In the mass of fevered political excitement that the Trump era has brought to America, the liberal website Vox has offered its readers a roadmap for sorting out which forms of expression are acceptable and which are not.
The site made clear in a Wednesday report that President Donald Trump failed the acceptability test after Tuesday night’s raucous rally in Tampa, Florida.
Trump’s sin? He retweeted a video of the crowd venting its feeling at CNN’s Jim Acosta, the reporter who has preened for the cameras since before Trump took office and established himself as the loudest Trump critic of the many in the Washington media corps.
The crowd, as Trump rally crowds are prone to do, joined in the cheer of “CNN sucks.”
Acosta himself complained that the notoriety he had created was now coming back to bite him.
Just a sample of the sad scene we faced at the Trump rally in Tampa. I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt. We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy. pic.twitter.com/IhSRw5Ui3R
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 1, 2018
“Just a sample of the sad scene we faced at the Trump rally in Tampa. I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt. We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy,” he tweeted.
Vox writer Zach Beauchamp agreed.
“This isn’t a matter of Trump violating some abstract, airy-fairy ‘democratic norms.’ This is the president whipping up hatred of the media in tweets and public appearances, watching it blossom into a reporter becoming a target of hate at one of his rallies, and then expressing his satisfaction with how his supporters are acting on his messages,” Beauchamp wrote.
“This is not the way leaders of a democratic country are supposed to behave.”
From that clear and unambiguous closing statement, one would expect that in the older posts on the site there would be condemnations of the many verbal excesses that have spewed from liberal leaders of this democratic country, such as Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
In June, the California Democrat called upon anyone and everyone to harass any Trump Cabinet member any time they were in view.
But condemnations of Water were not to be found in a June 29 piece by Crystal Marie Fleming.
She wrote that any attempt to characterize what Waters said as violent was essentially a form of racism. Fleming, who divined that Waters was calling for verbal and not physical protests despite no such words flowing form the congresswoman’s mouth, said that attacking Waters was off base.
“Turning reality on its head to suggest that a champion of non-violent protest is actually a clear and present danger is a form of gaslighting, an abuse tactic used by the powerful to manipulate those they wish to silence or dominate,” she wrote.
Fleming then set a far different standard for judging the acceptability of political speech, saying that in a good cause, all the niceties go out the window.
“Unbowed and unapologetic, Waters threatens the racial and gendered status quo precisely because she highlights this administration’s extreme and heartless brutality. By now, it should be obvious to people of conscience that children’s lives and well-being matter considerably more than civility and politesse,” she wrote.
That what is hated on the right is tolerated when practiced by the left is nothing new. Back in 2017, former Washington Times columnist Madison Gesiotto vented her feelings about the double standard.
“Wake up, America. It is time for a change. This hypocrisy has been going on for too long. Liberals must stop refusing to see themselves, or other liberals, as hypocrites when they act as hypocrites. They must start holding themselves to the same standards they claim to support before it is too late,” she wrote.
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