Commentary

Note to Peggy Noonan: We Get It

By Kenneth Kopf | October 25, 2019 | 10:43am EDT
Columnist Peggy Noonan. 
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I rarely venture into the tangled reeds of the Washington swamp, nor do I desire to read the  pompous writings of those who dwell there because I, and the tens of millions of people like me, actually prefer to read, think and interpret events for ourselves. 

We do not need “columnists” to tell us what today’s facts mean, portend, or which facts are ‘true’ or not.  God thankfully gave us all the intellect and common sense to understand the truth when we are presented with actual facts. 

That is the starting point of the problem.  We poor “folk” (as one president was condescendingly fond of referencing) are consistently presented with what the media want us to believe are facts.  But the actual naked “facts” are almost always spun, biasedly interpreted, laden with opinionated adjectives and adverbs with an all too often seen-through (sometimes comical) intent to justify the presenter’s slant, or to inoculate the unsuspecting reader, like me, to change what I intuitively thought I already knew.  

This was patently obvious to me in Ms. Peggy Noonan’s recent Wall Street Journal article, “The Impeachment Needle May Soon Move” (Oct. 19, 2019).  I do not castigate her for putting forth her storied opinions.  Lord knows she has been around for a very long time and obviously has points of view on this subject and every other one, all influenced by the inputs of many different types of sources (and leaks).

What we do object to is the all too often use of “conclusory” (and allegedly incontrovertible) comments in the place of facts that are omitted or unavailable.

I don’t mind a writer providing his or her “conclusions” but please do not also insinuate your conclusions as a substitute for our independent ability to draw our own conclusions.  As Sargent Joe Friday said every week, “Just the facts, Ma’am.”  It is this thinking and attempted political subversion that actually brought about President Trump.

This tactic is viewed and interpreted as an insulting attitude and attempt to establish an “elitist” (I prefer “authoritarian”) directive to counter the opinions of the “commoners.” It is this group think and group control mechanism that is backfiring and is strengthening President Trump’s supporters. 

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Noonan’s comments like “Everyone gets it…” conveys that very elitist mentality.  No.  Everyone does NOT “get” what you are concluding in that article.   The only “everyone” that she is referring to resides inside the D.C.  beltway.

These over-inclusive conclusions are not accepted any more as gospel. The times have changed from when Walter Cronkite reported only FACTS, to now when the media make up facts to support an agenda.

The all-too-often scandals in the mass media – proven false stories in major papers and on various TV “news” shows; journalists’ cheating, lying, moral lapses, etc. – have taken a serious toll on their veracity and believability. 

That is why Trump’s supporters do not look to the mainstream media for their source of FACTS.  And contrary to what the main-stream media wish to portray, we commoners have believed that it was “fake news” long before President Trump “codified” it and nationalized what it actually is. Media’s reputation is easily lost but difficult, if ever, to regain.

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What the national news establishment “doesn’t get” is that a vast majority (all political persuasions) of the nation does not believe what we are shoveled daily.  Whether that is the intent of the media or not doesn’t matter.  That is why we welcome President Trump’s tweets. 

They may be characterized by Ms. Noonan as the President expressing his ‘inner crazy” (her right to so believe), but at least we can actually “see and interpret” for ourselves without the constantly biased interpretive elite spin to water it down or pervert events and facts.  As is the saying in legal circles, “Just give me the facts, you can spin them later.” 

Noonan’s article appears, to a Trump supporter like me, to be written mainly in an attempt to direct or influence thinking and action in support of impeachment.  However, should her article be intended to educate the “untouchables” in the “fly over” lands, she does not grasp, or chooses to ignore, the true mindset and frustration of the Trump supporter.

Yes, we support President Trump.  We may even be split on his use of certain “tweets” and content but given the naked (and many times downright “ugly”) political messages and harmful intent of the mainstream media, we clearly understand and agree with his need to do so. 

But we have no division regarding his intent to restore what we believe to be the founding principles of this Republic which have been under attack from without and within over the past few decades.

Yes, this may be only our opinion and not that of the “left,” but our opinions are just as valid and worthy of expression and acceptance and civil debate as those of the “left.”

But we only see daily castigation, derision, anger, hatred and even violence directed toward Trump supporters and our positions. These violent leftist attacks are never even reported let alone denounced or rejected by the alleged “fair, honest and open-minded journalists.” These attacks and the media’s self-inflicted credibility gaps only add to the division and polarization of this nation. And many of us are convinced that it is intentional.

Until the media set aside their 2016 vendetta and at least try to understand the mindset and positions of the voters who elected President Trump, we will be mired in a “no one wins” world.   

We clearly understand that the Democratic policy and mantra is to assuage their anger at losing in 2016.  We also too clearly see that they, intentionally or by malfeasance, have abandoned their fundamental duty to legislate and solve the myriad problems facing our nation. 

Wouldn’t it be a better nation if they worked towards solving the immigration, debt, infrastructure, welfare, homeless, Social Security solvency, and countless other problems, instead of spending 100% of their time pushing political bias and hatred? 

Discourse and debate are a fundamental part of our Republic, and from that debate issues are to be resolved.  There is no true, constructive or civil debate on the “peoples’ issues” today. Every investigation, every alleged crime, every tantrum, every conspiracy that has taken up 95% of all airtime has been aimed at destroying (sometimes literally) the “enemy.”  Who loses?  We the People and our Republic. 

Everyone should welcome editorials and varied opinions on the issue of impeachment. However, what does not further constructive debate are articles that are predicated on personal biases, convictions and conclusions, while having no facts to support it. 

No one reading Noonan’s article can walk away not understanding that she is for impeachment, thinks President Trump is corrupt (she said it, not even inferred it), and that anyone who doesn’t’ agree doesn’t “get it.” 

While Noonan’s article does present credible facts to support her three reasons why she believes the situation is “fluid,” she nevertheless still resorts to words such as “corrupt,” “malfeasance,” and “criminal” without further explanation, support or qualification. 

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Politicians routinely use such characterizations, and voters unfortunately just accept it as “part of the animal,” but equally dismiss it as unnecessary or hyperbole.  But journalists have a more historic and critical function obligation in society to avoid such muckraking. The casual and factually unsupported and unsupportable use of such terms, especially to engender division and hatred or for thought control, is tantamount to subversion, and should be rejected by every legitimate media outlet nationwide.  But it isn’t.     

We Trump supporters are now, unfortunately, used to seeing such fact-devoid conclusions every day, but cannot understand or accept those same “journalists” that even refuse to investigate the many demonstrated illegalities, hypocrisy and attacks on the Constitution by those hell-bent on reversing the 2016 election and pursuing impeachment grounds – whether actual or imaginary - solely for the obvious political purpose of swaying 2020 elections.

This new journalistic style of reporting opinions as factual conclusions is not serving the nation well.  This poor country lawyer was taught you can either find law to support the facts, or find facts to support the law, but we can’t substitute opinion for either facts or law.  Journalism shouldn’t either. 

Ms. Noonan, please don’t misunderstand.  We Trump supporters do “get it.”  It’s just that what we “get” isn’t what you think.  

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