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Beyond Gripes and Gloom

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Alex Fraser wears a campaign banner as a cape while waiting for a campaign rally with U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Bangor, Maine, U.S. June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Is American greatness a relic of the past or a reality of the present?

If Republicans fumble this fundamental question and become the party of gripes and gloom, they will blow their chance of 2016 victory and imperil the party’s long-term survival. The American people might feel deeply dissatisfied with governmental gridlock and political corruption, but they remain surprisingly positive about their personal circumstances.

Why, then, do pundits prattle so persistently about the seething rage of the electorate, and how did anger-candidate Donald Trump decisively defeat his innumerable GOP rivals? News media messages certainly shaped the outcome: TV journalists don’t function as a news business; they’re part of the bad news business. Crime, natural disasters and dire predictions make for more riveting broadcasts than reports on happy families and functional schools. In the same way, the boisterous indignation of the Trump campaign dominated the media menu with the candidate’s impassioned laments over national decline; the presumptive nominee drew far more news time than his 16 Republican opponents combined….

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Read the full column at USATODAY.COM

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  1. Jim Bird  •  Jul 8, 2016 at 12:47 am

    Michael, your cross town pundit colleague who writes Op Eds for the Seattle newspaper, Rick Steves, has solved this conundrum. He enthusiastically endorses one source only for media in America for the exact same reasons you have articulated — the anger and rage that all those media types foment. His answer is the fair and balanced reporting of NPR. He even uses the term "government supported" radio and TV and Internet and newspapers and books and obviously much higher taxes to pay for it all. I think Obama and Hillary would be all-in on that.

  2. Clay Kemper  •  Jul 8, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Michael, your ingrained optimistic program theme seems to be rather shallow of late. Since we have been dealt Donald Trump, you have whined and bemoaned that nominating him will basically flush our chances down the toilet. And you won't even abide by the simple promise you chided him for hesitantly accepting:. An oath to support the party's nominee.

    You also made a series of outrageous statements that Trump could not win a single state. In your eyes he was, and probably still is, a lost cause.

    Well, Mr. Pragmatism, our choice is not what you would have preferred, and you seem to be a petulant child…..You are gonna behave how I tell others not to behave.

    As bad as Trump talks, acts, and behaves, when the chips are down he appears to be a better bet than Hillary on defense, the economy, the Constitution, employment, dealing with the debt, vanquishing our enemies, and standing by our friends.

    Yes, he is loud, obnoxious, and impulsive. He needs people like you in his corner to temper his temperament.

  3. Nani  •  Jul 8, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Take a short look at humanity's past and you'd KNOW that America is not just great, it keeps getting better. It doesn't feel that way to many because the push for equality has been replaced by a demand for race preference to make up for a past that very few experienced much less remember.

    People are angry for the same reason that revolutions have been fought; the belief that somehow one's lot in life is unfair. Blacks blame Whites, Poor blame Rich, Middle class blame everyone, Old blame the Young and vise versa. There's nothing new or different in righteous anger and the demand for "change".

    What IS new is the demand that we settle. For bullies, for negativity, for uncivil behavior.

    And the one thing that makes America by far the greatest is the one thing even the right don't get. We have a constitution but it is NOT SET IN STONE. Believe it or not, this is what makes it possible for us to keep on evolving and become even greater. We CAN make changes that limit power OR expand. We CAN make laws that protect AND validate rights. Once upon a time, a White man could own a human being, women and children were property and the poor were little more than slaves. But our constitution was CHANGED. This is the power of America and why we should not and cannot settle for a Trump or a Hillary. Republicans CAN choose another candidate at the convention, one that will offer a real choice.

    To those who says we have to support the bully or the criminal because they won fair and square, I say, if we can and must once in awhile make changes to the greatest document ever created by man, we have a duty to refuse to settle for a leader that hasn't the ability and the moral fiber to sit in America's highest office.

  4. Dallas Kipp  •  Jul 10, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    A country's greatness is measured, not by it's military power, but by it's internal behavior. Hitler's Germany was a great military power, but was not a great country. Same for the Soviet Union, Communist China, North Korea, Iran, while on the other hand, a country with strong, family values, morals, ethics, faith and individual initiative, will rise to the pinnacle of greatness. America has had these attributes, but now sees them being slowly eroded making the nation less great. We need an awakening of will and activists to shake us out of our lethargy.

  5. Henry  •  Jul 11, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Dallas, that’s a really great comment! What a shame that it has now become politically incorrect to defend such things as ethics, family values, faith, and self-reliance.

  6. Dave Clegg  •  Jul 12, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    I guess Michael hasn't made a complete right turn. He just compared Officer Wilson with Hillary. Both treated equally? Hillary can't be touched because it would be unfair to her campaign. Really? Officer Wilson has to quit his job, move and probably change his name to avoid retaliation. Because he was doing his job and saving his life from a thug. But I guess we can't offend Lannie.

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