Stranger Things
By John D. Turner
21 Aug 2020

Truly, this is the most bizarre year I have ever experienced in my 63 years on this planet. A global pandemic. Schools closed down. The world on lockdown. The US economy brought to its knees. Rioting in cities, with state governors and city mayors unable or unwilling to stop the mayhem. And of course, it is also a presidential election year (and one ending in zero no less).

Overseas we have major flooding in China where the Yangtze has just experienced its fifth flood in less than two months so far this year, and it isn’t the only part of China that is flooding. So far no less than three typhoons have made landfall in China. Couple that with plagues of locusts, midsummer snow storms, tornadoes (which are much rarer there than here), and of course the Wuhan Coronavirus and other assorted weather and disease related problems, none of which seem to be reported here because, as you know, this is a presidential election year and the only thing on the mind of the US press is defeating Donald J. Trump in November by any means necessary, and we end up with a major food crisis brewing in China.

There are questions as to whether the Three Gorges Dam, the largest dam in the world, will hold up under the continued pressure that five record floods have put on it so far. Chinese officials admit that it has “deformed” slightly, but state that all is well. Move along, nothing to see here. Or in Hong Kong, which they have just annexed, almost thirty years ahead of schedule. Or in India, where they have killed 20 Indian soldiers on the border and have moved additional forces into the area. Or Taiwan, which also seems to be in their cross hairs at the moment. With US attention seemingly focused on other things, and major problems occurring within their own borders, a good war against an external enemy is historically just the thing to keep a rebellion from breaking out at home.

Then we have the Democratic 2020 convention. Bill Clinton, of all people, lecturing President Trump on proper decorum in the oval office. Elizabeth Warren, speaking at the Native American virtual caucus. Honestly, you just can’t make this stuff up. If I owned The Onion, I would worry about going out of business.

It gets even stranger. The Libertarian Party, you know, the ones for smaller government and a pretty much hands-off approach to nearly everything now endorse Black Lives Matter. According to their presidential candidate Jo Jorgensen, “It is not enough to be passively not racist, we must be actively anti-racist.” Coming from woke Democrats, this would not seem out-of-place. But coming from the Libertarians, it is as if the party overnight has suddenly done a complete 180 degree turn into bizarro land. Libertarians are known for not wanting to tell anyone what they must do. “We must tread” is pretty much the polar opposite of the “don’t tread on me” philosophy they claim to espouse.

Words mean things. Being “against racism” is not the same thing as being “actively anti-racist.” Whether or not the Libertarian Party itself is now “woke,” their presidential candidate seems to be. Libertarians, according to their own platform, “embrace the concept that all people are born with certain inherent rights.” They reject the idea that a natural right can ever impose an obligation upon others to fulfill that “right.” They “condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant.”

But that is not sufficient. According to the website of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture (paid for by our tax dollars),

When we choose to be antiracist, we become actively conscious about race and racism and take actions to end racial inequities in our daily lives. Being antiracist is believing that racism is everyone’s problem, and we all have a role to play in stopping it. In “The Racial Healing Handbook(link is external),” Dr. Anneliese A. Singh reminds us of the importance of being purposeful: “You need the intentional mindset of Yep, this racism thing is everyone’s problem-including mine, and I’m going to do something about it.”

The site goes on to explain that

Being antiracist is different for white people than it is for people of color. For white people, being antiracist evolves with their racial identity development. They must acknowledge and understand their privilege, work to change their internalized racism, and interrupt racism when they see it. For people of color, it means recognizing how race and racism have been internalized, and whether it has been applied to other people of color.

So if you are a member of the Libertarian Party, your candidate for president has just stated that, unless you are actively anti-racist, you are a racist. Your party candidate for president is now telling you what you must do.

Strangeness, strangeness, strangeness.

Joe Biden hides in his basement, babbles incoherently at times, and is somehow the best candidate the Democratic Party has ever fielded. He announces that he is going to pick a “woman of color” as his VP. After weeks of searching through his “binders of women,” he selects Kamala Harris, a former contender for the presidential nomination who polled less than 2% nationally, and dropped out of the race on December 3rd last year, before the primaries even started. Usually a presidential candidate gets a bump in the polls when they announce their VP pick. This time, President Trump appears to have gotten a bump in the polls after the nomination was announced.

President Trump appears to have gotten another bump in the polls after the Democratic Convention concluded yesterday. According to CNN, on Monday, at the start of the convention, President Trump’s job approval was 43 approve, 54 disapprove. Gallup and ABC News/Washington Post were saying the same thing (42/55 and 42/57 respectively). Politico, on Wednesday, showed him at 39/59 – “Disapprove +20”. Yet, on Friday, Rasmussen Reports put his job approval numbers at 51 approve, 47 disapprove, an 8 point gain during the week, and moving him from “Disapprove +15” to “Approve +4. This is not the historical norm!

If nothing else, it shows that the polling data is all over the map. Who really knows what it all means? At this point in the ongoing infowar campaign being waged in the American press, who knows what is true and what is not? How is a voter supposed to sort it all out?

We certainly can’t depend on the news to give us real “news” when it comes to this presidential race. Check out this news story analyzing evening news coverage by ABC, CBS and NBC from 1 June through 31 July with regard to President Trump and Joe Biden. There are those who say that the media played a large role in getting Trump elected in 2016 by giving him lots of free air time that his fellow candidates didn’t get. It was such a funny story back then – such a joke! Donald Trump for President – how hilarious. Hillary publically proclaimed that Trump would be her “dream candidate” to run against – and the press did their best to make it so. And so it became, and her dream became a nightmare.

This certainly is not the case today. The media no longer regards Trump as a joke, but as a mortal threat. During the period above, the three network evening newscasts spent 512 minutes focusing on President Trump and only 58 minutes on Biden. “This is excluding coverage of the Trump administration in general when not associated with the President himself.” Well, you might say, that makes sense. Trump is, after all, president, so naturally there would be more news regarding him. That may be true. Perhaps that explains the difference in time allotted, although one would expect more coverage of the candidate attempting to replace him in an election year.

However, although the actual minutes spent reporting on Joe Biden were nine times fewer than those spent reporting specifically on President Trump, they were quality minutes. Altogether during the period, the study found 12 evaluative statements made by network anchors and reporters about Joe Biden; 8 of which were positive and 4 which were negative for a 67% positive total.

Once again, President Trump received the bulk of the press’s attention – and opprobrium. During the same period, 668 evaluative statements were made by the same actors concerning the President. Of these, 634 were negative and 34 were positive; 95% negative and 5% positive. How about that. The press doesn’t like President Trump. Whoda thunk?

150 times more negative comments about Trump than Biden. That’s “news reporting?” Sounds like a continual barrage of opinion masquerading as news. And that doesn’t include MSNBC or CNN, neither of which go out of their way to say nice things about this president, to put it mildly. If this isn’t an infowar campaign against the President, I don’t know what is.

I have watched the President’s news conferences. He can’t say “the sky is blue” without getting criticism from the press. His press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany is awesome. She is always on point, super prepared, and takes no prisoners. Hope she doesn’t “burn out” anytime soon. She is a perfect fit for the job.

Stranger things, stranger things, stranger things. And the year isn’t even close to being over. We have cities where “mostly peaceful” protests are resulting in bodily injury to cops, who, by direction of their mayor, have been directed to “stand down” and allow the mayhem to continue. We have stores being looted, buildings being burned, people being killed. And when the President offers to help them out by sending in federal troops, the mayors and governors, Democrats all, say “no thanks, we’ve got this,” while their cities continue to burn, and they go about the process of “defunding” or completely eliminating their police force as the “solution” to the problem.

Chicago is one of the worst. People shot and killed every day. But the mayor says all is under control. Of course, they raised all the bridges to contain the “protests” to the “proper” part of town. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has spoken. The people have a right to protest injustice! At least as long as they don’t do it near her home. She has banned protesters on her block, and has the Chicago PD deployed to enforce that ban. “I have a right to make sure that my home is secure,” she says.

She doesn’t give a damn about anyone else’s home, just as long as hers is safe. I guess if you live in Chicago, the best place to live is right next to Mayor Lightfoot. And those police she wants to defund because they are “racists?” They are ok apparently as long as they are defending her house. Pretty much like the mayor of Seattle, who was ok with the CHAS until they came to her house to protest.

Then again, it isn’t about protesting, or George Floyd, or even black lives mattering. It’s simply part of the focused effort to remove Trump from office by whatever means available. In fact this entire year of stranger things, at least here in the U.S., only makes any sort of sense when viewed through the lens of that effort. If you are trying to make sense of the events of 2020, just ask yourself; how does this further the removal of President Trump from office and bingo! It all becomes crystal clear.

Next week is the Republican Convention. In theory, they should be able to look at the Democrat debacle and know what NOT to do. Guess we will have to wait and see what happens. One thing likely to be true – the press will be all over it and uniformly negative, unlike what we saw from them this week.