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Blatchford: Playing the ‘what-if game’ with politics, the media

My inclination, this time, was to get away from the topic of politics. Truth be known, I’m totally sick of it.

In spite of that fact, I’ve been indulging in a bit of fantasy by playing the what-if game about politics. The what-if game has been bouncing around in what’s left of my brain ever since Donald J. Trump came under the unrelenting attack.

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So, what if…

What if doubters admitted that Trump was legitimately elected? Surely, try as they might, they’ve not proven otherwise. What if it could be proven that the never-Trumpers (and those who side with them) oppose him simply because he’s different — an outlier?

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What if Trump had been “a member of the club?” What if he always acted like just other politicians? Does anyone think he would have been elected?

Better yet, what if all who are opposed to Trump acknowledged that, given the state of politics in recent years, change was necessary — it was time for a different approach? Given that as a fact, what if they then acknowledged that Trump was the only candidate in the running who offered the possibility of change?

What if those who think differently could politely accept your point of view? What if they avoided name-calling and inflammatory remarks and worked diligently to avoid defaming those who think differently by suddenly acquiring manners?

The fact of the matter is that the problems are not all with the politicians. How can a reasonably intelligent individual ignore the problem of the media — print, radio, TV (news and talking heads), et al? I was taught journalistic techniques and ethics in high school while writing for our school newspaper. In those days, I covered the school’s sports teams.

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We learned what all journalism students were taught in those days. When reporting news, responsible writers stuck to the facts and reported only the who, what, when, where and if possible, why. Opinions were not relevant to a news story — there was a separate page for that. Now, fast-forward to today and the wish list.

What if people claiming to be reporters reported only the facts which they have verified through multiple, reliable sources? What if reporters checked out rumors prior to putting words on paper? What if reporters refused to write about unsubstantiated information that comes their way? And best of all, what if reporters would simply ignore information that came to them as unsubstantiated rumors provided by an unidentified source? Have you read, seen or heard any of that going on in recent months?

Various news sources have already been shown to have published unverified stories not based in fact. They irresponsibly publish or announce unsubstantiated rumors received from unknown sources. Is that journalism? Can anyone actually fault others who talk about — here it comes — fake news? It is published far too often. It seems that too many reporters and publishers jump on stories that they want to be true.

My final what if …

What if most of the apparently phony allegations (I started to write “phony charges” but as we all know, there’ve been no charges against Trump) prove to be just that — “trumped up” allegations? Who thinks the Dems, anti-Trumpers and participating deep state bureaucrats will apologize? Anyone? Let’s not hold our collective breaths.

After more than two years of intensive scrutiny and investigation, they’ve got nothing. Is Trump squeaky clean? Not likely, but they’ve found nothing significant — and they’re the intellectuals and the elite. We know that because they tell us so.

I have a larger problem with scheming media types than I do with scheming politicians because I can recall when most of the media was competent, fair and honest. They’ve changed. My general impressions of politicians haven’t been that generous. They’ve not changed.

How about we all determine our favorite what-if’s and work to make ‘em real?

Rick Blatchford writes from Mount Airy. Contact him at rpblatch4d@comcast.net.

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