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With big media so engrossed in horse race politics and process, the issues — those things that matter most to preserve our livelihoods, if not our nation, remain all but absent from political debate. In their stead rich contributors fuel opposition research armies that flood television with untruths, half-truths and take-no-prisoners character assassination.
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Those who have watched any of the Republican Presidential Debates know that America is in trouble. Not from the ideas or political inclinations proffered by the candidates, but from the incursion of money, opposition research — and duplicity on the part of some segments of the journalistic establishment.
There’s a new voice in American political debate. One whose sole purpose is to manipulate, misdirect, and rally a largely ignorant electorate. Their tools are commercialized political speech that conceals reality and avoids constructive debate while perpetuating ignorance among their fellow citizens.
Big Brother, we have now come to know, is not the government, but the rich and powerful families, corporations and labor unions empowered by Citizens-United to monopolize the political conversation.
What we’ve seen in Florida in the last two weeks is the commercialization of American political thought by unidentified persons, corporations and labor unions.
It’s unclear, in the first presidential election since the Citizen’s United decision, whether a free people can reasonably be expected to govern themselves when only those with the most money are allowed to speak.
The winner in Florida was neither one of the candidates nor their political party. The winner, and presumed winner in all contests to come, is Big Brother.
Big Brother, we have now come to know, is not George Orwell’s malevolent vision of government, but rich and powerful families, corporations and labor unions empowered by the Citizens-United decision to monopolize, dominate and define political conversation.
No matter the party, or office, from now on Big Brother sets the agenda and defines the vehicle — the video commercial. Not just this year, but for as long as we proffer the right to spend as the equivalent to the right to free and uncensored political discourse.
Ours is an ignorant nation — made that way by polarizing cable news program content, news decisions based on entertainment values, and happy-talk network news operations that project the illusion of normalcy in Washington when little inside the beltway might pass as such in Main Street America.
Political campaigns awash in special interest money, and openly supported by unlimited PAC spending, attack the opposition — thereby avoiding discussion of issues or agendas in favor of mud-slinging supported by hired-guns and endless opposition research.
The results of negative campaigning are contraindicated in a nation of free citizen electors for negative advertising and mindless rhetoric provide American voters little or no substantive understanding to guide them on issues of immense importance.
What underlies the commercialization of political speech is not freedom of expression but something far more sinister: the oppression of the ignorant. What the political strategists, funding organizations, opposition research specialists and advertising producers know is that ideas, ethics, principles and even political inclinations matter little when the American electorate is bombarded by constant and repetitious lies, distortions, and accusations.
With big media so engrossed in horse race politics and process, the issues — those things that matter most to preserve our livelihoods, if not our nation, remain all but absent from political debate. In their stead rich contributors now have the right to monopolize political free speech — and flood electronic media with untruths, half-truths and take-no-prisoners character assassination.
An ignorant America in which only Big Brother‘s voice is heard seems unlikely to long remain either the land of the free, or the home of the brave.
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