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Friday, October 8, 2010

The current state of American politics

Headline: 66% Angry at Government Policies, 60% Say Neither Party Has Answers.

Problem: the current state of our political system and those running the political machine.

Resolution: replace Congress with representatives of the people, by the people, and most importantly FOR the people.

Right now, our representatives have allowed the public perception to become such that they cannot be trusted with much, and especially not our money. In recent years we’ve seen Congress move in ways that are significantly against the will of the people, seemingly to only promote agendas that are not shared by the public as a whole.

Special interests, backdoor deals, and an increasing lack of transparency has become the political machine and the people want nothing to do with it anymore.

66% of those polled by Rasmussen Reports are angry at government policies and 60% believe that neither party has answers. This is a significant problem, one that should not be taken lightly. Yet, with Congress’ approval ratings at serious lows (11% APPROVAL in July 2010, down from 17% in 2009), it seems as if no one is listening and they haven’t been listening for a long time.

It is this non-listening that will result in a good-sized portion of current members of Congress in trouble this election cycle.

Congress somehow has become so blinded by their own personal interests and of those standing next to them in the halls of DC, that they seem to have forgotten about their constituents ‘back home’ – the REASON they are in DC.

Somehow, they’ve forgotten they are NOT there to serve other districts or other states or other Congress members; they are there, in fact, to serve the people who sent them to Washington in the first place, hold THEIR interests in the highest regard, and act as THEIR voice in Washington.

The American people, more specifically the Independent voter (aka those who do not affiliate with a specific party), have finally had enough. I can’t blame them, or you, for being angry with government policies. I can’t blame them, or you, for having faith and trust in Congress that seems to be disappearing as the days go by.

I can’t blame them, or you, for wanting real change to our current state of political affairs.

Only you can affect that change.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Media and America’s Distrust of It

A recent Gallup poll claims that “the majority of Americans say they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly.” 57% to be exact. (Gallup poll with annual chart here)

Dear Media: WAKE UP! When the majority of America doesn’t trust you, you’d better listen and clean up your act.

I’m not one of those people who distrusts the Media and thinks it all should be burned to the ground. I am, however, one of those people who realizes and comprehends the Media is slanted, or flat-out biased at times.

Unfortunately, it seems news organizations have always been used for political and personal gain. Yes, there are plenty of cases where the news and information is given to us straight; I’m not throwing the baby out with the bath water. However, the fact cannot go unnoticed that the Media is human and can be persuaded by many things, including personal opinion and bias.

Yes, Fox News provides its viewers with right-leaning programming. Yes, CNN and MSNBC provides its viewers with left-leaning programming. And then there’s the BBC, which depending on the day, story, topic, and writer, can be any of the above or more.

Yes, Fox News has plenty of commentary and pundit broadcasts that result in a veil of conservatism across their network, justly or unjustly so; likewise, CNN and MSNBC have plenty of commentary and pundit broadcasts that result in a veil of liberalism across their networks, again, justly or unjustly so.

You, fortunately (or unfortunately, as the Media and some politicians would have it), are an individual; you gather information from multiple sources, you think things through before you offer up a knee-jerk reaction, and you form your own opinion.

Unfortunately, though, you may not be any of that. You may very well be a person who reacts mostly on emotion and feeling, rather than logic and truth. If so, unfortunately for you, the Media and some politicians prefer your type and are quick to take advantage.

Ask yourself this:

-Do I distrust the Media?

-Do I even think twice about what they tell me?

-Do I ever consider secondary or additional sources?

-Why or why not?

I must add the following statement: if you’re watching ‘the news of the day’, which more of less repeats the goings-on of the day while you were at work, and tends to be more bad news than good, you’re probably safe in choosing any news organization.

However, if you’re listening for facts and stories, ultimately the information which will help form your opinion, and the subject brings with it a potential gain of any kind, consider your source and get a second opinion.

There’s no harm in due diligence. In fact, it’s best.

And it’s OK to turn the channel to ‘the enemy’ on a regular basis; over time you’ll probably start to realize that you’re becoming your own individual, thinking for yourself and forming your own opinion.