The natural job of a child is to test the parent. This is how a child learns right from wrong. Good parents teach appropriate boundaries, which in turn results in honest, well-adjusted adults. Parents who fail at this oftentimes create neurotic grown-ups incapable of happiness. In this respect, governments and children are similar.
Along with access to enrichment through favors (pay-to-play), government officials are empowered with the authority to control others. Therefore, whether it is a dog catcher or the American president, with their hands on the levers of power, temptation is limitless. And so, like children, it is only natural for politicians and bureaucrats to test the boundaries of right and wrong. This is where the media is supposed to act as the parent.
When a political media does its job, when journalists hold government ethically accountable, the result is an honest, well-adjusted government. And while I can't speak for every locality, at the federal level, this is just not happening. Tragically, our national media now sees itself as part of the government, and as a consequence, the media's mission to hold institutions accountable has been dropped entirely in favor of relentless agenda-pushing.
Even more insidious is the coordination. Across a vast landscape that includes, but is not limited to ABCCBSNBCCNNMSNBCPBSNPRPoliticoWashingtonPostLosAngelesTimesESPNUnivisionNewYorkTimesBostonGlobe, all the same stories are covered in the same way (if you disagree, watch the ABCCNNCBSNBC Sunday shows): central government is not suspect, it is good; Democrats are virtuous, multiculturalism trumps e pluribus unum, and anyone who disagrees is backwards, selfish, and racist.
The elite media has accomplished this through its own professional blacklist. If you are a journalist who does not subscribe to this, you are Out, and even that is not enough. As a capital "J" journalist or pundit (this includes most every so-called conservative employed in the elite media), you must prove yourself by using the approved language ("undocumented immigrant") and the approved approach towards those who do not hold the approved opinions (Christianity=bigotry, border security=racism, refusal to violate your religious conscience=hate).
Moreover, not covered by this fiercely-policed clique are stories that contradict the media's over-arching agenda. And by "covered" I do not mean rote coverage. One of the most dishonest tactics the media engages in is pushing back against critics by pointing to page 11 or a 30-second cable news segment from last Tuesday. This, when we all know that the only thing that matters is what the media focuses on -- The Narrative.
And here is the consequence of all this…
Americans have lost faith in something as seemingly inconsequential as a museum, because, strictly for partisan purposes, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was snubbed by the Smithsonian. The taxpayer-funded museum of our country's history has been politically weaponized. How is this possible? Because the Smithsonian knows the media will let them get away with it.
Imagine how much better everything would be if taxpayer-funded institutions were held to the same media standard as, say, Fox News or the NRA.
Imagine how much better everything would be if political violence was toxified in the same way as mere words coming from everyday Trump supporters.
We've lost faith in democracy itself because vote fraud is now acceptable. Our own president openly encourages it. How is this possible? Because Democrats know the media will let them get away with it.
Imagine how much better democracy would be if every accusation of vote fraud was treated like every accusation of racism.
The IRS persecutes us. How is this possible? Because at first the media says it is a good thing and then they allow Obama to say it never happened, when it is still happening.
Imagine how much better our government would be if the media treated this behavior as the McCarthyism we all know it is.
We lost faith in the entire federal government when we lost our insurance. How is this possible? Because although the Affordable Care Act clearly outlawed most existing insurance plans, the media (especially the so-called fact-checkers) joined in the "keep your insurance" lie to ensure their precious Obama got a win and their precious central government assumed more control over us rubes. And then there are Obama's extra-legal executive actions…
Imagine if Obama was held to the same level of accountability as George W. Bush.
We've lost faith in the rule of law because, although she set up an illegal server in her bathroom to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests, exposed national security secrets to hackers and to an Internet pervert, and repeatedly lied about it, Hillary Clinton was not indicted. How is this possible? Because the FBI and Department of Justice know the national will cover for them.
Because the national political media hates us so, American institutions -- our own government -- are now allowed, with total impunity, to lie to us, to cheat us, to commit violence against us, to disenfranchise and replace us. In other words, these institutions are now completely broken.
And if we don't sit here and take it, the political media's cultural supremacists dehumanize us, target us, scream "Witch!" at us -- and not only at powerful conservatives and Republicans, but at everyday Americans just minding their own business.
It is not paranoia when they are really out to get you.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC