International Policy Digest

Joyce N. Boghosian
Politics /07 May 2020
05.07.20

Measuring 2020 Candidates? Start Using the Same Yardstick of Righteousness

Is it just me, or do you sense a difference in the veracity of the media when it goes after Donald Trump on a daily basis compared to Joe Biden, or Bernie Sanders for that matter, on their actions and inactions responding to different political issues of the day?

The media’s coverage really affects those who are glued to one channel for their news and the bias of that channel becomes clearly evident when you read many people’s comments on social media. The media’s non-coverage of issues is just as damaging. Some stories get no media coverage at all and those on social media are totally unaware of the issues even though they should be. Especially, if they are going to compare candidates equally.

When it comes to measuring the integrity or morals of one person, certain media outlets and their viewers, use one type of yardstick. Yet, when they discuss another person, their yardstick seems to lose all its fine-granularity and becomes more blurred as to the measurement of the same characteristics. My argument is if you are going to measure someone against someone else, be consistent. Use the same “yardstick of righteousness” on all the people you are analyzing and commenting about. This seems to be lacking in most of the media outlets today and is further reflected on social media.

Social media is the modern-day electronic equivalent of the Old Town Square where people meet and discuss current events. Today, they virtually discuss a full range of topics, but their perspectives are impacted by biased coverage of some news channels and a reluctance to listen to anyone else. At the point of discussion, some ideas are even blocked by an appointed “independent” group that is laughable as to their claimed “objectivity.” Their “policing” efforts are not equally applied to both sides of any argument and clearly lacks a diversity of perspectives to ensure a balanced and equal approach.

Should social media sites like Facebook be regulated? That is a long discussion for a different day, but from what I see, it is coming down to that. A discussion will take place and may initiate some real oversight if they continue not doing a good job of protecting the First Amendment. The idea of establishing a better framework to ensure objectivity, as well as freedom of speech, is looming on the horizon.

The 21st century virtual Town Square needs to reflect that same “openness” that the Old Town Square did back 200 years ago. It cannot be policed by a biased team who interpolate their own standards, instead of adhering to the First Amendment.

We also cannot go back 300 years to a time where certain discussions were deemed “not appropriate” according to the King’s perspective. We fought a war over that. This isn’t a monarchy. It’s a republic.

Social media is now the area for virtual cognitive jousting when it comes to differing opinions. It goes beyond the exchanging of ideas and perspectives. It becomes more of a place for constant challenges and attacks. Some have no facts to back up their inflexible perspectives and yet they keep mentally jousting against others, even when the facts are clearly presented to them.

Just as some label Trump supporters as uneducated, those who blindly follow false reporting from a biased news media should be called Demmings – or Democratic Lemmings. They have forgotten the old 1960’s rebellious action to think independently and “Question Authority.” Instead, they totally buy off on the Pied Piper of Petty Politics and pink unicorns proclaiming “everything should be free.”

The iconic image of American freedom of Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper driving over the speed limit down the highway on Harleys with “Born to Be Wild” playing in the background has faded to someone driving an electric scooter down a city bicycle lane listening to “Baby Shark” on their iPhone. Let’s get America back on that Highway to Freedom. Let’s start demanding the media use the same yardstick of righteousness to measure all candidates equally. Then we can make accurate comparisons and move forward.