Mitt Romney just couldn’t help himself – he had to come out and trash Trump right before the midterms. Have you lost your mind Mitt? Trying to stoke the flames of your inevitable run again in 2020? But to do it now…
Trump won Utah handily and Mitt had softened his tone after he moved back to Utah to try and grab the open Senate seat. Yes, he will win and if the blog post he just published attacking Trump for some of his comments is any indicator it looks like we will have another Jeff Flake on our hands.
Look, if Flake really believed what he said about Trump why did he always come around and vote with Trump at the end? Every time, but made a big show of ripping POTUS before, as if he had another agenda. It’s because he is a hollow politician grandstanding for a run at the presidency and it appears Mitt will be more of the same. Mitt titled his piece, “The Free Press, a Pillar of Democracy”
America is indebted as a democratic nation to the free press for truths it has uncovered, for truth it has disseminated, and for falsehoods it has repudiated. The press uncovered the government’s lies about the war in Vietnam; it exposed Watergate; it opened our eyes to the sexual abuse of children by priests; and, most recently, it shed a light on the sexual assault by numerous men in power. The free press dispelled the false conspiracies about the 9/11 attacks, President Obama’s birth, and Joe McCarthy’s lurking communists. The work of a free press is essential.
A lesson evidenced by the Arab Spring and by the pseudo-democracies of Venezuela, Russia, and China is democracy and freedom cannot be permanently established in the absence of the basic institutions of freedom, perhaps most notably a free press. If a free press is absent, the door to true democracy is quickly closed. This realization now forms an important part of our national foreign policy.
The President tweeted this week, “There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People…” He was referring to “CNN and others in the Fake News business,” not foreign provocateurs.
Surely every president has endured stories that he knew were inaccurate and has chaffed at one or more news publications. George Washington was routinely brutalized by a newspaper that had been anonymously funded and founded by his own Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson. But no American president has ever before vilified the American press or one of its professional outlets as an “Enemy of the People.”
Attacking the media or publications that lean in a different direction than the Republican Party is decidedly good politics. We conservatives have long suffered from the left-leaning attitudes and reporting of the media. But today, if we don’t like one outlet, there are others from which we can—and do—choose. And, more importantly, denigrating the media diminishes an institution that is critical to democracy, both here and abroad. As a political tactic, it may be brilliant, but it comes with a large cost to the cause of freedom.