This is an installment of Matt Kass’ weekly column “Left, Right and Center”
I was initially going to do something of a lighter, more joking nature. It was going to be about the New Year’s resolutions that members of Congress and the president should be following up on in 2017. But frankly, that feels a little stale.
Since I came up with that topic, political issues have been appearing in front of me at a pace that can generously be described as warp speed. This past Friday, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, and then on the following day, one of the largest mass demonstrations the country has seen for a long time.
So instead of New Year’s resolutions, let’s talk about reactions to the inauguration from two specific groups in particular and how for one of them, Trump’s election has given courage to one, while its left another hoping to find it.
The first of these two groups were the people who demonstrated in Women’s Marches from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles. The right and ability to protest is a fundamental freedom enshrined in the Bill of Rights, and is one of the things that the founding fathers absolutely got right when replacing the Articles of Confederation. By showing up and marching out to demonstrate that they were mad as hell and not going to take it anymore, those in the weekend’s marches proved that as long as citizens band together and use their voice, this whole democracy thing might not be in such bad shape after all. Now, if only we could get more voters to cast ballots in the next election (which happens on Nov. 6, 2018, if you were wondering. All the seats in the House of Representatives and 33 seats in the Senate are up for grabs. Just saying.)
The second group is one, which just like the cowardly lion in “The Wizard of Oz,” is hoping to find some courage. The news media has bent over backwards for the last year and a half or so, forced to avoid attacking Trump directly due to the fact that they would be viewed as biased or opinionated.
With a new administration in place that seems intent on outwardly lying to the media about things as trivial as the crowd size at the inauguration, it’s clear that the time for impartiality has long since passed. It’s time for reporters everywhere to buck up and effectively return to the watchdog role that makes them so important to the community.
And if it means that reporters lose the cushy availability that came standard with the last few administrations, then so be it. It’s the job of a journalist to dig for answers, and we’ve all gotten a little complacent in that regard.
So that’s where we stand. People are marching, reporters are reporting, and I’m back with my political column. The only thing I know for certain is that I don’t know what will happen next. But whatever it is, I’ll be here to write about it.
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