Political Framing Issues

National Conversation

Trump is a master at playing the media and focusing attention on his issues on his terms.

Here are three items a vibrant press should ensure are considered when issues of national concern are discussed.

  1. Ten million more Americans in 2018 voted for Democratic representatives than Republicans.
    1. A clear rejection of Trump positions and attitudes, yet rarely mentioned. This loss of faith should be weighed against proposals of the Trump administration.
  2. Is Trump our president or are we his subjects?
    1. Do we want a George Washington or a George the Third?
    2. Trump’s rejection of Constitutional oversight is based on his attitude that he is above the law, andthat he can’t be indicted while in office. Although that is an earlier Justice Department’s decision, that is not in the law or the Constitution and deserves to be severely restricted.
    3. Loyalty oaths to him must be clearly subordinate to loyalty to the Constitution.
    4. Firing of inspector generals who were independent makes our checks and balances a sham.
    5. Granting paroles to convicted and admitted criminals should be severely restricted.
    6. Executive privilege must be unavailable to the Executive branch so that Congress can provide Constitutional oversight that the Executive is carrying out its lawfully defined activities.
  3. Ten thousand lies, misstatements, and very low probability opinions have a profound effect on decision-making.
    1. The President should be restrained from giving casual explanations on which he has refused to give sworn testimony (tweets, press conferences, and political rallies).
    2. The poor choices will cause problems for many years, even when masked by the DC circus.
    3. The media needs to make truth sandwiches of Trump’s tweets.

Washington Post counts Trump’s lies, but how often have you read or heard a report that ties them to proposals. Probably one hundred times less than the trumpeting of the policy proposals.

So What

The huge differences in the current presentation of alternative views of pandemic, terrorists, white nationalists, immigration and so on results in a vast range of thoughts. This is due to the ready-made rule of thumb. When you have no personal experience with the issue, the truth lies midway between two most extreme positions you hear.

It is up to the free press to put the various perspectives in a rational perspective, not just in analysis pieces, but when the stories themselves are being told.

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