objectivity

shortey-trump-hitler

I’m no fan of Trump. I agree with some of his directions, I disagree with many, I am opposed to the original and evolved roles of a national president.  Nonetheless, our political culture seems to have abandoned all objectivity.

Here’s an example.

Tag and title:

MOTEL BUST – Cops: Trump Backer Caught With Underage Boy in Oklahoma Motel

Blurb (actual facts):

Oklahoma state Sen. Ralph Shortey has been stripped of his Senate privileges and faces charges of soliciting prostitution of a minor after cops found him in a motel room with a teen.

Our reporter:

KATIE ZAVADSK

The time of reporting …

03.15.17 10:29 PM ET

An Oklahoma Republican who was a key backer of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is under investigation after being found in a hotel room with an underage boy.

What in the world does Trump have to do with anything of any importance in these events? That’s like 7th or 9th, in 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon…
“I once heard a radio station in Alberquerque mention Kevin Bacon.”
“Wow, that’s so crazy, I once knew a guy named Al who couldn’t even eat bacon!” 
Let’s look at this again.

Trump Backer Caught…

An Oklahoma Republican who was a key backer of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is under investigation after being found in a hotel room with an underage boy.

What is the relevance and connection? As an OK GOP politician with a strong anti-immigration position, he likely stamped his feet to participate in the Trump OK ground campaign. The rest of the story provides factual information, but the headline and the opening sentence work impossibly hard to connect this deviant to Trump.
I was confused by the comment from someone on the OKLP Facebook page about how this behavior that could have been expected by the voters… since Shortey was so hard-right. Have you gone mad? Have you abandoned logic?
This is a predator who, in his community, gained enough popularity to access government power. Power he used to advance an agenda unrelated to increasing or decreasing protections of exploited minors. If your point is something like, me thinks the fellow doth protest too much, because Shortey seems to be an overly zealous hard-right and family values policy advocate… well, you may have a small bit of mileage there, but it’s nothing new; we often attack what we despise within ourselves.

This authors desire to jump on the anti-Trump bandwagon isn’t even one of the worst examples available; it’s just so clear and precise. Nor is this behavior limited to the political left. I challenge you to listen to more than 15 minutes of a conservative talk show without the host or a caller making some ridiculous connection between someone and something they consider abhorrent; with the implication… “see, the opposition really are kind of like child molesters and Nazis.”

We should work to examine our biases. More and more, it seems fashionable to flaunt unexamined biases as commitment to the cause.