On May 3, Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, raised the alarm and called for action in order to address the Crisis of Loneliness and Isolation pervading our country. It is a serious problem that the Virus which invaded the world augmented! Sad! Mercifully, I do not suffer from this syndrome as I live with my daughter and grandchildren, which is a Blessing and a Joy for which I am very grateful.
Other than our multi-generational arrangement, part of my pastimes are from appreciating certain aspects of the Idiot Box, and so on April 29th. I watched The White House Correspondents’ Dinner, an event that I have enjoyed for many years despite my gradually losing respect for most of our Media Platforms and Personalities – more so these past few years than ever before. Nevertheless, President Biden and Roy Wood Junior amused me and made me laugh. They both seem to have good speech writers! Aside from joking about his age, the President said: “Elon Musk tweeted that NPR should be defunded. Well, the best way to make NPR go away is for Elon Musk to buy it.” Ouch! Good one, Mr. President! Another Ouch was his jabbing Fox News, the defamation suit against them from Dominion Voting Systems and their mantra of Fair and Balanced: “I’d call Fox ‘Honest, fair and truthful.’ But then I’d be sued for defamation.” Bingo!
The main theme, though, was Democracy and a Free Press, and how America’s “democracy remains at risk.” I agree that it is! After the show, I went to bed thinking deeply about Democracy: what does it really mean? Do average people really understand what it’s all about? Refresher: According to Merriam-Webster, Democracy is: “a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.” And according to Brittanica, I extracted this: “ . . . It is a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections . . . The absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges.” And, from UShistory.org: . . . “And although it is not mentioned in the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution, Democracy clearly links to ‘rule of law’ to form a basic principle that profoundly shapes American government.” All good, except when Corporations are considered to be people by our Extreme Right Supreme Court thus skewing and buying every election; when voting rights are being restricted so as to exclude “the whole population” as the Radical Republicans are doggedly trying to do; when toting and firing a lethal weapon is deemed a Right and on and on, then we do not really have a Democracy, do we? Nevertheless, it is definitely a Work In Progress, and we have come a long way during the past several decades! Therefore, it is a concept to be celebrated. It also means different things to different people. For instance, to a College Freshman it might mean: living in the dorms, partying, and as my Granddaughter’s’ T-shirt says: “I am currently unsupervised . . . but the possibilities are endless!” Naughty! To Bernie Sanders, my hero, and amongst other things, it means Health Care for Everyone and a Decent Minimum Wage that allows for a Dignified Existence. To the Trumpists it means: taking our country back? and generally just creating disruption galore! And, there is a whole range of other interpretations. What is the reality however, and should be applicable to Any political ideology is that All Human Beings strive for Dignity and Respect, as well as the Right to expect their government to address their basic needs of healthcare, education, food and shelter; the Right to expect Any Person with Authority be they Politicians or Bosses to be Honest, Fair and Un-corruptible – that last one being Vital! Does Everyone agree? Doubtful these chaotic days when every issue seems to be interpreted and misinterpreted, and when Unbelievable Lies are, in many cases, accepted as Truth!!
As for Free Press? Well, let’s see how our so-called journalists and talk show hosts address that: For example: During the World Cup Football games that took place in Qatar in November of 2022 about which I posted (Are You Getting Uppity . . . or What) they were breathlessly excoriating Qatar for its Human Rights record, especially regarding imported labour; LGBTQ Rights and on and on . . . every day and every chance they had. However, those Whistleblowers whom I love, unveiled how right here in our country, in the United States Bastion of Freedom and Democracy we have a Crisis of Child Labour that the Mainstream Media does Not address sufficiently, nor do some Politicians consider it a priority, especially that it serves certain “corporations!” Moreover, there are now some Republican states that are reducing the age of child laborers down to around fourteen or so. Really?
Free Press seems like it is Free Only When We Are Disparaging Other Nations, doesn’t it? And, we are so good at that while touting our Exceptionalism! Tsk! Tsk!
Another Example is how our Free Press twist their knickers chiding China endlessly for its awful treatment of the Uyghurs, but, with very few exceptions, hardly Ever Israel for its wicked treatment of the Palestinian People, and its ongoing carnage on Young Oppressed Freedom Fighters and not “terrorists” or “militants” as they choose to unfairly label them! As for the numerous number of Palestinian Journalists who have been Incarcerated, Maimed, or Killed by the Israeli Government? On this one year remembrance of Palestinian-American Shireen Abou Akhleh’s murder, here is a terrific article that portrays just how much of a Wicked and Malicious policy Israel exerts while our State Department continues to speak of “shared values,” and Bibi touts his support for a “Free Press!” Indeed we are living in a dystopian world!
Bigotry? Racism? Discrimination? Ignorance? Free Press, or, the Press that Cherry Picks its issues?
There are many more examples that I am certain you can think of.
Mr. President: Whistle Blowing Investigative Journalists can rightfully claim the title of Free Press being that they are Honest, but not most of those bought and paid for who attended the Correspondents Dinner!
Yes, our Democracy is A Work In Progress, and the Loneliness and Isolation Crisis is just One of Many that we have to deal with sensibly. Will the majority of American Voters opt for upholding our Democracy ailing as it is, or will they choose an Authoritarian Regime that will truly stifle all our Freedoms?
1 thought on “Democracy and Free Press”
Another thought provoking post, Hala. It seems, then, to have a true Democracy EVERYONE of legal age should not only be allowed to vote, we should all be required to vote.