Opinion: Alternative facts, alternative realities compete for attention in the post-election political scene

Americans are growing weary of the new politics as usual from both the media and the new administration.

Troy Marshall 2, BEEF Contributing Editor

February 3, 2017

3 Min Read
Opinion: Alternative facts, alternative realities compete for attention in the post-election political scene

If you listen to the media, the new catch phrase is “alternative facts.” The hostility between the Trump administration, Hollywood, the mass media and the far left is (I’m about to use a word that is way overused, but accurate in this case) unprecedented.

The extremes of the political spectrum may be enjoying the battle, but I get a sense that the majority of Americans are growing tired of it all. People have had enough; they don’t want their president debating crowd sizes and tweeting incessantly about slights he has received from the media.

On the other hand, people are tired of the media distorting and misrepresenting the president to make him out to be a xenophobe, homophobe, racist or sexist. And yet, both sides seem committed not only to their alternative facts but their alternative realities. I think it is a grave miscalculation for both sides, because most Americans can sort through the rhetoric and get to the facts, and they understand the reality we are engaged in.

The issues are largely irrelevant. The temporary ban on immigrants entering the U.S. was simply that—a temporary ban until the extreme vetting procedures can be put in place. It isn’t a Muslim ban, it is a ban on seven Muslim countries that are in disarray and inflicted with the insidious disease of ISIS.

Related:How Trump’s first week will impact ag

I believe very few Americans would tolerate a Muslim ban, nor do they feel that this temporary ban is out of place or extraordinary.

Whether you are astonished by the Trump administration continuing to put its foot in its mouth and get sidetracked from the big items, or disappointed by the media’s attempts to keep the election rhetoric alive in an effort to delegitimize and destroy the Trump presidency, most Americans are growing tired of the current state of affairs and we aren’t even two weeks into the new administration’s term.

The great irony is that the bulk of the damage being done to both sides is not as a result of what the opposition is doing, but rather what each side is doing to their own argument. The mass media, liberal elites and Hollywood see the demonstrations and the vitriol from their members and somehow believe they represent the majority of Americans. But they don’t and they are doing themselves a grave disservice with every attempt to mischaracterize President Trump.

The Trump folks, while admittedly trying to deliver on all their campaign promises, seemingly don’t understand that what people voted for was change, for jobs, for a new direction, and overlooked some of Trump’s more radical positions. The ardent activists on both sides are missing the message and the focus that the American people want.

Related:So Trump won. Now what?

Will Trump focus on jobs, reducing waste and regulation, getting the deficit under control, replacing Obamacare and keeping America safe, or will he get sidetracked with crowd sizes, minute aspects of immigration reform, and complaining about media coverage? We all know that the mainstream media has become increasingly biased in their political views and no longer have journalistic credibility. But we don’t want to hear the Trump administration seem like they are shocked every time the president is misquoted or the real story subjugated into negative minutia.

Smart people will work to change the rules of the game if they think they are unfair, but they also understand that they must play by the rules in the meantime. Trump’s people better get better at crafting and controlling their message, and better understand that everything will be distorted.

Conversely, the media better figure out that distorting everything said to make it fit some mold that does not pertain to reality only jeopardizes their own credibility. 

Both sides seem committed to participating in their own circular firing squad. As the saying goes, we have met the enemy and it is us. Whichever side ends up discarding their alternative facts and alternative realities and returns to the reasons that people voted, which was for change, will be the side that succeeds. 

The opinions of Troy Marshall are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com and the Penton Agriculture Group.

About the Author(s)

Troy Marshall 2

BEEF Contributing Editor

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock and World Champion Horse Judging teams. Following college, he worked as a market analyst for Cattle-Fax covering different regions of the country. Troy also worked as director of commercial marketing for two breed associations; these positions were some of the first to provide direct links tying breed associations to the commercial cow-calf industry.

A visionary with a great grasp for all segments of the industry, Troy is a regular opinion contributor to BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly. His columns are widely reprinted and provide in-depth reporting and commentary from the perspective of a producer who truly understands the economics and challenges of the different industry segments. He is also a partner/owner in Allied Genetic Resources, a company created to change the definition of customer service provided by the seedstock industry. Troy and his wife Lorna have three children. 

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