By Anna Timmer
For decades, the often-underground fight by truth-seeking patriots against lies and suppression in the mainstream media was fought on the edges of society. Many conservatives were only willing to admit that there was “liberal media bias” in polite society. Seemingly at once, that fight morphed into an all-out war when our newly elected president and Truther-in-chief crystallized that impossibly corrupt web of media lies into a simple phrase that resonated with Americans everywhere: “Fake News,” and later “Enemy of the People.” Wild, out-of-control media hoaxes like Charlottesville, Trump and a disabled reporter, Kavanaugh accusations, Covington boys, the Smollett “lynching that never was” and others have driven the point further home for the average voter, and inspired such wild-fire movements as #Walkaway. The result was swift; trust in the media has fallen precipitously during the last three years, hitting an all-time low in 2016.
This general awakening has created a “real news” vacuum as many Americans search for reliable information sources and given rise to another mantra: “We are the media now.” It’s a phrase I first heard declared by UncoverDC editor-in-chief Tracy Beanz sometime in 2018, and it continues to have as much impact on me today as when I first heard her say it. What does it mean to you? Are we all journalists, researchers or media personalities? We are busy parents, students, employees and business owners. What can we do besides consume alternative media and share links on social media platforms?
In 2019 I had the opportunity to experience firsthand what it looked like for me. I'm a work-from-home mom with two young kids who spent a little time each night following the sordid details of the spying on President Trump’s campaign, the abuses of the FISA court, and the origins of the Russia Hoax in between loads of laundry. I found myself equal parts fascinated and horrified by how deeply corrupt and powerful the deep state had become. However, I observed from afar, simply sharing links here and there on Facebook and Twitter, allowing much more capable voices than mine to do the research and disseminate the complicated legal documents.
Knowledge is a powerful thing, and my light-bulb moment occurred in the days following May 18, when my then-Republican congressman announced on Twitter that he supported impeaching our President based on the contents of the Mueller Report. I had an immediate visceral reaction, as anyone would who followed and understood the problems with the Mueller ‘Weissman’ Report and the fabricated premise of the Russia investigation. Congressman Justin Amash went on to describe General Flynn as a criminal and Attorney General Barr as a liar. Having followed the Flynn case and familiarizing myself with AG Barr I was angered beyond belief, but still I waited. I knew someone with a large audience would take him on, point out the flaws in his argument, counter the prevailing “headline narrative” that a GOP congressman was breaking ranks. I expected someone to step up and remind the public that Amash has been a Never-Trumper since 2016. As the days went by, I saw very little of this, and feared the political damage Amash was knowingly causing in a district vital to Trump’s 2020 re-election in Michigan.
I never dreamed it was possible for someone like me, who spends most of my days arguing with a 3 year old or cleaning crayon off of walls, to impact as many people at that May 28 townhall as I did with a 4 minute speech I wrote while making dinner. Through the experience, I learned a powerful lesson, and I no longer believe in “impossible.”
It is often easy for us to get discouraged in the face of the magnitude of the Fake News legacy media, the constant hammering from misleading and outright false headlines, Hollywood elites, friends and family who seem like a lost cause. We can feel as though we are shouting into the wind, posting links that are never clicked on, sharing articles that our friends won’t read, and trying to unpack a corrupt system that never seems to run out of layers. We often feel the work laid out for us is insurmountable, or that someone else is best suited for the task.
As we head into 2020, I want to encourage everyone to stop thinking about what seems out of reach and begin to focus on what’s possible. Washington, DC is indeed a swamp, but these things continue to be true; our politicians rely on our votes to get elected and continue to hold townhalls, rallies and events that are open to the public. Our school-boards and city governments do the same, and we still have the right to legal assembly and our speech.
Our relationships with our friends and family, that personal connection, is still the best way to reach and change hearts and minds. You may not ever convince your friends to read your book recommendations or listen to the fantastic podcast episodes you send their way, but they will listen to YOU. We are far more effective when we take the time to understand not only what we believe, but are able to articulate why we believe it, from our own mouth and not another's. CNN screens may still hold valuable real estate in airports, gyms and salons… but YOU are there too. I find myself often surprised by the issues that hit closest to home for friends and family. Issues like medical freedom, Monsanto, or attacks on feminists who support biologically gendered separation in sports, come up often. We are most successful when we take a “listening” approach to the concerns of our fellow citizens. We can usually find common ground among even the most politically skeptic.
With 11 months before the election, I encourage you to fight social media censorship and fake news-weary friends by making 2020 the year of personal connections, coffee dates, townhalls, rallies, community events, door-knocking and phone calls. We are the media now, and together we can make truth great again this year.
Anna Timmer is a Michigan-based writer, business owner, political activist and host of the “Called to Liberty” podcast.
YouTube: Anna Timmer
Podcast: Called to Liberty