1/WHO GETS TO REPORT THE ELECTION RESULTS? Was there an actual difference in the network announcements (including Fox News) of Biden’s victory? Or was it just context that made me hear them differently, an awareness that for the first time this standard announcement was being made in the era of “fake news”? Trump has declared all the news outlets that traditionally, as routine part of the job, report that the vote counters have tallied the votes and we have a winner—to be enemies of the people, fake news, not to be trusted. So who else is going to report it? Some Republican politician—I don’t recall the name—said, in regard to Trump’s rejection of the election results, something like “it’s not the networks that decide the election, it’s the people.” But who reports and disseminates the people’s decision? For Trump supporters is there any answer besides Trump Himself?
2/ FACEBOOK IS NOT A PUBLISHER AND DOESN’T HAVE A PUBLISHER’S RESPONSIBILITY FOR CONTENT. As influential as Facebook has become and as vicious and misleading as some of the stuff that’s been posted on Facebook, all the pressure on Mark Zuckerberg to do something about it is misplaced. Facebook is not a publisher, Zuckerberg not an editor. Nobody (as far as I know) ever held Bell, the inventor of the telephone, responsible for what was said over it. Or Gutenberg for Hitler’s Mein Kampf. We don’t blame the printing press or telephone for the horrors of the Nazi regime, but the Nazis couldn’t have done it without their help.
Besides, do we want Truth as vetted by Mark Z? I don’t think so .
So what then is a Facebook consumer to do about that vicious and misleading content?
Bottomline, there is no substitute for commonsense when it comes to figuring out what to believe or not believe. We still, as always, have to depend on our own wits for not being sold the Brooklyn Bridge. Or being one of Barnum’s suckers born every minute. Or not taking up the fox’s offer to guard the henhouse.
3/ DICTATOR-PROOFING DEMOCRACY. Amongst the items on Biden’s to-do list I’m not hearing the most important: setting up a very smart committee to come up with changes to laws to protect our government from the many ways in which, as revealed over the last four years, it is undemocratic and vulnerable to the likes of Trump. Plugging the loopholes while they are fresh in mind.
4/ DID THE VIRUS ELECT BIDEN? I ‘ve heard it said that if covid-19 hadn’t come along early in 2020, providing such a good opportunity for Trumpism to demonstrate its lethal incompetence, he would not have lost the election.
Given all the other perfectly compelling reasons to vote Trump out, I find that a very depressing thought.
5/ MANDATORY COVID VACCINE? We have laws against driving drunk. I don’t hear much quarrel with that governmental infringement of personal rights. That your driving drunk is not just a personal decision because it puts my life in danger seems a universally accepted logic. So why is there so much resistance to the idea of making the covid vaccine mandatory because if we don’t all do it, it will keep on killing people?