Context Matters

As you know, I rarely discuss politics.

I’ve been seeing this piece by Jamelle Bouie (who is someone who I have respect for as a journalist and op-ed writer) making the rounds:

Opinion | Trump Wants Us to Know He Will Stop at Nothing in 2025 – The New York Times

Here’s a pull quote to use as an example:

With the help of these unscrupulous allies, Trump plans to turn the Department of Justice against his political opponents, prosecuting his critics and rivals. He would use the military to crush protests under the Insurrection Act — which he hoped to do during the summer of 2020 — and turn the power of the federal government against his perceived enemies.

Now, I’m not going to discuss whether I agree with it or not, because that is unimportant to the critique I’m about to provide. It is something that, frankly, large journalism as a whole continues to fail at time and time again when discussing these ideas. It is missing some very important context. Because, if you’ve not been paying close attention, here’s what you need to understand about not only Trump’s and his allies plans but, also, why his supporters and, frankly, the majority of modern Republicans/Conservatives are A-OK with those plans…

They believe this is already happening. They believe that the administrations of Obama and now Biden have weaponized the justice department and used it to punish its political enemies already. This is why it’s important to listen when they discuss “the Russia hoax” or “the stolen election”.

This is the tell. This is them telling you that Democracy, as they know it, is already dead. This is them explaining to you that all of these charges against Trump are not because of anything he actually did — they are only due to the fact that he’s the leading candidate (by far) for the Republican nomination.

Therefore, who cares if Trump not only does it in return when he is President again. They believe that he should do it even better, go even harder, and end Democracy even further? I mean, at least he’s doing it to the people they don’t like instead of the other way around.

Seriously, if you don’t understand that, to them, Democracy died almost 20 years ago already then you won’t understand why talking about saving it doesn’t matter to them now.

Yet, I rarely see this context really discussed in the media. The “what” makes a better sound bite but is useless without the “why”.