I got a kick out of Rich Elfers’ column of Nov. 23 trying to explain to a Seattle Times columnist why Black Diamond and Enumclaw were pro-Trump in contrast to the rest of King County. I think he is right on with his evaluation of conservative thinking in this area. Residents here are much more rural and mid-American than the rest of King County.
We were one of the locals that Rich references that had Trump signage on display. Not everyone agreed that we should be showing our support for our candidate and we had four signs stolen (one of the thefts we recorded and is on YouTube if you are interested) and profanities yelled at us numerous times when we were working in our front yard. But we kept our signage up and tied it down so it could not be stolen. We found it very distressing that some people would have such little regard for other peoples’ property and opinions. I understand it was a contentious election but there’s really no excuse for such bad behavior.
As Rich points out, conservative and liberal Americans have their own sources of information which represent two very different viewpoints about what America is and where America should be headed. The result is that there is very little common ground for liberals and conservatives to even begin a discussion. Recently, a liberal friend challenged me to have a political discussion on any subject as long as it was factual. I brought up our national debt of close to $20 trillion which I think is a very important topic and is factual. Surprisingly, she was not familiar with this figure and when I tried to show her the national debt-clock on the Internet, she dismissed it as right-wing propaganda. I assumed that this was common knowledge!
I partially blame the problem on our mass media. Journalism is supposed to be nonbiased and report what other people do and say but instead are increasingly inserting their political opinions into what they report and how they report it. I was talking to another liberal friend of mine and I complained that 90 percent of the reporters working in mass media are either liberal or progressive. He acknowledged this unbalance as probably true but then said that he didn’t think that this was a problem. I disagree. We need our mass media to take a middle ground but I think it is very difficult for reporters and editors to recognize their own biases. They firmly believe that their political opinions are correct and they portray that worldview as fact.
I think that most of the mass media outlets are devastated that Trump won the presidential election despite their best efforts to inform us of the terrible dangers ahead. We’ll see what they do now. Personally, I am looking forward to our return to “pursuit of happiness” – I think I see more Christmas lights out this year!