By Victor Giaquinto
Over the years, the United States has become increasingly polarized, with the left wing’s extremists, ANTIFA, growing at record speeds membership-wise, and the right wing’s extremists, the fascists and the KKK, also growing in membership like never before in history. Why has it come down to this, you may ask? Upon close observation, this is simply a result of “fake news” tearing a nation apart.
“Fake news” is no recent concept, contradictory to the popular belief that president Trump coined the term. It has existed for millenia, and not as “fake news,” but rather as “propaganda,” with a relatively recent example of this: World War II. The German National Socialist party (NSDAP) was indoctrinating the public with anti-Semitic propaganda, to promote the image of the Nazi party to the general public. This, unsurprisingly, resulted in an increase in anti-Semitic views among Germans throughout Hitler’s rule as the chancellor of Germany.
The United States used to be a role model for a truly democratic nation, but now, ironically, it’s in a politically “war-torn” state.
In the present decade, we can take prominent examples of this coming from the Democratic party with the scandalous Russian collusion conspiracy, used to distort the public image of the Republican party. After millions of dollars spent in legal fees and FBI investigations, it was proven to be a hoax. We can also see a similar “fake news” story with the Nick Sandmann case; a high schooler whose reputation was destroyed for simply smirking at a Native American, while wearing a “MAGA” hat. Sandmann woke up the following morning to see his face in the papers linked to terms such as “racist,” “bigot,” and “republican,” the latter of which is the only truthful one. Every single one of these was undoubtedly an attempt at tarnishing the image of the Republican party, thus promoting the views belonging to the democrats.
Examples of this do not only come from the Democratic party, of course. We find evidence of this with the republicans as well. There was the republican Fox News Network, propelling lies about the escalating global warming concerns and making idiotic claims such as: “It is cold outside, therefore global warming is not a real issue.” They also mocked Al Gore’s pressuring for awareness over the matter at hand, and destroyed his reputation live, in front of millions of viewers. All in all, with all the scientific evidence indicating rising temperatures worldwide, this is clearly a move perpetrated by the republicans to belittle the claims of the democrats, employing this “fake news” as a political power-grab tool.
The left wing is straying further to the left, and the right wing is leaning further to the right. The U.S. is more polarized than ever before in history, and the country is taking itself down from within. There is a solution to revert this, however: taking the fake news issue head-on.
As of right now, there are only two solutions for this: penalization of news agencies for pushing fake news, or us pushing awareness over the issue. The prior would be a terrible idea. It would force government intervention, which in turn will allow those in power to silence the opposition, a serious infringement to the First Amendment. Therefore, awareness may very well be the way to go. In a world where billions of gigabytes of information can be constantly accessed in a few seconds at our fingertips, it is nearly impossible to not stumble upon an article providing false information.
To conclude, we must at all costs spread awareness over fake news and encourage as many people as we can to fact-check what they read to preserve free speech, and more importantly, the United States.
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- Sandmann, Nick. “Statement Of Nick Sandmann, Covington Catholic High School Junior, Regarding Incident At The Lincoln Memorial”. CNN, 2019, https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/20/us/covington-kentucky-student-statement/index.html. Accessed 2 Apr 2019.
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