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The Corporate Media Turns Against Democracy
It's ok when some people or organizations try to subvert democracy, so long as it's in the name of stopping Donald Trump and his supporters
The New York Times, the “Newspaper of Record,” is running a column calling for an end to representative democracy in the United States. The original title of the column was an honest summary of the column’s argument.
They decided it needed to be changed, however, to give themselves plausible deniability.
The argument of the column has not changed. From the very first paragraph:
On the eve of the first debate of the 2024 presidential race, trust in government is rivaling historic lows. Officials have been working hard to safeguard elections and assure citizens of their integrity. But if we want public office to have integrity, we might be better off eliminating elections altogether. [My emphasis - KM]
Being no fan of democracy myself, this column is actually somewhat interesting to me in its own right, but far more interesting is why the Times would publish it. What is happening in the United States that the corporate media would want to try to desanctify the Holy of Holies: American Democracy?
The polling data above shows President Biden with a very narrow, and within the margin of error, lead on Donald Trump in a head-to-head match-up, but it’s essentially a statistical tie between them. And that’s the answer as to why The New York Times would run a column making an argument for abolishing democracy in the United States: They’re afraid that Donald Trump may be able to defeat Joe Biden in the 2024 Presidential Election.
I won’t go so far as to say that Adam Grant wrote his column simply because he wants to keep Trump out of office, I don’t know anything about him personally. I do know the Times, however, and that’s exactly why they would publish Grant’s column while simultaneously publishing content about how Donald Trump is a threat to democracy and how his presidency upended “norms.”
This is the rank hypocrisy of the corporate media: When Donald Trump threatens to prosecute his then chief political rival, Hillary Clinton, it’s a threat to democracy, but when Donald Trump allegedly does the exact same stuff that Hillary Clinton did, keep classified information and claim that a presidential election that they lost was stolen, it’s affirming democracy when he is prosecuted by the Department of Justice of his now chief political rival, President Joe Biden. Anything and everything that Trump does while president is claimed to be a subversion of democracy or threatening the will of the people, but to keep him out of office they want you to consider eliminating people’s right to vote for the politicians that they choose to support.
One more, completely separate, point about this column. One of the unique evils in American history that we all learn about is how Jim Crow laws in the south attempted to marginalize black Americans after the Civil War, and one of the ways this was done was by implementing literacy tests for people to be eligible to vote. Former slaves or simply poor black Americans would have had a harder time passing these literacy tests than white citizens who would have had more access to education. In his column, Adam Grant makes the case that it might be a good idea for Americans to be able to pass a “civics test” to be eligible for political office.
There is a lot of argument over what the Constitution says, even when it’s explicit as in the case of, say, the Second Amendment. There’s a quote often, and probably mistakenly, attributed to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin: “It's not the people who vote that count, it's the people who count the votes.” In the case of Adam Grant’s proposed civics test I might posit that it’s not the answers to the test that count, but the people who grade the tests. Who does Adam Grant believe is in a position to objectively say what the correct understanding of the Constitution is, and why should I trust him or them?
Furthermore, it’s absurd to me that such a proposal could even be put forward in a country where a large portion of the population actually believes it’s akin to Jim Crow to make showing a state-issued identification card a legal requirement to voting.