Sadly, my Sidebar is changing. I've kept rational writers like those named above who do their own independent research before forming opinions. But... I've removed those writers (including the very well known) who allow "thought leaders" to build their opinions for them: what others think instead of original sources. I think most of them don't realize they are being manipulated. Unfortunately, it calls into question everything else they write about.
I'd rather send people to bloggers who think for themselves because independent thought is the most honest kind. And independent thinkers are less likely to fall prey to manipulation whether through peer pressure or media bias.
It is American to support different candidates. It is cool be passionate about it. I can even understand a passionate dislike of one candidate. I've got those I feel that way about - after doing my own independent research on them.
I've given historical and factual reasons for my support of Mr Donald Trump. With lots and lots of links to full uncut texts at independent sources untainted by the present election or geo-political atmosphere.
I'm cool if someone has a legitimate reason for opposing Donald Trump. If someone has read his actual policy positions in full and still thinks he is wrong. If someone has watched his recent interviews on Face the Nation etc, has read the lengthy interviews with him over the past 30 years, the serious news articles about him over the past 30 years, the best-selling books he has written, the speeches he has given at places like CPAC and the Scottish Parliament, and still thinks a business approach is wrong for America, well, we can disagree on that opinion but it at least is a fair one that was legitimately developed.
If someone supports one of his opponents and thus opposes him because they see him as "the opposition"... Heck, if someone admits they are a lock-step Establishmentarianist and WON'T support Mr Trump because they don't want an outsider.. even that is cool.
But that isn't what is happening. Instead, so many of those who lash out against Mr Trump do so by quoting the talking points and gotcha words they have been given, insulting not only the man but also those of us who are serious thinking people who have SELECTED Donald Trump out of a broad field. They don't argue the merits of another candidate. Instead, they call names, use derisive appellations, and poke fun at him and those who are voting for him.
Mr Donald Trump actually has more broad-based support than any other candidate has had throughout this election cycle. And obviously, he has a LOT of that broad-based support across all of the artificial dividing lines the Left (and apparently the NRO-Defined Conservative Right) have created to separate us. The voters have proven that.
So the persistence of quoted talking points tells me these "Never Trump" folks (their own self-assigned appellation!) did not do their own research into either Mr Trump, his candidacy, or his supporters' reasons for choosing him.
If they didn't do their own independent research about Mr Donald Trump before acquiring the opinion they choose to dispense to the public, that says they also may not do their own independent research about other serious matters.
And that is a serious problem to me. Because if they will choose to believe gossip and ignore remarkable facts about a matter with which I am familiar, how likely are they to do so in other matters where I might have otherwise trusted their information?
I think most of them don't realize they are being manipulated.
Unfortunately, for me, it calls into question everything else they write about.