By John O’Donnell
Since the birth of the first two political parties in the early 18th century, there has been an unending struggle between the righteousness of one over the wickedness of the other. This “debate” has blanketed nearly all political trifles over the last 2 centuries, with each party obligatorily opposed to the others views. After hundreds of years of hard fought debate, only one question remains: where is the progress?
Some 200 hundred years after the first political debates concerning the size and powers of the newly formed government, we still find ourselves wrenched in the same dry tug of war that we have been in since the beginning. And at the center of this unmoving rope, stands the ultimate roadblocks of national progression: Political propaganda and individual ignorance.
Supposedly acting as the 4th point in the checks and balances system of our government, Political journalism has always been seen as the reign on the political machine. One that keeps the government in check, and expresses the view of the people. While fulfilling the role of “watchdog” for the common public, political media has garnered a strong influence over the country. So the dogs teeth are often manipulated and misguided into the necks of the opposition, rather than those of the wicked.
With bold headlines and sensationalized eight word slogans flashing across the screen, it does not take long for even the most casual observer, to see their is a great divide in the United States.
Mudslinging and yellow journalism are just as relevant today as they were in the first instances of Politically owned newspapers. Photos carefully juxtaposed and cropped reflect either negatively or positively in the favor of the proprietor. You would be hard pressed to find a flattering image of Donald Trump on the CNN website, just as it would be difficult to find a complimentary photo of Obama on the Fox News website.
Political news bias has become so strong, the more appropriate title of “Propaganda” should be placed on the shoulders of large political networks. No longer do we debate topics, instead political television and internet based news sites perpetuate arguments and the defamation of the opposing side. Liberals sit back and yell in agreement as the CNN reporter scrutinizes Donald Trump’s latest antics. While Conservatives vehemently protest the actions of the Liberals, to themselves, alongside the anchor behind the Fox News desk. Republicans swallowing republican propaganda, and Liberals guzzling Liberal bias.
With this heated combination of ignorance and lack of understanding, it is no wonder why our government has been debating the same political issues for the last 200 years with no end in sight. News programs openly supportive of specific forms of legislation or clearly aligned to a specific party should be deconstructed and reevaluated. The owners of these major companies should not have political ties the Democrats or Republicans, and until this changes, then we are doomed to fight the endless war against ignorance and hatred.
Of course the News companies are not the sole cause of issues within modern day politics. There is also a great responsibility on the individual’s behalf to take the time to understand opposing points of view, and to seek information from multiple sources. The goal should be to have a cooperative, open minded society. However, with the level of intensity in which Americans approach their political views, this idealist philosophy may be rendered simply unattainable. Most people barely read more than the headlines of the news they do agree with, so to ask them to take personal time to delve deeper into opposing thought processes may be nothing short of a fantasy.
The formation of political parties may have been unavoidable, however the level of dedication between individuals and their selected parties is dangerous. Leaving no room for honest debate or understanding. Republicans side with republicans on all issues, and Democrats side with Democrats on all issues. But no one party has all the answers, political strife should be discussed case by case, not party by party. Those voting Republican for the sake of being Republican, and vice versa, are those that hinder the growth of our nation.
The goal should be unity, not right vs wrong, or good conquering evil. Individuals should be open to the exploration of different sources of information. Avid subscribers of CNN should take some time to watch Fox news, just as Fox viewers should take time to listen to the news on CNN. Until the methods demonization and finger pointing have subsided, we will simply have to sit tight and wait for the public to get dizzy from running in circles.