Election will be meaningless unless we change (Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press)

On the day after Election Day, with the presidential race still undecided, the News Journal publishes plea for civility. This won’t be another column on how you should vote (or have voted) in the presidential election, because we’ve all been “behaving badly” and if the pattern continues it may not matter who is sitting in the Oval Office come January.

Dog each other – point fingers – fight over candidates, judges, medical experts and masks. “Is this who we want to be?”

I used to be proud of the media, seeing “an independent press as the only thing standing between big power and big money running rampant over the citizenry.” Now it seems that we’ve joined forces with them. Partisanship never worse – subtlety a memory – who needs balance?

Fox News mocks Biden with nasty nicknames for age and cognitive abilities. Hunter Biden story either leads or is highly featured every night. Meanwhile, you won’t even see that story on CNN or MSNBC, they are all about skewering Trump for the coronavirus and any other negatives that may come up. Even a stellar 3rd Qtr. result for the economy gets the “Yeah, but” treatment.

And by the way, the rest of society hasn’t been acting much better. True, Trump has plenty of faults, but don’t buy the line that “if Trump goes away, we’ll all go back to acting nice.” That’s like a kid pointing to his brother and saying “he started it,” the fact is there’s more than enough blame to go around. So does it stop, and if so when? “No matter who wins the White House, half the country will view it as Armageddon and vow to fight the oppressors.”

No magic answers, but “if the winners gloat and the losers threaten, we won’t be any better than we’ve been the last six months.” Does anyone really want such an outcome?

Hard to argue with these sentiments, especially deterioration of the media's role, but in the end the issues must be hashed out. It's realistic to support rational discourse and personal civility, but ignoring the disagreements won't work. And with all due respect, we believe it will matter who wins the presidential election.
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