As most of you should have noticed by now, I have been railing against American journalism for some time. I have criticised it for its coverage of current events, its bias towards one ideological standpoint, and its general content and conduct. Well, today I present to you an article written in the 2 February 2017 issue of our university’s student newspaper, the Wapad (lit. Where road). I present this article as an example of what we would consider more ethical journalism. The article is not perfect, as no article is, but it does – at least in my opinion – a far better job of being objective and fact-based than what we have seen from the subjects of my criticisms. (Note the article itself is also written in comment on the way American news outlets have handled the Trump matter.)
I provide at the bottom of the article a link to the digital version of the newspaper for those who wish to read it for themselves. The article is on page 10 of the newspaper. Just note that the article is written in Afrikaans, which is why I provide an English translation beneath.
I do not claim authoriship, ownership or copy right of the material to follow. The material is translated as near verbatim as possible and provided with the intent to inform. I do not, nor wish to, make any monetary gain from this publication.
USA plays the ‘Trump card’
The mainstream media will give you all the reasons why you shouldn’t support Trump. A true liberal perspective on the matter, however, would provide you with both sides of the issue and allow you to make the decision whether Donald Trump is a candidate whose ideas are in congruence with your ideology, on your own.
Maintream media’s version of liberbalism has, however, for a long time now no longer been about true freedom, especially not freedom of association, because the decision has been taken away from you. What you face now, is two options: you can stand by liberals, or be disgarded as a radical conservative. The irony is that modern liberals pride themselves on that they accept all ideologies, are free-thinking, and consider each opinion rationally – this is, however, only as long as your opinion isn’t conservative.
Consistency: (‘Beginselvastheid’ translated literally as principle-fastness)
Consistency is something that makes someone a strong leader. To be someone that stands by their principles and to be someone that does not make empty promises, but does not follow through, are characteristics of a leader that is appreciated by those who elected him. It is also the shortcomings with regard to these that we often point out when complaining about politicians in South Africa.
Implementation of promises:
Mere days after Trump’s appointment he already signed executive orders that announce the USA’s withdrawel from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), reinstate the Mexico City Policy with regard to government organisations and access to abortion (anti-abortion legislation), as well as implementing a ban on further appointments in the federal workforce, save the military.
Interests of the citizens:
These orders were implemented with the main goal of furthering the interests of Americans. This is indeed what one wants from a president – to hold the interests of the citizens dear. The withdrawel from the TPP aims to improve the American economy, to bring the work that has been outsourced to other countries back to the American bosom so that unemployment can be combatted. Throughout his election campaign, Trump has not shied away from taking a stance on abortion. He is pro-life and proves through this is consistency. He protects the interests and lives of even unborn Americans.
He furthers the freedom ideal of Americans through his freeze on appointments in the federal workforce and in-so-doing limiting the power of the state. As he also noted in his inauguration speech, he wants to give the power seated in Washington back to the people. It appears that he aspires true freedom – governance/rule by the people.
The primary critique against Trump is that he is a racist. This despite the fact that he holds the interests of Americans (note, ALL Americans) dear by strengthening their borders and in-so-doing protecting work opportunities and resources, and making it availible to the country’s citizens.
He is criticised because he aims to deport ILLEGAL immigrants. The president is thus booed because he applies the country’s laws. What is, however, shameless, is that his apparent hate against immigrants is inflated to such a degree by the mainstream media that it has been forgotten that his own wife (the First Lady) is an immigrant.
Another point of critique against him is that trump has recently placed a temporary ban on immigrants flowing into the country. One’s first reactions would be to be critical of this. However, when one looks at the increase in violent crime and rape, unemployment statistics that are shooting through the roof, and a shortage of housing that has cropped up in countries such as Germany since the influx of refugees, it is possible that the American president is simply protecting the interests and resources of those whom have elected him.
His policy is one that says that every country should look after the interests of its own people before the interests of other nations are considered, that is why he is withdrawing from foreign financial aid until the American veterans and homeless are looked after (‘America first’).
America spent an amount of $35 Milliard (Billion, for those using the short scale) in 2016 on foreign financial aid. This while the country had a debt of $13.62 Billion (Trillion, for those using the short scale). The business man is of the opinion that it simply doesn’t make sense to continue to spend this amount of money on foreign aid when thousands of citizens aren’t look after. Along with this he says that there should be friendly and diplomatic relations with other countries.
The media ought to be a watchdog with healthy skepticism of all political figures. A political figure who is outspoken and determined, obviously opens himself up to this skepticism. It is, however, also important that the media reports in a balanced manner on the events and public comments [of these figures]. Thus, that they consider different perspectives in their reports. members of the media ought to aim to report on political figures without prejudice. This is, however, not the case at the moment in the mainstream media.
Here is the link to the issue of the student newspaper as published and printed by Wapad:
And for those interested in my comments regarding short and long scale: