Columnist—Communication Specialist—Journalist—Reporter—Propagandist—Pamphleteer—Pundit—Public Relations Operative—Contemporary Historian—Political Consultant
These are all names for people who tell a story. The problem for the everyday citizen is not only to discern the veracity of a story, but also to try to identify the ulterior motives of those who tell the story. And the same story can be told, and a different political narrative can be put forward, with a different conclusion with the same facts.
To prove that point, I watched MSNBC, CNN, and ESPN exclusively for five straight days last week. The narrative surrounding the Team USA Women’s soccer team and the social message surrounding the protests of several players who didn’t stand for our National Anthem was focused and deliberately centrally orchestrated in my opinion. They use not only the same talking points, but also the same words and phrases.
Conservatives are not used to such “centralized planning” and “sovietization” of the media and the propagandization of an ongoing political narrative. We tend to be in the camp of full transparency. In other words, we think for ourselves.
How do we overcome the political biases of those controlling the political narrative in our media as the 2024 election looms before us?
My mother, who ran many political campaigns in Ohio at all levels subscribed to the “Full Monty” idea that candidates can circumvent the media only by fully exposing themselves publicly in front of as many people as possible. One on one debates very much like the Lincoln-Douglas debates in front of a live audience of citizens that don’t need “carte blanche” access to the event is a great disinfectant.
When more than two people are on a stage with a media pundit referee, the debate often becomes about the pundit and not about the candidates. Two candidates sitting at a table or standing behind two podiums at a high school football field truly debating each other without a moderator or a time clock would be the best way to expose weaknesses in an argument and allow the people to judge for themselves the personalities of the candidates—warts and all.
The political philosophy and the hearts and souls of the candidates can be watched, not through the lens of a biased media commentator, but through the eyes of Mr./MS. Citizen.
Decide for yourself! Could you imagine if juries had to listen to the media talk about a trial that they were involved in before they could deliberate and present a verdict to the court? There is a reason why trial judges often insist that juries be isolated during the entire trial and deliberations. WE The People are trusted far more than the media in our system of jurisprudence. Why not when we elect our legislators and those in the executive branches of government?
I propose that Republicans provide a forum for 2-2 debates across the State for candidates at all levels of government—much like the Lincoln Douglas Debates that were a conversation and not a platform for media pundit moderators to leverage their own political narrative and control the process.
It is time for WE The People to define how and when our candidates will present themselves and let them hash it out in person and real time. Such an idea may also limit the influence of special interests and out of district influence and campaign contributions from corporate lobbyists.
There is no better place for this to take place than Idaho—The last place where “America Still Is”—at least for now.