Way back in the 1990s, then President Bill Clinton was chagrined by the rise of what he termed “the politics of personal destruction.” He was talking about the growing tendency to mount ad hominin attacks to demonize and vilify political opponents.
Politics was becoming less a disagreement over policy and philosophy and more an exercise in destroying the personal reputations – ergo the credibility – of political opponents. Opposition leaders were not judged to be simply wrong headed, but to be evil incarnate – motivated by the darkest of human traits.
Clinton called for an end of the politics of personal destruction but what ensued has been an increase in the ferocity of such personal attacks. Today, it is virtually – maybe literally – destroying our political process. The virus of character assassination has spread beyond specific leaders and officeholders to embrace supporters. Anyone who supports anything about President Trump is – as Hillary Clinton described us – a “basket of deplorables” beyond redemption no less.
In this era of character assassination, it is the left-wing media that are the assassins. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was once one of the most revered men in public office – “America’s mayor.” It was more than his handling of 9/11. He was a notable crime fighter and was credited with making the Big Apple a much safer city.
Once he allied with the much-hated Donald Trump, the media began its campaign of character assassination. The redefined Giuliani was a malevolent figure on one hand and an intellectual fool on the other.
Then there is the case of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. You may recall that at the time of his nomination to the Supreme Court, he was among the most respected jurists in America – praised by judicial scholars across the board. That was until strident and hateful Democrats put a contract out on Kavanaugh. That is when the left-wing media undertook an incessant campaign of character assassination. Virtually every east coast media outlet – anchors, reporters and panels of parroting pundits – unloaded on Kavanaugh. By their description, Kavanaugh was a sexual predator and a Neanderthal right-wing extremist who would destroy the comity of the high court.
At the time Trump nominated William Barr to be Attorney General, he was also a man with an impeccable reputation for his legal scholarship and dedication to the Constitution. He had previously served as Attorney General with distinction and bipartisan praise under President George Bush. The contract was out by Democrats when – despite his sterling qualification – they voted against confirmation. From that point forward, the media has lost no opportunity to demean, demonize and malign the Attorney General. The media assassins have declared him to be a toady of the President … a fixer … a hack.
There was a time that Senator Lindsey Graham was a favorite of Joe Scarborough and his “Morning Joe” and his mob of character assassins. But let the South Carolina legislator say one positive thing about Trump, and out come the poison pens of the pseudo-journalists and pundits that populate MSNBC’s morning show.
And it is not a matter of targeting individuals. The media assassins strafe virtually every Republican in Congress as weak, immoral and cowardly. It is a virtual war on what the media so derogatorily refers to as Trump’s base.
Among the character assassins are a number of false flaggers, who are generally billed as Republican strategists. They are paid by the anti-Trump media to give the ranks of the character assassins the appearance of balance and bipartisanship.
While it seems that the American people long for the days of greater political civility, it ain’t going to happen until the character assassins in the media sheath their venomous tongues and keyboards.
So, there ‘tis.