This week I was going to write on something else, but that subject has become a companion to this piece, which I have cobbled together from the website of a well-known Israeli/American, Caroline Glick. She is mostly worried about a ‘what if’ question: if the Democrats win in 2020, what will happen to Israel? Born in Texas, with a degree from Columbia, she moved to Israel and served for five years as a military officer there, did other civil service work, and became a writer and think-tank person. I mention this to indicate her assumptions and likely bias.
Nonetheless, the piece she wrote has a lot of interest for someone like me, and what follows is what I took from it. Others, like OnLine Opinion and Catallaxy Files, have also re-published bits of it too. You’ll see why quickly. We just don’t hear the other side of American politics from our own mainstream media.
‘Until 2000, the peaceful transition of power in the wake of elections was a feature of American democracy that everyone took for granted. In 2000, the Democrats shifted. They refused to accept the election results in Florida that gave Bush his victory in the state, and through it, in the electoral college, until the Supreme Court ruled that the results were legitimate. Even afterwards, many Democrats considered Bush’s victory and his presidency illegitimate.
In retrospect, the Democrats’ refusal to accept the legitimacy of the 2000 election results marked the beginning of the party’s radicalization.
Since Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016, the speed and depth of the party’s radical transformation has gone into overdrive.
The day after the election, Democrats coined a new term in American politics, “resistance.” Until then, the side that lost a presidential election was the “opposition.” But the Democrats don’t simply “oppose” Trump, they “resist” him.
The distinction is profound. An opponent recognizes the basic legitimacy of the person he opposes. A resister does not. The purpose of the anti-Trump resistance is not to offer an alternative path for governing. It is to nullify Trump’s presidency by among other things delegitimizing and dehumanizing Trump his family, associates and supporters. The resistance seeks to paralyze Trump’s presidency to prevent him from wielding the power of office and oust him from that office as quickly as possible.
To this end, for instance, the Democratic minority in the Senate has used procedural rules to slow-roll Trump’s appointments to senior positions in the executive branch and impede his ability to govern.
The resistance is not limited to the partisan arena. During the 2016 elections, and to an even greater degree in their aftermath, Democrats in the US media and in the federal government – particularly in the intelligence, law enforcement and diplomatic arms of government — joined Democratic politicians in their efforts to nullify the Trump candidacy and later presidency. Like the politicians, they have used the power of their positions to undermine and subvert Trump’s presidency to foment his departure from office…
We saw extra-political resistance in action with the attempt by senior FBI, CIA and Justice Department officials to criminalize Trump as a Russian agent through the use of the Clinton campaign’s fraudulent “Steele dossier…”
There’s quite a lot more in this well-written piece. I know about most of it, because I try to keep up to date with what is happening in the USA by going online. But you won’t have heard much if any of it from our own media. Virtually all references to the American President are either simply factual (he met with X today), or they are negative (his latest tweet, always pitched to worry the listener or reader), or the impeachment (what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said, very negative). The other side of the Biden/Ukraine business has hardly been mentioned. I read about it before, and it seemed pretty grubby to me. And he is one of the front-runners for the Democratic Party. Whew! As an aside, there’s not been much talk about a second Hillary Clinton nomination… yet.
Now to the companion piece, so to speak. Most of you will know of Placido Domingo, the Spanish tenor. He is now 78, and has been famous for the last fifty years. In my judgment, for what it’s worth, he is the best tenor in crafting a song in that time. Pavarotti has a richer, grander voice, but Domingo sings better, just as the late Fisher-Dieskau was the best baritone in crafting a song. Domingo can act, too. I have a VCR of his Carmen, which I watch again and again. He is also a composer, and the director of the Los Angeles Opera.
Well, as to the last position, he was. Not no more. He has resigned from that post, and from all other American engagements after having been subject to a MeToo ‘outing’ that seems to have been orchestrated, at least a little, by AP, Association Press, an American news agency that was founded in 1846. Did you know about this? He is alleged to have behaved ‘inappropriately’ with respect to first nine, then another eleven women. All of these incidents occurred more than fifteen, some more than twenty, years ago. Eighteen of the complainers were anonymous. The two who have been named are not well-known names in the opera world. But the American musical world went into knee-jerk at once.
It seems clear to me that Domingo will not sing again in the US. He will continue his career in Europe where, at least at the moment, there is no comparable reaction to what has occurred in the USA. He may well have been advised simply to leave and shut up. Defending the suits, if there are to be any, would be an enormous distraction from his work. Domingo has claimed that some of the charges are inaccurate, and that standards have changed. He is of course right in that last response, and indeed it passes belief that the complainers were not themselves aware of these changed standards, or of the erotically charged environments that theatres, opera, ballet and film provide to those who work in these domains. As a musical director of revues as a young man I can certainly point to that. These domains are full of energy, triumph and sadness, with all the hugging, kissing and whatever that are natural human responses to these mercurial emotions. You can read about it all here, at Quillette, in a tough piece by Heather Mac Donald.
The point is that the media have been largely silent about this whole episode. It just hasn’t happened, as far as our own media are concerned. The Guardiandid run one news item. I may have missed the ABC’s contribution though I hear the ABC radio news and Classic FM is on all the time. As far as I can discern the ABC has mentioned it once only. As did the SMH. Yet this is surely the biggest news story in the musical world, not to mention the MeToo world, for a long time. Placido Domingo is far better known around the world than Harvey Weinstein, whose outing caused a sensation that went on for what seemed like weeks.
Why? My guess is that the media are cross-pressured on this one. Domingo is a musical icon, but the media are full of women, many of whom may feel that the tenor has got what he deserves. From an editor’s perspective, you don’t want fights in the newsroom about how to present this event. So you simply ignore it as best you can.
And we, the readers, listeners and viewers, may not even know that the event has occurred. Two stories with a similar thrust: we are in the hands of the mainstream mass media, whether we like it or not. Oh, and of course there’s climate-change…