Media hysteria and the angry left have brought us to the brink

In 1955, during his first term, President Eisenhower had a massive heart attack.  Until his death in 1969, he suffered at least 20 other cardiac events, several of which occurred during his two terms as president.  Vice President Richard Nixon capably led the country during Eisenhower's frequent illnesses.

Despite the president's poor health, under the steady hand of the Republican Eisenhower administration, the country's economy continued to do well, and we stayed out of stupid wars.  I am confident that the same will continue to be true for the country under the Trump administration while the president is hospitalized, given that President Trump has assembled an impressive Cabinet.

A significant difference between the Eisenhower era and the present day is that we have social media and 24-hour cable news, dominated by an unhinged media establishment that tilts heavily to the left, whipping up hysteria.  The media hate President Trump despite his leading a successful administration because he dared take on the establishment, which they are a part of.  The sewer that is Twitter allows the left and media to wish the president ill.  That didn't happen to Eisenhower.  While the media covered his illnesses, they did so in a dispassionate and non-partisan way.

In fact, one could plausibly argue that the over-the-top, extreme, misplaced, and hateful rhetoric from the media and the left for over two decades has come to a point where there are no more extremes to apply.  That leaves them no place to go except to wish violence on their opponents.  After that, perhaps they will eat their own.

In addition, basic journalism education was very different in the Eisenhower era.  There was none of the type of brainwashing that occurs in "journalism school" today, which creates an entire army of biased reporters, pundits, and media personalities who were taught that Milton Friedman was a tool of the rich, that corporations screw the little guy, and that capitalism rewards the greedy.  They come out of school eager to expose corruption and degradation and to promote a social cause that has been ingrained in them.  They don't desire to find the truth; rather, they want to help "the cause."  So they don't look for corruption and Russian collusion from the DNC, which was real and obsequious, but they are eager to find it on Team Trump.

Further, they don't want to undermine Antifa and BLM by exposing their negative attributes, but they will jump on any story that suggests that evil white men are to blame.  So we have Democrats and the media all eager to push an agenda that rich white Republicans and Christians who cling to guns and religion are mostly to blame for the country's problems and, as such, need to be exposed.

The people who program the journalists by controlling their schools and their curricula are the same folks who influence Hollywood to promote certain narratives and who exert influence on publishers to publish only certain stories.  And now these same people have gotten to the business schools at major universities, who are teaching the evils of free markets, and to the science departments, where only people who are pro–man-made climate change get funding.  They also control the "social justice" agenda that the teachers ram down our kids' throats starting in kindergarten.

So when someone like Donald Trump comes along, and says free markets work, capitalism works, America is the best country, we need school choice, the media are corrupt, etc, it shakes these people to their core.  It scares them.  Fear and anger usually are holding hands.  So these scared people get very, very angry and go after Trump, his family, and his supporters.

Finally, we are inundated with information and have no opportunity to discriminate between real news and histrionic chaff.  It's brought us all down intellectually.  I am convinced that social media and cable news, which allows the Angry Left a disproportionate voice in comparison to their true numbers (America thankfully remains a center-right country), have played a significant role in causing the current political divide and poisonous atmosphere in our country.  I sincerely hope that we can pull back from the brink.  For this to happen, however, it will take efforts by all of us who love this great country to do our part to push back in a reasonable way against the tactics and efforts of the left and its media enablers.

Josh Kantrow is a cyber-security attorney based in Chicago.

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