Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Peeking into the Basket of Deplorables

In this election cycle it's very hard to imagine any person or institution looking as bad as do our two major candidates, but in my opinion the left-wing media is giving them both a run for their money.

Our liberal media have been condemning Trump, whom they viscerally oppose, for saying things that Bill Clinton, whom they ardently supported, actually did. Their partisanship - acting as spokespersons for, and defenders of, the Clinton campaign - is causing further erosion of public trust in the fourth estate. They excoriate Trump for using vulgar language while giving Hillary, whose language is at least as bad as Trump's, a pass. They condemn Trump for making sexual references to women, but every one of his liberal critics supported and voted for Bill Clinton who sexually assaulted and even raped women. Indeed, I doubt that the media talking heads at MSNBC, CNN, and elsewhere are sincerely appalled at what Trump said, rather, I suspect they feign to be scandalized, as though they were 18th century Puritans, because it's someone who's a political threat to Hillary who said it.

But there's even more to the media's hypocrisy. The left, of which the liberal media is a crucial element, is largely responsible for having created the sleazy culture in which we all must wade, but having created a cultural cesspool, they then pillory Trump for being part of it. They heap moral opprobrium on the man even though they insisted during the scandalous Bill Clinton presidency that personal morality didn't matter, that all that mattered was public competency. The liberal media has for two generations championed a secular worldview (secular in the sense of thinking that God is not relevant to public affairs) which strips away any basis for making moral judgments and then proceeds to portray Trump as a moral monster, blithely oblivious to the absurd contradiction in which they ensnare themselves.

Readers of Viewpoint know that I'm no fan of Donald Trump, and if a theist declares Trump's behavior to be execrable I'll be quick to agree with him or her, but if someone who advocates the strict separation of church and state, a "naked public square" void of religious influence, castigates Trump's behavior I want to know why that critic thinks it's wrong for Trump to say what he said. I want to know what grounds the critic has for thinking that what Trump has said about women is actually morally offensive. Why is it wrong, given the assumptions of a secular worldview, to advocate sexual assault or even rape, or to actually do such things?

Is it wrong to do them because no one has the right to harm another person? Why think that? In a secular world might makes right. If we're all just the products of an amoral evolutionary process then rich, powerful men like Trump can do whatever they have the power to do. For the secular man, to paraphrase philosopher Richard Rorty, there's no answer to the question why not be a sexual predator.

The left-wing progressive media is piggybacking on an understanding of moral rightness predicated on Christian theism, all the while whispering behind the back of their hand that Christian theism is a fraud. That seems to me to qualify as unadulterated hypocrisy. This election has given us insight into a number of very unattractive people and institutions in this country. Trump, Clinton, and the liberal media are three of them. Perhaps all three belong in Hillary's basket of deplorables.