Finding Balance

Yesterday, after most of the pundits had concluded that any indictment against Donald Trump would be postponed until after the grand jury’s month-long April break, it was announced that there was, in fact, an indictment in the case of the Manhattan District Attorney against Donald Trump.  One part of me cheered, while another part wished that the indictment was for one of the more heinous crimes he has committed, such as attempting to overthrow the 2020 election, or theft of hundreds of classified documents.  And then another part of me realized that this opens new doors and that from this day forward, into the unforeseeable future, the name and ugly mug of Donald Trump will be front-and-center in the news to the exclusion of all else.

As I said in an earlier post, I see this case as something of a ‘trial balloon,’ testing the waters to see just how much reaction an indictment against a former president [sic] would bring, and whether the nation could/would withstand the pressure.  I think we will all need to step back, take the day-to-day rhetoric with a grain of salt, and remember that there are other issues demanding our attention.  We need to take care not to allow Trump, his antics, his daily blah-blah-blah to suck all the air out of the room.  In short, Donald Trump is not the most important, or even the most interesting thing in the universe, contrary to what he believes.

Dan Rather reminds us that there are other things happening in the world and here in the U.S. that are as important, if not more so, than the Trump indictment and the response to it …

The News Of The Day

And a broader need for context

By Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner

31 March 2023

News of the day, and likely several days to come, is of an indictment. And a former president. And the political fallout of a historic development. 

It is news, to be sure. But have we already moved beyond another mass shooting of children?

What about the attacks on public education?

The demonization of members of the LGBTQ community?

The health and safety of our communities?

Rising military challenges overseas?

The increasing threats of our climate crisis?

The man who has now become the first former president indicted in our nation’s history will likely always be in the spotlight. His legions of fervent fans and determined detractors will make sure of it. And so will the press. 

Furthermore, he wants to be the center of attention. And he will try to use all the power of his perverse showmanship to shift his legal jeopardy to his benefit. He will use the news to try to wreak instability and division. 

He could face other indictments for crimes surrounding his determination to wreck American democracy through his alleged actions around the 2020 presidential election. 

In all of these cases he will have — should have — a presumption of innocence until proven otherwise in a court of law. These cases will have many twists and turns. They may be hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. 

But what we do know is that our world and our nation face many threats. And the former president played a role in fomenting or exacerbating many of our challenges. But he couldn’t have acted alone. 

In the rush of coverage that is ensuing, we should not forget the larger contexts and perspectives. 

His name will dominate the headlines. But the narratives are much broader and deeper. 

To focus only on him is to risk missing seeing the other pieces come together for a more complete picture of our troubled times. And the resolve and resilience that will be needed to forge a brighter and more stable future. 

No person should be above the law. The legal process should be allowed to proceed. But to focus too much on this is to let other dangerous actors off the hook. It puts in jeopardy too much of what we need to confront with clear-eyed determination. 

This story should be covered. It is important. For sure. But not at the expense of everything else we need to know. 

30 thoughts on “Finding Balance

  1. What happens to Trump is a non-event. In reality he’s the big fat emperor with no clothes… a nobody. But mainstream media keep promoting him, making headlines b/c sensationalism sells.
    My big concern is all this free publicity will push this blowhard right back into the White House come 2024. Trump does not deserve any coverage, let him fade into obscurity… that would simply kill him and his out-of-control ego.


  2. There is nothing they (governments of any kind) like better than to have something to deflect the general public from knowing about the ‘real issues’. In your country, Trump serves that purpose. In Britain, we have something called The Royal Family.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Like you, I don’t think that this is the strongest case against him, but however they get him is fine by me. Meanwhile, it may come as a surprise to such an inward-looking nation, but there is plenty of news happening elsewhere in the world, much of which is of far greater importance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, it doesn’t come as a surprise at all! And you are right … we are inward-looking, self-focused, and I find that very few people in this country much care what is happening in the rest of the world. It always amazes me that my readers from the UK, France, Germany, Australia, etc., have such a good understanding of what is happening here and why, when most of us here couldn’t tell you much about what’s happening elsewhere. I am as guilty as the next … it isn’t that I don’t care about your troubles with the NHS, Northern Ireland, and more, or France’s unrest due to Macron’s raising of the retirement age, but simply that there isn’t enough of me to cover everything. Globally, much of the unrest has a basis that is similar to the basis for our current fiasco, the roots of which can be traced to both climate change and the Arab Spring movement. But, it seems that not many are interested in my take on that! Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are a notable exception to the stereotype view that most of us have of Americans, and deserve credit for that. I bet that most Americans wouldn’t know much about any of the issues you mention, as they are too preoccupied with the ongoing civil war over there, and too busy calling each other names if they disagree. Or shooting them.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Awwww … thanks, Clive! I wish I did write more about things taking place in other countries, such as the war in Ukraine, Brazil’s destruction of the Amazon Rainforest, scarcity of food and water in the African countries … but I seem stuck in a rut with U.S. politics, and I get the sense from the majority of my readers they aren’t interested in global affairs. Perhaps someday!

          Liked by 1 person

          • You’re writing about what interests you and most of your readers, I get that. I think the perception in other countries is that Americans generally don’t make much of an effort to inform themselves about what is happening elsewhere. That may be unfair, but it’s the impression we get. But I think that’s probably true in most countries, where the press looks for a local angle to a news story: the ‘earthquake in Turkey, no Brits injured’ type of story. I can’t recall when or where it was but one of our tabloids did once have that as a front page headline!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Sadly, that perception is true with the majority of Americans. Most don’t bother to read or learn about what is happening around the globe … this nation as a whole seems to think it’s still possible to be isolationist in this 21st century. The very word ‘globalism’ raises the hackles of many. What they fail to understand is that in today’s world, what happens here affects every other nation, and what happens in the UK or Ghana or Iraq will ultimately have an effect on the U.S. This is especially true with aggression and climate change, but people want to wear blinders when it comes to climate change. I’ve lost count of how many people have told me that it will all work out, or that ‘god will take care of the planet’. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …

              “Earthquake in Turkey, no Brits injured” is the same as headlines here! How many journalists has Russia imprisoned from around the world, but only this week when it was one of our own, did anybody bother to notice. I think … the human species was not prepared for the 21st century, or perhaps even the 20th, for they seem to have a 19th century mentality! Okay, I’ll hush now. 😉

              Liked by 1 person

  4. Good news nonetheless! I agree with the comment about this being a trial balloon to gauge public reaction. Will be an interesting next few weeks and months for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is good news, but in a limited sort of way. Oh yes, my friend, it will be an interesting year, I suspect, as will next year. Not sure how much more ‘interesting’ my old heart can take!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Rather is right. There are many issues. Good. There are people paid to solve those.
    Now, the Tramp? Good. Get his sorry as* in jail.
    Remember Al Capone? They never could get him for his crimes. So they got him for tax evasion…

    Liked by 1 person

    • This case in Manhattan won’t send Trump to jail, but some of the other ones involving attempting to overthrow an election, change votes, and theft of classified documents could possibly. At the very least, if he is convicted on the ones pertaining to the election in 2020, it will keep him off the ballot in 2024, so that is my fondest hope! Oh yeah, I remember hearing about Al Capone … whatever it takes, right?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep. Whatever it takes. The good thing is that one prosecutor finally made the move. The others will probably follow suit. I understand the democratic need for any elected official to be free of judicial pursuits during their mandate., Otherwise opponents would sue all the time. But. But. Except for crimes and felonies, even during the mandate. And of course, abuse of power. The classified documents he took away to Florida are a very serious affair.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Jill, there is little doubt in my mind that the former president is guilty of multiple crimes, the first for which he has now been indicted. The Georgia case is the one where he acted seditiously to overthrow the election in Georgia to his behalf. It is on hold as he has asked a state of Georgia judge to deny the Atlanta DA from indicting him. To me, this is an indicator that he knows he is guilty.

    Yet, we should not lose track of the Fox News defamation case brought forward by Dominion Voting Systems. It is now known that more than several Fox News personnel knew Trump was lying about the election fraud, but chose to gaslight their audience. This should have a greater impact, but it is not being mentioned in places where it should. But just today, the judge answered Fox’s request for a Summary judgment to dismiss the case. The judge did the opposite and said the trial can go on AND made a Summary judgment against Fox saying the evidence was “crystal clear” that there is no truth to Fox’s claims that Dominion erred in favor of Trump. This is a clear indication that Fox is in trouble on the case. My guess is they will settle for an amount south of $1.6 billion. The Fox case has already revealed that Trump has lied and Fox has gaslit its public.


    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m in 100% agreement with you … he knows he is guilty, but thinks his persona, his bullying tactics, and his former position give him immunity. He must be shown that NOBODY is above the law! The Georgia case, and the two cases being brought by the DoJ with Jack Smith are the ones that could and would keep him off of the ballot in 2024, so it is those I’m most concerned about. As far as Trump’s guilt in all of these cases … if it walks like a duck and looks like a duck, it most likely is a duck.

      Yes, the Dominion vs Fox case is likely to become a landmark case, and too few are interested, or so it seems to me. I am amazed by some of the evidence Dominion has presented already in this case. We all knew Fox lied to its viewers, but that they acknowledged the lie and basically had a good laugh at the expense of their public is unconscionable. And yet, as far as I can tell, Fox hasn’t lost many viewers over this. What is wrong with people??? Do they like being lied to, as long as it’s what they want to hear?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cognitive dissonance. To agree with the truth about Fox News’ gaslighting is too unsettling, so they look elsewhere for comfort. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

      • There will have to be a stipulation in the eventual settlement that requires Fox to “fess up” to its viewers. And the Symantec case will be not far behind. The $1.6 billion won’t break Rupert, but punitive damages and multiple other cases may. Here’s hoping…

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Finding Balance | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

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