I guess we’re like a year into Trump’s presidency and people are still attacking his character like we didn’t all know he was a narcissistic asshole probably forty years ago or something. Which is fine, but believe it or not, political cartoonists were lampooning him and his ah, shall we say, more corrupt characteristics and habits, about ten years before I was born, probably; failing that, at least as long as I’ve been alive. So none of this is revelatory, despite the army of reporters who can’t stop jawing off about him like they’re the first people on earth to come up with their insights; I grew up reading some of those cartoons, and hated the man well before I properly knew who he was, let alone before he was a reality TV craze. Looks like that hatred was well founded even if I wasn’t an adult at the time with more developed adult critical thinking capacities.
It also looks like America in general lacks developed adult critical thinking capacities, because he’s our President. He ran on an anti-corruption platform, and won, in large part because our society is kinda corrupt across the board and rotten. The irony here is that he’s an avatar of American corruption in the flesh. I don’t buy the “fake news” argument; anyone watching TV news is not going to be informed, regardless of whether you pick MSNBC or Fox or CNN; TV news is corporate owned (and likewise, modified as per the demands of money), in addition to being a really bad medium for conveying an accurate worldview (You’ve got one hour to explain everything that happened in the world today without fudging any details or creating any misconceptions in the public. Best of luck.) to the democratic/still pretending to be democratic population of the globe. Blaming Russian whatever on whatever your favorite social media outlet (By the way, is social media a great way to stay informed?) is really just an obnoxious way of side-stepping the obvious: the Democrats ran Hillary Clinton when they could’ve run Bernie Sanders. She’s widely hated, for good reason. Big surprise that Trump was able to (barely) weasel his way into office with that lineup. The aforementioned side-stepping- a dramatic example of avoiding responsibility for something that’s, say, your own fault- is, by the way, ethically unsound (corrupt) thinking. Get used to the fact that this isn’t going to resolve itself overnight, or if the Democrats win every election coming up in the next few years; we’ve got deep systemic problems to unravel here. Our current “choice” in leadership isn’t the issue; there is no leadership to choose from, and the people in office aren’t leading, they’re doing things for their handlers- you know, the people we all have to casually admit bought them by funding their elections.
The sad truth is if people are ignorant, they need to hit the books, not the television and the newsstands. Don’t run around trying to fix tabloids and yellow journalism when education is completely and utterly broken. You learn the way the world is and works by reading up on it, and reading fairly academic stuff at that, and then you stay up to date with the news when the media aren’t playing with yellow journalist tactics to increase revenues. You probably don’t have time for that if you’re working three minimum wage jobs to barely make rent and feed the kids all while praying to every God and Goddess that ever was that your car won’t break down, because that’d make you homeless. But, again, we go back to the miracle of capitalism and how it certainly doesn’t breed corruption, or situations where plenty of people have to work three jobs to break even and plenty of other people can’t even find work and the folks on top of the pyramid mysteriously continue to get richer and richer til they’re like Gods themselves. I can’t wait til I can buy little brass statues of Elon Musk.
I hate to break this to you, but just as everyone who voted for Trump was a shill or a racist or a theocrat or worse, we really do have a fundamentally corrupted society, and until we find some way to fix the system, things are only going to get worse. Everything is for sale right now- not just products on the market, but every political office and increasingly every desperate slob on Earth who’s looking for honest employment (It doesn’t exist anymore, by the way). Expect plenty of bad things to come along as a result.
If I had to I’d loosely define corruption (here’s a dictionary definition or two, if you’re curious) as setting any and all ethics aside in the name of doing what you want instead, usually for reasons of unmitigated greed or other unsavory things; that’s the real unspoken issue of our day. We haven’t got ethics anymore, besides effectively feudal loyalty to corporate and wealthy overlords. Do we want to change that for a retreat into democracy and human rights, or do we want to see a rehash of feudalism with terrifying computer and weapons technology in the hands of the powerful?
Because it’s definitely looking like we’re all going to be serfs again before long. Expect the neofeudal paradise to manifest literally if we refuse to address radical issues in favor of things like sports team tribalism in politics.