By: Mark Glennon*
Neil Steinberg of the Sun-Times yesterday gave his suggestions for folks contemplating suicide over Trump’s election. Yes, it was a serious article, because calls to suicide prevention lines indeed jumped Wednesday. (Anybody truly feeling suicidal over the election or anything else should stop here and call the prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.)
Never mind some of the others on his list of life-savers, which include flying a flag, learning Spanish and going to Margie’s Candies. It’s this gem I’d like you to consider: “Subscribe to a newspaper,” he says. “Get the paper at home — each copy is a universe, containing worlds.” Why, he was even kind enough to provide the pricing and link for a Sun-Times subscription.
Which of those worlds is Steinberg living in? The election’s Biggest Loser was media credibility, you’d think he’d know. Even before the election, two-thirds of Americans had no real confidence in the media and its credibility was tanking rapidly. The jig is up. America figured out that the “universe” Steinberg says you can find in a paper is too often an alternate one spun up by like-thinking media. That’s depressing, but Steinberg says we should send them cash to maintain their rule.
If you have been seeking refuge in newspapers, it’s no wonder you’re considering a flying leap if you’ve included Steinberg’s articles, which have been extreme even by media standards. Among the things he has written that America will become under Trump:
A dystopian novel come to life…a place where decent Americans who love this country would clutch our cheeks and howl like the figure in Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream”… You wouldn’t have to spend $15 to see the latest “Hunger Games” movie; you could just walk outside…the epic failure in the American system.
America would be ruled by Trump supporters, who he says are:
Haters, emboldened to creep out of their basements at mid-day, blinking in the unfamiliar sun, salaaming at Trump’s feet...that element of society that has always been with us, tolerated if not in charge, the backward-looking bigots who, rather than try to cram the sprawling modern world into their walnut-sized brains instead try to hack reality down to a size small enough to pass through the chicken wire around their minds… the most timorous, sniveling, poltroonish, ignominious mob of serfs and goose-steppers ever gathered under one flag in Christendom since the end of the Middle Ages... The greatest existential threat since Pearl Harbor.
Jeez, where’s my hanging rope.
Look, I don’t know whether following the news will really help if you’re depressed, but if you try it, you better do this: Spread what time you have among as many sources as you can. Look at sites that collect all sides, like Real Clear. Include some of the quality stuff on the right, like The American Interest and at least browse even the far right sites like Drudge. Continue including progressive stuff from writers like Steinberg, but try to visit quality progressive sites like, um, well, I’m blanking now but find some.
Do that, and at least you might find solace concluding that things may not be what they seem — that nobody’s vision of post-election America is certain, especially Steinberg’s. Somebody once said history is “just one fucking thing after another.” That’s about right, and it might turn out just fine.
*Mark Glennon is founder of WirePoints. Opinions expressed are his own.