*By Julie Barrett, Founder, Conservative Ladies of Washington
I recently did a podcast episode about a PBS program my husband and I watched together at the request of someone close to us. We knew, going in, that the program was sure to be pushing a narrative. We watched it hoping it would help us in a respectful dialogue. That was the sole purpose. It was otherwise a complete waste of time.
The program was a Frontline episode titled: Trump’s American Carnage. So you lost me with the title but I watched just so I could know what information is being pushed to other people.
I was literally sick to my stomach as I watched how this program had been strategically crafted to portray Trump and his supporters in the ugliest way possible. Angry, white supremacists. A President filled with hate and vitriol. I thought: no wonder people hate Trump so much…and what must my Trump-hating family think of me as a Trump supporter? Do they think I am an angry, racist, white supremacist? Is that truly their perception of me? Do they actually believe this lie coming through their tv screen?
This entire 60 minute program was filled with video that had been carefully spliced together to make President Trump and ALL of his supporters out to be evil, destructive people. I honestly couldn’t believe my eyes. Having been to patriotic rallies and sign waving events throughout the summer and fall election season, I knew, firsthand, that this compilation was a complete manipulation of the audience. Is it any wonder this country is so divided? Is it any wonder that as my patriotic friends and I stood out on street corners we had trash and dangerous objects thrown at us?
Now that we have the “Biden Administration”, the ones who were going to miraculously bring UNITY to our country overnight, the narrative and dangerous rhetoric has not improved. It has, in fact, gotten worse…mush worse. The headlines on MSM sources are now about how we must “DEPROGRAM” Trump supporters and “right wing extremists.” While I agree that extremists on either side are dangerous, I believe the definition used by people on the left for “right wing extremists” is problematic. Their definition seems to include patriotic Americans who enjoy attending rallies for conservative candidates and are not at all violent is extremely destructive to our country. Anyone who showed any support or allegiance to Trump is automatically classified as an “extremist.”
There are headlines for how you can “Deprogram Your Trump Supporting Family Members” which does nothing for unity but further divides not only America, but our own immediate families. There is no call for common ground, for respectful dialogue and understanding of different viewpoints. It’s “my way or the highway.” If we don’t agree with people on the left than we are wrong and must be rehabilitated and/or punished.
Yes, extremists find their way into all sides of the political spectrum. But the vilification of an entire group of people (which happens to be AT LEAST half of the US population) is ignorant and it is divisive. The conservatives loved Trump so much because he made it “okay” to love American. He fought for the little guy, the small business owner, the unborn, our families, our churches and was the first to hold public office in a long time who actually followed through on his promises.
The divisive rhetoric by media that has since infiltrated almost every other institution – from corporations to public and even private schools, even to many churches – is going to quickly destroy our country. If you thought President Trump was destroying our country, you are about to see how wrong you were.
It is a tragedy if we are going to continue to allow the mainstream media to shape our views of people we disagree with. I encourage everyone to have healthy and respectful dialogue with people who see things differently – find out why – maybe you will learn something new. Maybe you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that the people on the right that you don’t agree with are actually very compassionate, loving, polite people who are quite tolerant of those they disagree with.
If we refuse to build this bridge, America will fall. Let’s build!