America is on a journey. And, we just took a detour. As a communicator, the question at hand is this: How do we deal the legacy of the past four years. They did not end well, we just want to move on.
Step back a few years to the day that a real estate developer and TV reality star rode down an escalator and announced a run for president. Many wrote it off as a stunt, but some media tuned it in. Soon comments, rallies, and events were aired live. TV cable news gave the fire oxygen, and legitimized a media stunt. Primaries came, and the side show became a full circus — and the media kept up its coverage, often ignoring the events and policies of legitimate politicians.
Four year later, the page has been turned after a violent set of events: So now what? Well, think of Jozef Tiso, Mátyás Rákosi, Khorloogiin Choibalsan, Enver Hoxha, Ian Smith and Teodoro Obiang. Not names you read of much, see mentioned in news reports, or articles. They are the forgotten strongmen. Brutal, and repressing poplar sovereignty, they fanned the flames of hatred and nationalism to obtain and hold on to power.
The broadcast media needs to look at the legacy of their fascination, and remember that there is a lot of news to report out there.
They need to turn that page, and so do the rest of us. The time is here to celebrate democracy, the freedom to vote, and the importance of dialog and tolerance. January 20th is the day to turn the page, stop the in-depth analysis, unfollow just as Twitter finally did.
No, we cannot forget the riot, the jingoism, kids in cages, and nativism: But we also should not elevate it as ok either.
As former Commission on Human Rights Etta Rosales put it:
“We do not celebrate dictators. We topple them. We bury them in the dustbin of history.”