In Politics on September 10, 2008 at 3:20 pm

I’m not always interested in politics; it’s more of a seasonal thing.  This season is a biggie, of course. And I’m pretty nervous about it. My husband just keeps saying, “What will be, will be.” But that’s easy for him to say–he’s not a citizen and can’t vote. What I hate is voting and having the feeling that your vote doesn’t count. Because when my side loses, that’s exactly how I feel.

I told my husband last night that too many voters take their lead from the media. Not diehard Republicans and Democrats, etc., but those on the fence. If the media is hyping someone, they swing that way. If they drop that person and start hyping someone else, they swing the other way. If a candidate could control the media, he (or she) would be a shoo-in. Kerry had a hard time getting any positive press once the media picked up on the Swift Boat story. He wasn’t popular with the media to begin with.  Neither was Gore in 2000. He’s not charismatic enough. Or at least he wasn’t considered so then. (That was before “An Inconvenient Truth and his appearances on TV shows.)

When McCain put down Obama for being a celebrity, he was aiming at the wrong target. He should have criticized the press for making him into one. But of course, you don’t want to criticize the press, on the off chance that they might decide to make you a celebrity someday. Palin is getting so much press–and mainly positive press–that I wouldn’t be surprised if she could win the presidency.

So whose fault is it that the press has so much influence? Ours, of course. We’re lazy. Instead of digging for the facts ourselves, we leave it up to the media (and that is increasingly including bloggers) to provide them. We never think that they might present the “facts” with a bias. Of course not.

We need to be more proactive in our politics. Don’t take anyone else’s opinon as your own, unless you have the facts to back it up. If the unexamined life is not worth living, neither is the unexamined democracy (or vote). Question everyone and everything. Look at the candidates from every perspective. Weigh the pros and cons of each of their potential presidencies. And for heaven’s sake, take what the media says with a grain of salt.


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