's something she said during last night's Republican debate, at which she served as a moderator. The topic was Social Security:
BASH (3/10/16): Mr. Trump, you don't want to raise the retirement age, and you also don't want to cut benefits even for wealthier Americans. But according to the Social Security Administration, unless adjustments are made, Social Security is projected to run out of money within 20 years. So specifically, what would you do to stop that from happening?Specifically because she's competent, we were struck by Bash's statement.
In fact, Social Security is never going "to run out of money." Under current arrangements, iisn't possible for Social Security "to run out of money."
For that reason, there is no projection according to which Social Security will "run out of money within 20 years."
Social Security can't "run out of money." Presumably, Bash must know that her formulation is sloppy, misleading, unedifying—in a word, wrong. She has to know her statement is wrong, and yet, from a very high platform, she went ahead and made it last night.
Quickly, an explanation:
Major elites have spent the past forty years scaring people about the impending "bankruptcy" of Social Security. Again and again, our "journalists" recite the bogus frameworks these elites have invented and pimped. It's been a basic part of our mainstream "journalism" for decades now.
People like Bash work from these preferred elite frameworks. In the process, the public is propagandized again and again and again.
Candidate Trump on the public schools: This morning, Candidate Trump held a news conference at which Ben Carson endorsed him. In the course of his own remarks, Trump said the United States is last in the world on international test scores.
Or something like that! For some reason, CNN has posted its transcript for the second half of the Trump event, but not for the first half of the event. For that reason, we can't currently find a transcript or tape including Trump's exact words.
The United States isn't anywhere close to last in the world on international test scores. That said, major elites have spent the past twenty years making similar allegations—allegations which routinely fly in the face of mountains of basic facts.
As with Social Security, so with the public schools! Our major news orgs have uniformly agreed to repeat the bogus claims of these influential elites. Our "journalists" would jump off the Golden Gate Bridge before they'd present accurate information about international or domestic test scores, in contradiction of these preferred elite narratives and these standard bogus claims.
In the process, the public is propagandized again and again and again. The liberal world has never so much as raised a finger to challenge this ludicrous conduct. We liberals may be the least competent people in the entire known world.
Candidate Trump quotes Kasich: At this morning's event, Trump discussing next Tuesday's Ohio primary. In the process, he put one of his favorite dissembling techniques on vivid display:
TRUMP (3/11/16): I think I'll beat John Kasich, yes. I mean John Kasich has been an absentee governor. He's been an absentee—he's been campaigning for the last— He lived in New Hampshire. In fact, Chris Christie said that absolutely John Kasich was there much more than him, which is true. And John Kasich then went, as you know, to other states, to different states. Very big in South Carolina. He was there. He didn't win. Didn't win in New Hampshire, right? Didn't win in Michigan.Earth to those who care, and the number seems to be very few:
He guaranteed Michigan. He said, "I will win Michigan." And I thought he said, you could correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought he said, "If I don't win Michigan, I drop out," because Michigan's his neighboring state. And I won Michigan in a landslide. And he's— He was living there.
So John has been, you know, not really there. And John's got some innate problems...
Candidate Kasich never guaranteed that he would win the Michigan primary. He never said that he would drop out of the White House campaign if he failed to do so.
Trump was simply making that up, a standard practice for him. He gave himself a built-in excuse by including this silly disclaimer:
"I thought he said—you could correct me if I'm wrong—but I thought he said..."Trump thought that Candidate Kasich said that! The nation's intrepid campaign reporters can correct him if he's wrong!
To state the obvious, no one is going to correct Trump, whether about this latest false statement or about a hundred others. His endless misstatements and apparent lying have long been fully accepted as a basic part of the game.
No one is going to correct Candidate Trump. Beyond that, no one is ever going to offer accurate reports about international and domestic test scores.
No one is going to challenge Republican candidates when they say that Social Security is on track to go "bankrupt," as Rubio did last night. Also, Dana Bash isn't going to stop saying that the program is on track "to run out of money."
Our discourse has run on a stunning array of bogus claims dating back many years. These bogus claims involve an array of major policy matters and an array of major political candidates.
The extent of this garbage-can conduct is simply astounding. Massively, hugely, with few exceptions, the liberal world has lazily sat on its ascot and let this gong show roll on.
The repeated behavior of Candidate Trump has made a total joke of the discourse. That said, the mainstream press corps got there first, enabled every step of the way by our own money-grubbing gang of career liberal poodles.
The system has run this way for decades. Trump has only made this remarkable gong show just a little bit worse.
They can correct him if he's wrong! On Olympus, the gods roared with laughter.