Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Television and Politics

The reason things are such a mess these days is largely because too few people vote. When people refuse to exercise their civic duty, they allow the corrupt minority to seize the reins of power.

America suffered a massive turn to the dark side in 1980 when Reagan was elected. In a lot of ways, that was a turning point.

In the 1970's, we had massive cuts in spending on public education; I recall it being described as a "Retreat from excellence" in our schools. At the same time, the kids suffering the effects of these cuts were also the first generation to be raised on television and tended to read far less than earlier generations.

The 1980 election was the first election where large numbers of the TV generation were first eligible to vote, and growing up with TV predisposed them to feel more comfortable with sound bites than with critical thinking on the important issues.

If you can't find a candidate to vote for, you can always find one to vote against. It's the lazy way out, but it's still better than not voting at all.

A cynical assertion that "votes don't matter anyway" is not wisdom, it's just simple-minded laziness.

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