Friday, November 03, 2023

Political Endorsements: Providing the Masses with Bread and Circuses for Fun and Profit


Another Opinion has published an article like this in one form or another every election cycle since 2001 not just as a public service, but as part of the fight to save our Republic. Why? Because we now live in a world where independent thought is no longer considered "politically correct". We're expected to toe the line dictated to us by the Status Quo. America is no longer a Republic. It's a Corporatocracy run via diktat by a super rich Oligarchy.

There are just five of these corporations that control 96+% of all media content---TV, movies, video games, radio, publishing, newspapers and so on.  They have an incredably powerful ability to directly influence your opinions by controlling and spinning what you watch, read, or hear.  They keep you entertained, distracted, angry, confused, and ignorant of the real issues. Bread and Circuses. While they your attention, they try to influence your vote through their so-called "endorsements".

We have a problem with this. We believe you should make your own decisions based on your own research regardless of who you ultimately vote for. Independent thought  is important for our present if we are to have a future. Please consider sharing this article. Thank you.

BTW: The opinions expressed here are strictly my own.


Political Endorsements: Providing the Masses with Bread and Circuses for Fun and Profit

There was a time when the news media (particularly newspapers) were the ever vigilant "crusaders" of public morality, albeit self-appointed and as often as not, the creators of their own hype (see "Yellow Journalism"). However, society and technology grew up. Today, we are better informed that at any time in history.  We have instant access to information the world over, and with it, the ability to do own investigation of candidates and the issues which are important to us.

The media, especially newspapers, make endorsements to serve their agenda, not yours, although they try to make it sound one and the same.  For years, I've campaigned for the release of unedited transcripts of candidate interviews  and full disclosure of the interviewer's names and their political affiliations. The public has a right to know exactly what a candidate said and in what context, as well as political leaning of those making the so-called "endorsements".

I've been a community organizer and political activist for well over 40 years.  To many times over those years I've come across candidates who were misquoted, misattributed,  or instances  where the "correct" response was inserted while gaffs were carefully removed on behalf of certain candidates. In fact, I've been a victim of these manipulations. That's deception, whether intentional or not.

 Today, a handful of news and other media outlets are making public these interviews unedited and providing the facts behind their research in a timely fashion. They are also providing unbiased information regarding both side of key issues, particularly those that will be appearing on the ballot. To those brave few actual journalists and editors, bravo to you!  

However, not all are providing full disclosure of the names and political registration or leaning of the interviewers making the endorsements nor are they disclosing the criteria by which the endorsements are made. That remains hidden behind a false veneer of make believe "integrity"!  You-- the voter--have a right to know if an "endorsement" on an issue or candidate is honest and fair or is being made based on a political or economic bias.  

As I have done for decades, I'm urging voters to take a few minutes to do their own research in order to make an informed decision before casting their vote.  Using a Voter Guide is one such resource for you to consider.  You can check out a candidate's or issue's website, or do a general search on the internet. You'll find out a lot more than just reading or listening to a biased review or opinion.

As an aside, if you're looking at a political party's website or that of an endorsing organization, bear in mind that they are writing from their point of view. Any endorsements or opinions they make serve their interests, not necessarily yours.  Always understand the political slant of any source.

If you find that you happen to be in agreement with a candidate or issue, fine. Support that individual or issue as a volunteer  or with a financial contribution, a yard sign, or simply with your vote. But whatever you, do so as an informed voter. Don't let anyone think or decide for you. Never surrender your vote!

I also suggest that candidates or those representing an issue who are interviewed for an endorsement, especially by the news media, to be sure and write down the names of those conducting the interview. Ask if they will be making the endorsement. If not, who will?  Also ask when their recommendation will be announced. If you're being recorded for TV or radio, ask when it will be aired.

 Finally, when being interviewed for an endorsement, don't be afraid to ask what their political affiliation is. If they refuse to tell you, note that too. You may want to make this public  once the interview is over in order to keep everyone "above board" and honest. Keep it factual and to the point. Leave any personal opinions or animosity out of it. If your campaign depends on their recommendations, then you, your supporters and the voters deserve to know what to expect.

The role of the media, regardless of its format, is to present the facts in a impartial, balanced and fair manner. It is not to attempt to manipulate or sway public opinion to suit their  political or economic  agenda, even if they believe it's "for your own good".  Only you can decide what's in your own best interests.  

Organizations, including business associations and unions, have a specific agenda.They even create a myriad of fake "committees" for this or that to hype their agenda (made all the more powerful by the 2010 "Citizens United" blunder by the not-so-Supreme Court). It's in their economic interests to make these endorsements. They are responsible solely to their board of directors and/or the stakeholders, not the general public. 

But it's not the job of the news media, including newspapers, to push any agenda! Their one job should be to provide the public with honest and balanced information free of political bias and let the people decide, wouldn't you agree?  

Remember too that endorsements are merely ultimately personal opinions, often based on money and access to power, and those opinions aren't always the most informed! Think for yourself. Do your own research.  And then vote!  Your community and America are counting on you!

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