I am sure I’m not the only one which sits here and shakes my head as we watch television, listen to the radio or read the various publications which at one time were a pleasure to digest. One of my college professors many years ago cautioned our class to read from several publications, listen to many commentators and watch a number of different media outlets. His point was to get a well-rounded input of information and then go out and do the research myself.
That advice is more important now than 50 years ago. A half a century has passed, and those words ring truer today than they did back then. However, it has become more and more evident that we aren’t doing that. Due to the fast-paced lives we live, we tend to only get snippets of a steady flow of information, which many times is less and less accurate and we tend to see it as the truth.
I’m not telling you that misinformation isn’t coming from both sides, I would be misleading you if I didn’t warn you to be suspect of all information. Both sides have chosen to take advantage of the ability to twist the truth. To craft the storyline to meet their needs and feed on the deep-seated fears of the electorate.
I’m not trying to have you believe that this is something new, for it isn’t. However, today’s campaigns have made a true science of finding the electorates’ hot buttons and pushing them over and over again until the nation has been placed into a frenzy of hate against those they have been directed to mistrust.
It’s our responsibility to ferret out the truth, no matter how difficult or time–consuming.
Take for example how the media turned on George H.W. Bush when he was running for his second term. There probably was never a more qualified or decent man in my lifetime to inhabit 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He didn’t have that great media presence and he would stumble from time to time, but in my opinion, there was never a more competent man to sit in the Oval Office. He in my opinion was a genuine and good man.
When out on the campaign trail running for that second term, he showed his honesty when the new computerized scanners for check-out were demonstrated to him at a campaign stop during a grocers’ trade show here in Florida. The New York Times used it as a front-page story to say Bush was out of contact with the American public. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Bush’s bold moves in dealing with those economic issues at the time and the courage he showed by making the right choices most certainly provided for the springboard which brought us out of that economic retraction.
A story and accompanying photographs that were done showing an emotional candidate Edmund Muskie, calling out the Manchester Union Leader and its publisher for attacking his wife’s honor were also despicable. It became fodder for every major news agency around the country. Media outlets spoke about whether Muskie had what it took to sit in the Oval Office. Many said it would cost Muskie the Democratic nomination for President in 1972 and the Democratic Party’s disastrous loss suffered by George McGovern that year against Richard Nixon.
The more I think about it, we can recall numerous times that the media has contributed to the demise of the political fortunes of many candidates or causes. We can also chuckle when we recall the famous headline held up by President Harry Truman which boasted of his defeat at the hands of New York Governor Thomas Dewey. “Dewey Defeats Truman” will go down in history and continues to pop up now and again.
The media bias against now–President Donald Trump was on great display during the evening of November 8, 2016. No matter where you turned on the dial that evening the media were hurrying to anoint Hilary Clinton as the next President–Elect of the United States. Throughout the evening pundits and commentators could not hide their bias regarding the outcome that was slowly but surely coming into focus. Time and time again they would be forced to call states in favor of the man they had written off during the campaign. Whether you favored his election or not, you had to be shaken by the obvious bias that was shown that evening.
Our nation is in the midst of the most divisive and troublesome time in our history. It is becoming more and more evident that four years ago, forces beyond that of the electorate, were in play to interfere with the constitutionally mandated election of the person that had been chosen by the process as put in place by our Founding Fathers and codified by the Constitution of the United States as ratified on September 17, 1787.
We don’t have to like the outcome, but we do have to respect the process. Those that have served in uniform have had to take an oath as to whether we would support and defend that very same constitution. Those that have served in office have done the same. We don’t have the choice of picking and choosing when we support our laws, we have the responsibility to do it every day, every week, every hour of the day. To do otherwise we risk anarchy and the loss of our democracy.
We have an election coming up and we as citizens have a responsibility to vote in that election. That vote is a sacred right provided for through the sacrifice of the lives of men and women who swore that oath to Obey and Defend the Constitution of the United States.
My greatest hope is that we take the time to search out the truth about candidates and cast your votes in a free and unobstructed manner. Take the time to do your homework, regardless of the office the person is seeking, they are all important positions, bar none and in the end, it is your responsibility to be an educated voter.