- Politics and Social Issues
How Does Mainstream Media Affect Your Political Views?
I don't normally write about politics because I believe that every person has a right to their own opinion. This will be more of a rant than a hub as I have become increasingly disillusioned with this farce we call democracy. Normally I don't like to complain about things unless I have a solution to offer so I am really out of my comfort zone here. I honestly think I just need to say these things in order to process the logic of my own thoughts and feelings. So please, don't target me for verbal abuse or label me as some radical thinker. I am far from radical but I just don't understand what is happening in the political arena.
I do think that mainstream media is guilty of fueling the feud between Republicans and Democrats. Maybe I'm just old school but I do remember a day when the media reported the facts. At least the major networks did. There was always some renegade news organization that would color the temperature of politics with their own crayons but for the most part, when you turned the news on, you got news.
Several weeks ago I was laid off. With a 40+ year work history of being reliable, innovative, resourceful, and more, I am finding it difficult to find a job. It is a tough spot to be in simply because of my age. My resume reflects that I've been working for 40 years. I can't hide it. So obviously I'm not 22 years old and looking for a minimum wage job. Oh how I wish that were true. <she laughs> My point is, I'm spending a lot of time at home right now and I am a confessed news junkie. But today I was refining my resume while one of the mainstream news channels aired in the background. It suddenly hit me that I was being bombarded with news propaganda. These mainstream media outlets are fueling this dissension in Washington, like gasoline on a campfire. It's sick really.
I turned the news off, fixed a cup of coffee and went to sit on the patio with my thoughts. They came fast and furious but the one that stood out was that power and greed changes people. I honestly want to believe that most people enter the political arena because they want to make a difference. Don't they? So what happens to them? Suddenly, these grassroots people who once worked for the betterment of their communities have become celebrities with power. They are treated like celebrities by the press corp, with reporters hanging on every word. They are thrust into the life of fancy dinners with big corporate leaders, high financiers, and the like, and they forget where they come from. More importantly, they forget that they can go back there in an instant. One devastating illness or a tragic accident could put them right back in the place I sit today; wondering how I am going to pay the bills. Just maybe we are not doing our jobs as their constituents. Should we not be visiting their offices or writing letters that remind them that but for the Grace of God, they could be us?
Each of us has the right to chose our candidates, to vote for the person we think would do the best job. But I can't help but wonder how many of us have forgotten, or never realized, that the right to choose also carries some responsibility. How can we expect politicians and news organizations to behave responsibly or respectfully when we elect them and forget them, or watch them without feedback? isn't it our responsibility to hold them accountable? Isn't that the reality? If we turned the channel when we witness biased reporting, would they get it? If your senator couldn't walk in his office without wading through a crowd of "interested" citizens, would he stop and think?
I don't have the answer but for me, the reality of politics is that it is my social and moral responsibility to choose the information I allow into my brain and, to hold those I choose to vote for, accountable for my trust. I think I have failed myself and that I need to do better.
© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.
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