Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Clearing Up Misconceptions

Due to the fact that the traditional media in America is biased and selective about what news to cover and how to cover it, and most Americans are often too trusting, busy, or apathetic, there is no shortage of egregious misconceptions about varying issues. This article is an attempt to clear up some of these misapprehensions, and to briefly present an often-ignored point of view on them.

The first issue concerns taxes. Democrats have been repeating their tired mantra about tax cuts for so long that many people forfeit critical thinking and simply swallow the propaganda. Whenever tax cuts are discussed in Congress, the opponents always claim that we would be “taking from the poor and giving to the rich”, or that these cuts will “punish the poor, young, and elderly”. The top 5% to 10% of wage earners pay roughly 56% to 67% of the income tax. (Source: Internal Revenue Service, Statistics of Income Division, Unpublished Statistics, September 2002). Of course an income tax cut will benefit the affluent; they are paying the overwhelming burden in the first place! Why this concept eludes so many is befuddling.

Another related issue is the perception that the Republican Party is in bed with big business, and that it constitutes an elitist rich man’s club. Just as many Democrats are involved with big business, and are guilty of shenanigans. Reagan was criticized for having several millionaires in his cabinet- Clinton had more. What about Al Gore and his Buddhist contributors, or Hillary Clinton’s ability to magically transform $1,000 into $100,000? Care to discuss James Traficant or Bob Torricelli? I could go on and on and on.

Have you ever noticed that those who speak most passionately about “tolerance for others” are often the least tolerant? Look at the absurdity going on at Harvard University. There is a campus organization that actually wants to put limits on “insensitive” speech there! Tom Daschle recently complained about slander aimed at him, but listen to how he speaks of President Bush. The hypocrisy is stunning! Does anyone doubt that Trent Lott would have gotten a pass had he been a Democrat? Also, tolerance is not synonymous with acceptance.

Fox News is not a “conservative” network. It simply presents both sides. The left slant has persisted in the mainstream media for so long, that any unbiased presentation of the news appears to have a right slant. Sadly, we can hardly recognize fair and balanced news anymore. For further evidence of this, read Bias, by Bernard Goldberg.

Racism is not defined as white prejudice only, and a white person is not a racist for merely disagreeing with or criticizing a minority person. Webster’s Dictionary makes no reference to power in defining the word. Anyone is capable of being racist. Quite simply, affirmative action is institutionalized discrimination; the very thing that the proponents of it profess to despise so much. It should be based solely upon economic need, and not skin color.

Finally, the forefathers did not invent slavery nor did they begin it in this country. It was rampant all over the world (at a much crueler level), and existed here long before the time of the Founders. They were among some of the first who acknowledged its despicability and arranged for its eventual abolition - time and economics permitting. It still largely exists all over the world today. Frederick Douglass wrote that he preferred a union, even with the institution of slavery, to dissolution because he knew that the Constitution, despite its faults, laid the seeds for eventual emancipation and equality.
Today, it is often condemned as a racist document. We forget that it was the most democratic document of its time and granted more freedom to more people than any other in the history of the world. Founding Brothers, by Joseph J. Ellis, is the most realistic appraisal of this issue in recent years. Often times, those who accuse others of reading biased history are the true dupes of propaganda.

Incidentally, it is stunning how so few people realize that we live in a republic, and not a democracy. Well, the limits of space prevent further detail, but it does not prevent any of you from looking further into these points, if so inclined.

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