Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ignorance is Bliss..

"The best argument against democracry is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." - Winston Churchill

A sad but very true statement, and this past year has only proven that point. Many of us know the truth, but you will never hear the major News Media ever talk about it..Not FOX, not MSNBC, and definitely not CNN...Our politicans will never say it...All because they fear the truth will either upset, offend, or anger the people of the United States of America..but someone has to say it, and it might as well be me...

The Average American voter is...STUPID. Period.

No one likes to say it and the average voter will either nod their heads in agreement or go into a rage but if everyone knew this our political landscape would be so much less dysfunctional..but then if everyone knew we wouldn't be so stupid now would we? You may laugh at this but it is the sad truth here in America...

Historian Rick Shenkman wrote a book several years ago that was largely ignored by the Average American (huge shock) but should be a pre-requisite for all American students. He gave the book a fairly controversial title but for good reason, because if he hadn't no one would have probably read it! Just How Stupid Are We?: Facing the Truth About the American Voter was published in 2008 and in our current heated political climate its words ring more true than when they were published..

In his book, Shenkman describes how easy to is for Americans to access information about events around the world or how our government works using the Internet, especially compared to just a few decades ago..but he also points out a stark and troubling fact..Even though Americans have this great access to knowledge, the majority choice not to use it and instead either relay on News Media to give them the facts or simple don't care. The ignorace of American voters in the area of civics is especially worrisome. A 2007 study by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute found that on average American college students scored under 55 out of 100 on a test over basic American Civics. Sadly I can atest this truth from my experiences in college. And I can also sum it up rather easily..

Most Americans care very little about politics unless it comes to affect them personally. They see it as someone else's job to know such things so they don't have to research every issue being debating in Washington D.C....To be honest I can understand such a stance, because in these hard times Americans often have too much on their plate to know what's going on in Washington these days and instead rely on News Medias like FoxNews and MSNBC to provide them with the "facts", and there lies the average American voters greatest mistake. To trust the News Media to truthfully and objectively report the news in today's world of Partisanship is foolish but understandable. It has gotten so bad today that many believe most Americans actually prefer partisan News Media which they use to explain why CNN's ratings are tanking but FoxNews and MSNBC are the top Cable News outlets. I don't busy this myself, I think it has more to do with CNN's inability to actually debate the issues as opposed to just taking a middle road path like they are now.

The Truth is News Media discovered the average American's ignorance long ago and now exploit it...Whether it be with good-looking hosts and anchors or having controversial personalities, they are looking to get as many viewers as possible, simple as that. That sad thing is these News Media companies still try to pretend as though they are not biased politically when anyone who actually watches them all of them and does their own research and quickly find that they are not..but there again lies the problem...that's simply too much work for most Americans. They are content with trusting TV personalities to give them the "facts" instead of looking into such things themselves.

There are some who say we shouldn't be hard on our uninformed fellow citizens..but there is distinct line to draw. There are those are for whatever reason ignorant of the world around them (whether foreign, domestic, or political) not because they wish to be but because they find their own lives and problems more important and I have no problem with those people. My problem is with those who seemingly embrace such ignorance or allow others to do the thinking for them..because such people are indeed a danger to any Republic and allow the few to heavily influence the many and allow for the spread of not-so "facts" and only further deepens the partisan divide in our political system...

So I call on my fellow Americans, Don't allow others to do the Fact-checking for you, whether it be Liberals or Conservatives. For those of you who have the time, take 10 minutes a day to actually research the issues for yourselves and then see how the News reports it and see if they are telling you the truth...And for those of you out there who don't even know how our government works; if you are unsure about something, don't be afraid or ashamed to look it up. But don't be ignorant, because of all the problems our nation faces today, ignorance is possibly the most dangerous. Remember, Knowledge IS power!

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