Among my various and sundry (and sometimes tawdry) enterprises is a political news web site called Capitol Hill Blue, which is now (drum roll please) the oldest surviving news site on the World Wide Web.
We’ve been online since October 1, 1994 (forever in Internet terms) and became the oldest surviving site when the Raleign News & Observer closed NandoNet last year.
Blue operates under two mottos:
1–Nobody’s life, liberty or property are safe while Congress is in session (a saying stolen from Mark Twain who said “nobody’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session.”), and;
2–It is the role of a journalist to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable (another stolen motto, this time from legendary Chicago journalist Finley Peter Dunne).
Blue’s goal has always been to make people think and our two lead articles this morning should make all Americans think long and hard.
In The Credibility War is Over: America Lost, Arnaud de Borchgrave writes:
“Credibility was America’s most precious asset. But that’s now been swept aside in a blizzard of palpably fraudulent stories. Talk, albeit off the record, with any political leader anywhere in the world, and if you can’t reach him or her, talk off the record to their ambassadors in Washington. The nation’s capital has finally made it as a bilingual city — where truth is the second language. Seldom spoken, however.”
In more than 40 years of dealing with politics and elected officials (as either a journalist or a political operative), I have never Americans more doubtful of their government or American credibility lower with its allies. We have a problem and it is one that threatens this country more, I think, than most people realize.
In A Third-World Republic Called America, Deroy Murdoch writes:
“The Tanzanianization of America proceeds apace. This word encapsulates Washington’s steady slide from transparency, the rule of law and First World political norms toward an equatorial standard of public integrity. Tanzania, among Earth’s most corrupt nations, foreshadows the ultimate destination of America’s government.”
Again, the issues are credibility…and trust…and morality — items missing in American political life.
But the blame for what has happened to America lies not just with our government and our elected officials. It lies with us. We have the ability to correct the problems that threaten our future.
We only have to choose to do so.