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CNN Uses Pearl Harbor Anniversary To Warn of Second Civil War

cnn-uses-pearl-harbor-anniversary-to-warn-of-second-civil-war

CNN’s John Avlon joined CNN Tonight host Michael Smerconish on Tuesday for another of of his pretentious “reality check” segments. This particular instance involved using the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor to hype the possibility of a second civil war.

Coming out of a commercial, Smerconish suggested that 2021 is not that different than 1941, “Today marks 80 years since the infamous surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, a day that would change the course of our nation’s history. Just as the strength of our democracy was tested then, we find ourselves yet again in a different but just as dangerous war on truth and democracy and science.”

He then tossed things over to Avlon, who continued with this theme, and without any self-awareness declared:

Over the past six years, America has endured sustained assaults on truth, democracy, and science. Leading to reduced trust in our institutions and each other. Those breaches don’t heal overnight. It has a downstream effect, tainting a rising generation with a sense of pessimism. And perhaps the most stark snapshot of that came from a new poll of young people age 18 to 29 conducted by the Harvard Institute of Politics. It shows that a majority believe that our democracy is at risk. And who could blame them, after seeing a president lie about election results, incite an insurrection, and then see one party follow him into la la land. 

Getting further and further away from any credible Pearl Harbor analogy, Avlon reported: “…when it comes to the science of confronting climate crisis, Republicans are clearly on the back foot when it comes to young Americans. A solid 55% say that the federal government is not doing enough to combat climate change, which includes 68% of folks with a college degree and 50% without. A small slice, just 14%, think the feds are doing too much. Which lines up with the do-nothing climate change denial of Donald Trump.”

After hyping young people’s approval of President Biden and their willingness to compromise, Avlon proclaimed: “The poll asks Americans to put a percentage on the chance the United States would see a second civil war in their lifetimes and while these sort of dramatic what if questions should be taken with a pound of salt, it’s still not reassuring to see 35% of all respondents place the likelihood of a second civil war at 50% or higher in their lifetime.” Maybe if CNN was less hyperbolic in its “reality checks,” that number wouldn’t be so high. 

Avlon concluded by tying these numbers to depression and suicidal thoughts, but then argued “the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor is a reminder that we have been through far worse. That attack caught America by surprise by within years the world found out a diverse democracy found strengths authoritarians can’t match when we work together with a sense of urgency toward a common goal and that’s your reality check.”

December 7 is about Pearl Harbor, not lamenting that people don’t trust CNN, climate change activism, or fearmongering about civil war.

This segment was sponsored by Liberty Mutual.  

Here is a transcript for the December 7 show:

CNN

CNN Tonight

9:47 PM ET

MICHAEL SMERCONISH: Today marks 80 years since the infamous surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, a day that would change the course of our nation’s history. Just as the strength of our democracy was tested then, we find ourselves yet again in a different but just as dangerous war on truth and democracy and science. CNN’s John Avlon is here with a reality check. 

JOHN AVLON: 80 years ago today, Pearl Harbor was attacked, dragging America into the Second World War. It remains a date which lives in infamy, as FDR said, but it followed more than a decade of depression. In which democracy seemed to be in retreat against authoritarian regimes. By comparison, we have it easy. But democracies are again suffering from self-doubt as authoritarians seem on the march. Over the past six years, America has endured sustained assaults on truth, democracy, and science. Leading to reduced trust in our institutions and each other. Those breaches don’t heal overnight. It has a downstream effect, tainting a rising generation with a sense of pessimism. And perhaps the most stark snapshot of that came from a new poll of young people age 18 to 29 conducted by the Harvard Institute of Politics. It shows that a majority believe that our democracy is at risk. And who could blame them, after seeing a president lie about election results, incite an insurrection, and then see one party follow him into la la land. 

But the very nature of the Big Lie that means there’s a partisan divide. Get this, while 44% of Democrats say our democracy is healthy or at least somewhat functioning, only 23% of Republicans feel that way. But there are other partisan divides that speak to the trust deficits facing both parties. For example, Democrats have a problem when it comes to patriotism, or at least perceptions of American exceptionalism. Just 21% of Democrats surveyed agree with the statement that America is the greatest country in the world, while 64% believe that there are other nations as great or greater than America. And among Republicans, those ratios were nearly reversed, with 62% saying that America is the greatest. But when it comes to the science of confronting climate crisis, Republicans are clearly on the back foot when it comes to young Americans. A solid 55% say that the federal government is not doing enough to combat climate change, which includes 68% of folks with a college degree and 50% without. A small slice, just 14%, think the feds are doing too much. Which lines up with the do-nothing climate change denial of Donald Trump. 

While President Joe Biden’s popular has dipped from 59% overall in 2020 to 46% today, he is still far more popular among young people than Trump ever was, and the ex-president’s approval is double under water, with 63% unfavorable and just 30% favorable ratings. Interestingly, for all our dysfunctional partisan divides, there’s a glimmer of hope here, or at least a demand for something different. Get this, by a 2 to 1 margin, 43 to 21%, young Americans say they would rather have elected officials compromise and meet in the middle even at the expense of their own preferred policy positions. They sound more mature than most folks in Congress, but their idealism is tempered by a deep pessimism as they look at all our societal divides. The poll asks Americans to put a percentage on the chance the United States would see a second civil war in their lifetimes and while these sort of dramatic what if questions should be taken with a pound of salt, it’s still not reassuring to see 35% of all respondents place the likelihood of a second civil war at 50% or higher in their lifetime. 

Behind these hard numbers is an even harder psychological impact. The survey found 51% of folks say they felt down, hopeless or depressed over the past two weeks while 25% had thoughts they would be better off dead or hurting themselves with young women particularly feeling that way. If you’re feeling depressed, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’re not alone but also remember that we are made from sturdy stuff. The so-called Greatest Generation suffered through the great depression and world war. They were great because they overcame great obstacles and found they didn’t have to be perfect to be heroes. For all our very real challenges, the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor is a reminder that we have been through far worse. That attack caught America by surprise by within years the world found out a diverse democracy found strengths authoritarians can’t match when we work together with a sense of urgency toward a common goal and that’s your reality check.

What do you think?

Written by Newsman

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