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Break free from Fox News

Democrats and Republicans convene every four years to nominate candidates for president and vice president, and to prepare a platform of principles and goals.

The new Democratic Party Platform

The new Democratic Party Platform is available at https://democrats.org/where-we-stand/party-platform. It enunciates a broad set of admirable principles and goals, and is a document with which every voter should be familiar.

No new Republican Party platform

Similarly, voters should be familiar with Republicans’ current platform. However, Donald Trump, Elise Stefanik and the Republican Party have chosen not to prepare a new party platform — instead re-adopting their platform from four years ago. Have they nothing new to offer to the nation beyond rejection of all things Obama?

On Aug. 25, The Washington Post published an editorial, “The Republican Party announces that it stands for nothing.” It discusses “the alarming vacuity of the Republican Party under President Trump. … The party’s only reason for being is to gain and retain power for itself and its comparably unprincipled leader.” The editorial concludes, “In a CULT OF PERSONALITY (emphasis added), the government itself becomes the property of the leader … the party can only cheer its approval” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/republicans-no-party-platform-rnc/2020/08/24/a56c057c-e61c-11ea-970a-64c73a1c2392_story.html).

What do Republicans stand for?

Tim Alberta, chief political correspondent for Politico Magazine, asked leading Republicans the question, “What do Republicans believe? What does it mean to be a Republican?” (“The Grand Old Meltdown, What happens when a party gives up on ideas?” https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/08/24/republicanmeltdown-trump-convention-400039).

Republican pollster and political advisor Frank Luntz responded, “You know, I don’t have a history of dodging questions. But I don’t know how to answer that. There is no consistent philosophy. … You can’t say it’s about making America great again at a time of COVID and economic distress and social unrest. It’s just not credible. … I’ve tried to give you an answer, and I can’t do it. … For the first time in my life, I don’t know the answer.”

Alberta wrote, “It can now safely be said, as his first term in the White House draws toward closure, that Donald Trump’s party is the very definition of a CULT OF PERSONALITY (emphasis added). It stands for no special ideal. It possesses no organizing principle. It represents no detailed vision for governing. … If it agitates the base, if it lights up a Fox News chyron, if it serves to alienate sturdy real Americans from delicate coastal elites, then it’s got a place in the Grand Old Party.”

What are Trump’s goals for a second term?

In the absence of a platform, President Trump has been asked about his goals for a second term. His answers could charitably be described as aimless. See “Donald Trump has no idea why he wants a 2nd term” (“https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/03/politics/donald-trump-2nd-term-2020/index.html”>https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/03/politics/donald-trump-2nd-term-2020/index.html). “Asked for second-term agenda, Trump flunks (for the fourth time)” (https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/asked-second-term-agenda-trump-flunks-fourth-time-n1235916). If the Republican Party has no new platform and if Trump is unable to define a set of goals for a second term, what can we anticipate from Trump if reelected?

Trump and Fox News

The Republican Party is described above as a cult of personality. However, Trump lacks the intellect or sense of broad purpose to lead a cult of personality. To describe Trump as impulsive is to give him too much credit, because it suggests that he is a sentient person capable of independent public policy thought and action. The reality is that Donald Trump is virtually a human automaton, taking and executing orders from billionaire media magnate Rupert Murdoch and his most valuable media outlet, Fox News.

Fox News made Donald Trump president. Fox News’ ongoing coverage and support serve as the foundation for Donald Trump’s ego, his relationship with his supporters and his viability as a candidate for reelection. Although President Trump’s supporters are commonly referred to as “Trump’s base,” Rupert Murdoch owns “Trump’s base” through Fox News.

Fox News occupies other critically important roles for Trump, who watches Fox News constantly as his primary source of news, priority setting, policy guidance and political appointees. Trump is addicted to Fox News, which he favors heavily with access and interviews while falsely characterizing objective news outlets as “Fake News.”

As a result of their control over Trump, in 2016 Rupert Murdoch and Fox News achieved control of America — the presidency and the executive branch, the military, the Congress and a majority on the Supreme Court. Murdoch’s goals, agenda and priorities became those of Trump and our government, and that will continue if Trump and Republicans are reelected.

Trump now trails badly in the polls as more Americans become alarmed by his “leadership” as spoon-fed by Fox News, his incompetence, his corruption, his indulgence of racists, his encouraging ingestion of Clorox, and his dismantling of everything from international alliances to environmental protections to our public health infrastructure to the U.S. Postal Service.

Reject Fox News and its stooge, Donald Trump

It is essential that voters understand who stands to control our nation’s future. On one hand, Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have proposed a forward-looking agenda to serve all Americans. On the other hand, Donald Trump and the Republican Party have no vision beyond maintaining and abusing power — with Rupert Murdoch the puppet master who controls them all through Fox News. Rupert Murdoch and Fox News seemingly do not care about America, so long as their viewership numbers continue to attract sponsors and revenue. Whether Trump and the Republicans win or lose, Fox News will continue to contribute handsomely to Murdoch’s billions so long as Americans continue to watch.

America must break free from Rupert Murdoch and the corrupt influence of Fox News, and rely on objective and reliable sources of news such as https://www.politico.com and https://www.npr.org/sections/politics. Donald Trump must be recognized as a stooge for Fox News. Responsible Americans will turn off Fox News and reject intellectually and morally bankrupt Republicans like Trump and Elise Stefanik. Vote for positive change in America by voting for Joe Biden, Tedra Cobb and others who are independent from Fox News’ cult of personality and dedicated to serving all Americans.

David Banks resides in Rockville, Maryland, and is a former resident of Lake Clear.

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