Thursday, November 04, 2004

Thoughts moving forward

After the election, I decided to ignore the media for a while and just think: What does this mean and how much of that really matters to me?

I'm still going to register Democrat. The neocon movement appears to be quite effective. I don't want to be associated with that. It's not me, that I know for sure.

The impending change to the Supereme Court scares me frankly. Resolving the growing trust issues many Americans have with our government will require judgements from the Supreme Court to resolve.

I have a big trust problem with this administration and what it represents with regard to political discourse. They lie and manupulate and bastardize and have a very strong voice with few checks. They promote unity, not through traditional means, but through force of law. (Ask the folks that wore T-shirts and stickers about their experiences.) --These things are dangerous, but it gets worse.

The electronic voting issue has bothered me since the Help America Vote Act passed after the 2000 election.

The lies and manupulation are worrysome, but combined with the untrustworthy vote and the Supreme Court, equal a new danger we have not yet faced.

For the first time we have a government that is attacking our democracy directly. We have had bad leaders on both sides before, but the people always had the power to address the issue. In the past we had law framed around fair discourse.

Does anybody else here connect the increased deregulation of our powerful media forces with the lack of balance in our government today?

This administration is working hard to limit our ability to be informed about both the issues and its actions, while at the same time building its ability to publish its own views .

The folks on the winning side are going to say this election was decisive and that the people have spoken.

How can we be sure it is their voice we heard and if it was, can we trust decisions made lacking critical facts in a biased environment for discussion?

Why don't we insist on a record of the vote? Not just the numbers, or intermediate machine results, but a true record of what the voters did?

Speaking of orwellian, how come the legislation designed to help America vote does more to hide problems and limit the ability for people to examine and thus trust the process than it does to actually address the problems?

How come Ohio allowed challengers at the polling places, but wanted to discourage exit polling?

Why did Florida install machines with no paper trail?

How come the problematic elections, held prior to the most important election in the history of this nation, were ignored and downplayed in the media?

Why are the workings of our voting machines kept secret? Nothing was secret before, why now?

I think the 2000 election will be historic in that our highest court circumvented the process. 2000 marks the beginning of a new American struggle that, I fear, will take a long while to work out.

That struggle is one for trust and accountability in our democracy, that define, as a nation, who we are and how we do things.

I want to work to find middle ground because it's the fair thing to do, but I don't trust the folks on the other side of the barganing table.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post, like a lot of post-election Democrat posts, reflects one out of the two reasons Democrats lost. 1. The vote was rigged. 2. Bush voters r dumb.

Increased deregulation of media is really such a bad thing? Your blog is part of the media, but not held accountable in any tangible way to present real facts or be responsible at all. Do you really want more regulation when it comes to what information we consume or less?

How about a post on what was wrong with the message of John Kerry, and how can you fix the process that led Democrats to send the wrong message.

November 08, 2004 7:22 PM  
Blogger Doug Dingus said...

There are clear differences between my Blog and traditional broadcast and print media. These differences directly impact the need for regulation.

For starters, this Blog occupies a part of the Internet. My part of the Internet is not about size, but only about whether or not I choose to use it or not. The Internet is as big as we all want it to be. Anyone can publish, and a lot of us do. Anyone can read, and again a lot of us do.

These things combine to eliminate the need for regulation, because the structure of the Internet allows all of us to act as peers. --This is very important.

Don't like what you see here, don't read, or comment as you have done. It's all good really. Don't trust what you read here? Go get some facts and post a rebuttal, or simply quit reading. Again, all good. You can put up your own Blog and make your voice heard as I have made mine. That's good too. In fact, I encourage you to do exactly that. You will learn something as I am doing as you read right now. You are totally free to do these things.

Finally, are no commercial interests behind this blog. The same can be said for a very large number of Internet publishing efforts. It's a pull technology. Nobody has to read anything ever.

We are equal. That's the very best thing of all.

Contrast that with traditional broadcast media. There is a finite spectrum available to us. This means not everyone can publish. Traditional media is all about size in that there is only so much room for potential publishers; thus, voices to be heard.

We do not act as peers. Those that control the media get to say which views are heard and why. It's not a two way street and that brings a responsibility to the table that simply does not need to exist for a Blog.

These things directly impact choice as well. Don't like what you see on TV, don't watch. Same goes for Radio and the Newspaper as well right?

Not right at all. The spectrum is a finite public resource. Those that are allowed to broadcast also must serve the public interest when they do so. It's a tradeoff designed to make broadcasting work for everyone. Same for the newspapers. Not everyone can own and run a printing press, so those that do have some responsibility to those they serve; namely, us.

The steady deregulation of media has allowed very large concentrations of power in the hands of a few people. Every one of us is flawed. Every one of us has our own view we prefer over others. These powerful people are no different than you and I in this respect.

By not regulating them, we put our culture and ideas in their hands. Left unchecked by competetors, we lose choice and free expression vital for political discourse.

These people need to be regulated because they have no incentive to act in the public interests otherwise. None of this can be said about my Blog.

Our government is essentially a one party system right now. Checks are few against those in power. The same is true for the media. Follow the trail of ownership of your local TV and Radio stations. You will find only a few at the top. Those few are closely aligned with our one party-government.

Even if I were on the winning side right now, I would still consider that a problem. Why? Because everybody is wrong some of the time. Who is going to catch us on it, if there is noboby with a voice looking to do so?

As for the election, yeah I suspect problems. Too many people ignored obvious and vital checks on our democratic process. The loss of these checks has violated trust; thus, casting our elections into doubt. This is very important: NO MATTER WHO WON, THE PROBLEM REMAINS.

As for Kerry, you are spot on. There are things he could have done better; namely, responding to the lies in a quicker manner. Too many news cycles passed before solid answers to the Swift Boat thing. That's one example. Another: He should have made his concession conditional, with the condition being that all votes are accounted for.

Finally, why did I ignore all the media? Because I wanted to think hard about what I thought, not what somebody led me to believe. The questions on this post are ones that bother me. The concerns are those that I feel are most important right now. They are my thoughts moving forward.

Don't agree? It's all good. Just don't post here and expect me to say:

Oh yeah, you are so right! What was I thinking? Of course the Bush camp would never do that! Such smart folks, with good Christian values, must be telling the truth. God is speaking right through them to you and me.

Right there on the TV.

Oh, one other thing. If you expect your voice to matter, you might consider using the english language just a bit better than you are now. "Bush voters r dumb", happens to say exactly that. If you don't want to be marginalized, speak up and speak clearly.

November 08, 2004 11:29 PM  

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