America is a poster child for ambivalence. How else could a nation be evenly divided politically on issues where there is broad, almost 100 percent consensus? Everyone agrees, almost, about the need for affordable healthcare for all and checks on the availability of guns and on defending the nation from airborne diseases. Even on reforming the justice system and improving education, there is substantial agreement.

Binary judgments

But you would not know it from the range of responses that flood our media, professional and social, 24/7. There a binary mentality takes over and like clockwork, we gravitate toward an even split, a division we believe actually exists.

The current election issue

The fact that we can refer to the 2016 presidential election as current is that it is still unresolved. All things considered, the actual election was based on an apparent division that was minuscule, a matter of 80,000 votes in three swing states. And yet we have continuing questions regarding all the things that led to that result. And we have clear data that indicates a large gap in acceptance, both of the winner and the fairness of the process. So, yes, this is a current matter.

The French experience

People who feared a Le Pen victory in France trembled when a big hack against Marcon was revealed. But Macron's forces easily defeated the onslaught. The New York Times account noted below explains multiple reasons why Macron had nothing to fear.

But the most relevant reason in the context of the U.S. is the large gulf in ethics that separates media in this country and France. When a suspect, or unvetted or possibly fake news item is reported our media do one of two things.

Being first

There is the fight to be the first to regurgitate it without any examination whatsoever, all in the name of breaking news.

Or there is the next best thing, reporting the suppositions of another publication. Thus a leak might either be put out immediately. Or it might be something reported elsewhere, a step above gossip. No one pays enough attention to this convenient ploy to satisfy the ethical requirement that truth is ascertained before offering something as news.

A start

But in France leaks including the Macron leaks were subject, in general, to a delay to enable the examination of the material to determine its veracity. This meant that in addition to Macron's own cogent defenses there was an inherent protection in the willingness of media to say no to the need for speed. Better that news is vetted for accuracy. In the U.S. this simple change would make a huge difference.