This is an article in the NY Times Aug. 8, 2016. HERE. It purports to be a handwringing mea culpa confessing the predicament of the tortured soul of the professional Journalist in reporting on Donald Trump.
Why is there an issue? There is an issue because the very philosophic underpinnings of J-School make opposition to Trump a baked-in conclusion. How so? I shall attempt to explain.
The Golden Rule of J-School is OBJECTIVITY. The Journalist presumes his view is objective. But to be truly objective one must be in a vantage point above the level upon which the news happens.
J-school is the ultimate expression of the post-Modern education philosophy. And that is the effort to demonstrate that all societies are built upon arbitrary cultural symbols, whether sounds, letters, pictures, body language, facial expression and so on. But since J-school is essentially a Western phenomenon and in our case an American one it directs its de-constructive lens upon American culture.
Objectivity is the attempt to perceive the arbitrariness of the symbols of culture. It is like trying to hear English as sounds devoid of meaning. To attempt to do so is frightening for if one succeeded it might be impossible to come back! Or, try looking at our written language as a series of squiggles and lines. Impossible.
Yet what is culture other than arbitrary actions, sounds, patterns of group movements? J-school is where students go to complete their self de-privileging program. To compare New Guinean war steps with the ballet: both merely arbitrary movements conveying cultural information, might be true. But so what?
A graduate of such a culturally-self-abnegating program will indeed be unable or unwilling to concede any superiority of one set of arbitrary cultures over another.
A Nation is a People sharing a culture, which is a language, a common literature, a common sense of history etc. Our American political culture has been based on the Lockean principles in vogue in Britain at the time of our origin. In Locke’s view humans are capable of self-assembly. We create an organic culture over time. To better protect our rights in a more complicated society we form governments. We are not naturally at war ourselves against all, as Thomas Hobbes would have us.
Here is the key to the journalists’ inability to report on Trump. Nations are Peoples with Cultures. Cultures are based upon arbitrary signs and symbols. Once deconstructed it is like Humpty Dumpty! It is as if one was able to hear English as merely the inherently meaningless sounds which it is, and not be able to get back!
How could graduates of a deliberate self-inflicted cultural lobotomy fail to see Trump as a dinosaur? “Make America Great Again” does not compute. They would require multiple layers of quotes to write that! But Trump asks DO WE HAVE A COUNTRY OR NOT?
Are we a Nation, a People with a particular culture (within a range of cultures, yes) and a particular language, with a particular sense of private property, and Rights?
John Locke said a People self organize to produce an organic society and only much later is formal legalistic government created. 99% of our daily lives proceeds without recourse to the legal systems. That vast preponderance of the social glue is vested in the culture. The De-Construction of a particular culture by demonstrating its basis in arbitrary symbols is not compatible with “having a country”!
This explains why Journalists are leftists, and why leftists are totalitarian. Normal societies operate on a subliminal level, as stated above. 99% of our activities and interactions are culturally determined. Rarely do we require legal opinions in our daily lives! However, once cultural norms are dismissed as “merely” arbitrary understandings what remains to counter the centrifugal force of individuals devoid of cultural cohesion?
Only the State remains. And in a republic unmoored from a Constitution restricting the arena in which majoritarianism presides, the NATION is subjugated to a purely a POLITICAL entity. When all human interactions are considered political… that is Totalitarianism!