Weekly Opinion Editorial
POLICY, NOT GAFFES!
by Steve Fair
A gaffe is
an unintentional act or remark-a blunder- causing embarrassment to its
originator. Everyone makes gaffes
because no one is perfect. Politicians in
both Parties make gaffes all the time. Michael Kinsley, former host of CNN’s
Crossfire, coined the term ‘Kinsley gaffe’ to when a politico tells the truth-
some obvious truth- they weren’t supposed to say. Politicos don’t make many of those.
One of the most famous political gaffes
was in 1984 when President Reagan, while prepping for his weekly radio address,
decided to make a joke, unaware his microphone was on. “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell
you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes,” the
Gipper said. Given this was during the peak of
the Cold War, the comment sparked fear among U.S. citizens and panic among
Russian authorities. All-out war was averted when those in control of both
militaries took the remark for what it was…an ill-conceived attempt at humor.
The mainstream media loves gaffes, especially
when the politician committing it is a Republican. In 2016, then candidate Donald Trump confused
9/11 with 7/11 and it made headlines. In
2019, Trump confused Toledo and Dayton, Ohio as the site of a shooting and the
mainstream media made it the lead story.
Trump’s often outrageous flamboyant statements, provides mainstream
media with plenty of ammunition. Three
First, everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect. A scribers error by a speechwriter or a misspoken
word by a candidate/elected official in a speech will happen. It is not always reflective of their cognitive
ability or mental health. Citizens
shouldn’t get so energized and worked up over miscues and bloopers. They should be more concerned with policy and
Second, the media has a double standard in
regard to gaffes. President Trump’s mistakes
and gaffes were spotlighted and headlined, while those by Biden and the Democrats
are largely ignored. For example, this
week, speaking from the White House, President Biden tried to acknowledge the
late Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN), despite the fact she died in a car crash in
August. The gaffe was largely ignored by
the media. If Trump had made that
mistake, it would have been the lead story for a month.
On Thursday, Vice President Kamala Harris
mistakenly touted the United States ‘alliance with the Republic of North Korea’
in a speech from the DMZ. Clearly,
Harris meant South Korea, but little was made of her lapse by the media. When then VP candidate Sarah Palin said America
should stand with our North Korean allies, networks broke into regular
scheduled program to point out the error.
The media ignores Democrat gaffes and sensationalizes Republican ones- a
clear double standard.
Third, Biden’s recent gaffes appear to reveal
cognitive decline. Republicans and Democrats
alike have questions about the POTUS’ cognitive ability. In July, Rep. Ronny Jackson, (R-TX), sent a letter
to Biden’s physician asking Biden to undergo a cognitive test and to share the
results with the American people.
Jackson is a former White House physician, serving in the
administrations of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. A cognitive test for a POTUS is not
unprecedented. In 2018, following calls
from Democrats and the mainstream media, Jackson, as WH physician, gave
President Trump a cognitive test and the results released to the public.
“I have long said there would come a time
when I was not the only one discussing Joe Biden’s cognitive decline. That time
is now. As Democrats in the West Wing and the broader Democrat Party express
discontent about his age-related decline, it should be clear now more than ever
to President Biden, Dr. O’Connor, and Dr. Fauci that it is time to submit to a
cognitive test. This is not a political issue, it’s common sense,” Jackson said. The American people have a right to know if
the POTUS is in cognitive decline. Biden
should submit to the test.
Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables said,
“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it
yet.” Nice to think that way Anne, but unrealistic- everyone makes mistakes/gaffes/errors. Americans shouldn’t focus on lapses or misspeaks. They should be fixated on policy- specifically
on how much of their money the government is
spending in these challenging economic times.