FCC deregulation ensures that we all really can’t get along
My son comes home from his high school government class (AP, his father adds with pride) talking about how the VP candidates were both picked and sent out as “bulldogs” or attack dogs, given order to attack the other candidates. I told him to blame it on the FCC.
In the 1980’s, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) deregulated television. Before this deregulation, news was news, it was local, stations had to maintain their reputation in the community to maintain their licensing. After deregulation, local, national and cable news all had to make money…the businessmen were running those stations as well.
This, class, is how we got the sensationalism that replaced news.
Now, in an election that should actually be exciting, enjoyable and revolving around the issues and the contrasts, we have both parties on the attack. I am actually old enough that I can remember when it was considered bad manners to insult someone, especially if that someone happened to be the President. But after deregulation, manners went downhill. Republicans attack Clinton for lack of morals and Lewinsky, and the news eats it up. Democrats attack Bush for getting rid of a dictator that should frankly have been assassinated long ago, and the news puts it front page.
And now, Palin attacks Obama, Biden attacks Bush (and I guess McCain guilty by association?) and that’s all that the networks carry.
I am quite tired of this crap. I’m probably better at hurling insults that either of the VP candidates, but that doesn’t qualify me for the job (I hope). I want to know:
- which of these two teams are going to affect my taxes; are they going to go along traditional party lines in that regard;
- who can pick the right team to lead us out of this economic down cycle (and let’s not blame cycles on either party, shall we? they’ve been happening forever);
- if they are truly going to fix healthcare, show us a mathematically consistent plan that won’t further bankrupt the country (it is math! if there are 300 million US Citizens and it costs $200 per person per year to pay for healthcare, where does the $60 billion per year come from? if you are only going to pay for 10%, where does the $6 billion per year come from?);
What a knowledgeable voter really wants to do is to sit down with the candidates and have a candid discussion. That used to be what debates were for, but now the debates are full of posturing and slogans.
Can we all just get along, and talk about the issues that will get this country moving in a direction that will benefit my kids?