The wife and I spent most of Monday out and about in Western North Carolina (a swing state). Along the way, we made a few stops, met a few people, and basically enjoyed an afternoon in a part of the country I like to call The Real World.
And what was on our minds? Well, other than the beautiful scenery and the tasks at hand, something of consequence had happened just before we took off. No, it was not the sad death of war hero John McCain, nor did it have anything to do with Paul Manafort or Michael Cohen.
What was on our minds was the massive news about NAFTA, the bombshell announcement that, after 25 years, President Donald Trump had re-negotiated one of the biggest trade treaties in our country’s history.
But that was just us — that was what was on our minds.
Among other things, there was also the news about a soaring stock market and 28 people (28!) shot over the weekend in Chicago, three of whom died. Which is to say that other people have other things on their own minds.
What no one cared out about, though, at least outside of the trivial D.C. Swamp, was Half-MastGate.
You see, in the Real World, people are concerned with real things — things that matter, things that touch their lives. I am talking about issues involving health care, personal debt, employment, immigration, income, crime, safety, potholes, the future. And Trump’s re-negotiation of NAFTA touches on how many of those things? On how many lives? In what ways? And how soon?
Sadly, if you went looking for NAFTA news (or Chicago news) in the establishment media, it was nowhere to be found. (Breitbart led with NAFTA through most of the day.) Instead, every time I had a few free moments to catch up, the establishment media were wholly consumed with Half-MastGate, this masturbatory nonsense about the status of the White House flag.
This is not to say there is no news value in the bitter feud between Trump and McCain. This is not to say the status of the White House flag is not newsworthy. But are you freakin’ kidding me with the blotting out of the sun with this inside-inside, everything-is-always-all-about-me bullshit?
Good grief, after following my news feed yesterday afternoon, I knew more about cruise director Bill Kristol’s afternoon walk than I did anything of consequence that actually affects everyday Americans. More or less against my will, I knew everything about every single itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny, utterly meaningless detail regarding the positioning of the White House flag and the positioning of every other flag in D.C.
And that was just online. Don’t get me started on cable news.
My apologies in advance for being blunt, but who gives a damn? I mean no offense against Trump or McCain or the McCain family. I do understand that this is important to them, but my name’s Paul and this is between y’all.
Trump and McCain loathed one another, the White House flag flew at half-mast for the amount of time called for by the U.S. flag code, and who gives a damn?
I’ll tell you who gives a damn: self-appointed media elites who only care about themselves and their bitter little-bubbled world filled with bitter little battles over trifling things that do not matter to anyone outside of their velvet-lined salons.
Twenty-eight people shot in a major city over the weekend, a massive realignment of our trading relationship with Mexico, the stock market at record highs, consequential new laws about opioid prescriptions — and our shallow, stupid, utterly useless news media are CONSUMED with themselves; with taking a side in a meaningless personal feud (that Trump and the McCain family seemed to want no part of) that affects nothing and no one outside of the Hatfields and McCoys.
Again, I am not saying the feud is not news, and I get that these things matter to Sen. McCain’s friends and loved ones, and I even get that the media now has a psycho-sexual need to get its Two Minute Hate on against Trump every 24 hours or so.
But where does this insatiable, preening, bubbled, arrogance come from that transforms a personal feud between two rich and powerful white guys into The Only Thing In The World That Matters?
I’m sorry but it doesn’t matter, not to We the People, and neither does the media anymore, which is why we, like most everyone else driving around Western North Carolina that day, we listened to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.
If nothing else, at least they were talking about something else.