Left or right? What exactly does that mean these days?

Steve Trubilla

Left or right? What exactly does that mean these days?

The Left or Right, politically, just exactly what does this mean?

Four different people and you will give four different answers.

Trying to frame it, even loosely, I explored many writings.

Ask someone, are they a Liberal, Conservative, Democrat or Republican, a reply is generally swift. People tend to take their views on this seriously, or at least that is the way it appears.

Take the next step, ask why they so identify.

Do you remember the days of the tea kettle whistling on the old stove? Well that is how I characterize many when it comes to explaining political affiliation. You get what amounts to a lot of noise; the hot air blowing out of the tea kettle.

Their foundation for what they believe can be summed up with they accept as fact what they are told. Remove the parroting of sound bites and regurgitation of propaganda from their eloquence and there is nothing to support what they tell you they believe in.

This begs the question: 'How is this possible, is evolution reversing?' To be sure if someone feels strongly enough about something to protest, and risk jail, they know why?

Introspectively, I examined why I politically identify as I do. In large part it is due to the influence of the media. An enterprise totally focused on profit.

We have been conditioned to trust the media, by the media. What other product do we consume that has so effectively sold us?

The 24-hour news cycle, by design, is riveting. I use the word news with hollow meaning. So little of what is being marketed is news that is just the packaging. Most of it is pure sales, either agenda, products.

Articulate and polished, it is served up. That is what good sales people do, they set the hook.

My experience when it comes to money is most people will do and say anything to separate you from it. Remember the focus in on profit?

Do you honestly think the majority of corporate media is more interested with informing you than they are on their bottom line?

I am sure you have been hearing the words, "Fake News." How about this, if what is being said is not true, it is a lie. The media is even spinning this. To add insult to it all they broadcast it with high priced ads.

The press is referred to as the 4th estate, equated to a branch of government having great power.

Arguably more powerful than any of the three formally recognized branches of our government, it is unchecked power. Yes, there are laws that speak to slander and defamation, most muted by money and influence.

A retraction is never as powerful as when something first appears, a tactic well known to politicians.

Thomas Jefferson, the great champion of a free press, was also very cautionary of its potential to abuse that power.

A purpose of the First Amendment was to stand against attempts to prohibit the publication and circulation of information which government did not approve. It was not meant to be used as a political partisan tool.

"The press is impotent when it abandons itself to falsehood." - Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Seymour, 1807.

The press in traditional role is gate keeper and watchdog over government.

In the times we live in we desperately need to return to that.

Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility. We need to honor those that hold this standard. There are many.

It is equally important to expose those that do not.

It is not a matter of Left or Right, Republican or Democrat. It is a matter of right and wrong.