Friday, October 17, 2008

Maligning a Regular Joe

Like most Americans, I tend to be fairly middle of the road in my political views- a little to the left on this issue, a little to the right on that one. I make sure that I read articles from all sides of the political spectrum to be sure I get the full story, because I find that usually the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Things have shifted with this current election cycle. The mainstream media has always veered towards the left, and talk radio to the right. Lately though, the mainstream has gone off the edge and is taking with it our civil liberties and the true notion of Freedom of the Press. If the press presents only one argument, and maligns ANYONE who disagrees with their view, it then veers into the sort of propaganda machine we see in restricted societies such as China and Russia. Part of the blame goes to the American people, for taking the sound bites that the press feeds them, and feeling satiated. For not taking the time to question what they read or hear. In less free societies, the people have no recourse- information from the other side is not allowed in any format. But in the USA, we do have options to learn both sides of a story.

Take the latest celebrity story of Joe the Plumber, a regular guy who asked Obama a question on tax policy during a campaign stop. His question was valid and reasonable. It was a question that should have been asked by many people long before now, weeks to go before the election. McCain picked up on it, as well as Obama's answer to Joe, and used it as a centerpiece in the final Presidential debate. Frankly, Joe got across a point that McCain himself has been unable to make alone. It resonated with people. And that scared the pants off of the press, who have worked so diligently to get "their man" elected. So they wasted no time in tearing this ordinary citizen to shreds. No plumbing license (he is currently taking a course to procure his license)! Tax liens (one old, one current, to the tune of about $1000)! etc. etc. This is a guy who works 10-12 hours a day to provide a good living for himself and his 13 year old son. He lives in a modest ranch house outside Toledo. He wants to buy a business. He simply asked a question.

It is shameful. And scary.

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