Fact checking is neither liberal nor conservative. Facts stand alone. They simply exist to serve reality.
For all of political eternity, folks of one side or another have chosen to
A) interpret facts differently,
B) use or contextualize facts differently, or
C) omit facts that don't confirm existing beliefs.
That can be frustrating. It's why we can have a good discussion, debate, or legitimate argument about John McCain vs. Barack Obama, or even - and I open myself to criticism from other quarters here - George W. Bush vs. Al Gore.
The reason we are unable to have this same discussion on a level table now is because - and I give Trump some sort of moxie points for this -
for the first time, without precedence in modern times*, we have a leader who has created an Option D: deny the reality of facts themselves, again and again, and create new ones.
Again, we could debate the platforms, the viability, the lunacy or moral shakiness of other past Presidents. But this is the only one who we have to truly look at the reality and say: this is someone who is not acknowledging fundamental facts as a baseline for decision-making.
I have stood my ground in past decades supporting certain Republicans and conservatives. I have deliberately chosen, for 25+ years, to TRY and look at objective facts and form opinions based on those. I have argued and discussed intensely with every spectrum in between Strom Thurmond and Barney Frank.
If 'surreal' was the word of 2016, 'unprecedented' is shaping up to be the one for this year.
Not meant as a compliment. Not when unprecedented means "the first modern President to ignore, to blatantly ignore, facts as a starting point for debate or discussion.
As I have stated in past posts, my past history is one as an independent; who has owed no allegiances to parties or platforms, who has simply asked questions along the way. During the depth of his presidency, I defended GW on some issues. I say this as a reminder that I am doing what I have done for a quarter century: ask questions.
And I will not be lied to, again and again and be okay with it.
Bob Woodward and Matt Drudge are both...journalists.
History will not look at each of them and say,
"well, they each had their equally valid viewpoints that were equally grounded in research, evidence, and thoughtful analysis of the facts.”
Hint: Bob has had plenty of people on all sides of the fence irked at him.
Sometimes we get them wrong.
Sometimes our leaders get them wrong.
Sometimes I do.
What do we do when that happens?
We apologize, own up to it, and move forward. And sometimes we accept that there are consequences to getting them wrong.
Or, in what appears to be a growing trend, we can gleefully stomp ahead, fire those who question, humiliate those who are voiceless, dismiss those who raise a voice, and threaten those who disagree or try to hold to accountability.
That is why this is different.
*in this country