Friday, May 09, 2008

Are you brainwashed?

I once tried to get a friend of mine to give Rush Limbaugh’s radio program a listen in the hopes that he would get a fresh perspective on various issues. His response to me was, “I don’t need to be told what to think.” At that moment I realized that he already had.

Nothing is more worrisome than to see a friend, family member, or anyone completely indoctrinated and, at the same time, completely unaware of it. People live with brash misconceptions about all sorts of things, and it is largely due to the media. If you are still unaware of the fact that those who run the mainstream media in this country make daily subjective decisions about which stories to run, which not to run, and by what angle or perspective to cover them, then you are way, way behind. If you solely rely on such media outlets as the NY Times, the LA Times, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, and CNN for your news information, then you literally have no idea what is really going on because you’re not receiving the entire picture. You will inevitably have a distorted world view that is largely made by others for you.

Look at how many Americans believe that George Bush made the case to attack Iraq because of their link to Al Qaeda and 9/11. Just one problem, George Bush never said that. Look at how many people think that the Iraq War is unjustified because stockpiles of WMDs were not found. That was only one of the reasons for going after Saddam Hussein; there were many others. Our economy has been doing extremely well for quite a while, until only recently, but polls show that the public thinks that it has been horrible for a long time. Why is that? Why do these misconceptions exist and persist? Simple, they are the direct result of media bias and indoctrination.

For a side note, consider this, most governments control the media in their perspective country. The obvious reason is to control the masses. If you control information, you can control thought. Now, we often hear that, “The rest of the world hates us.” Gee, wonder why.

To avoid this pitfall, and the potential catastrophes that can result, listen to all sides, and try to become informed and well rounded. We can no longer afford this naivete if we plan to survive. The world is a tough and scary place. Knowledge from unfiltered, unbiased information is a necessity. Don’t trust the media. It is not enough to be intelligent, you must be wise as well.

Whenever I speak to a liberal lefty who supports the Democratic Party, and I speak political philosophy to them, they invariably end up sounding conservative. I ask, “Do you think you pay too much in taxes?” “Yes.” “Do you think we ought to socialize our health care system?” “No.” “Do you think we ought to protect our borders and get a handle on the illegal immigration problem in this country?” “Absolutely.” “Do you think our public schools are inept?” “Without question.” “ Well, you sound like a conservative.” I then explain to them that they have been brainwashed by the mainstream media, their university professors and the entire entertainment industry.

There is no other explanation. A lot of Democrats are conservative and do not even realize it. I believe that if supporters of the Democrat party were educated about what is really going on in this country and around the world, then most of them would no longer back that party. The Democrat party of today is not that of the one just a couple of decades ago. It is far more radical and almost completely beholden to this branch of their supporters.

We, as Americans, have to be willing to devote the time necessary to learn the truth. We have to do our homework. Truth is usually somewhere in between so we must listen to all sides of an argument. You cannot presume that you will receive all sides of an issue from one source. Don’t just watch CNN, watch Fox News as well. Listen to Air America, but Rush Limbaugh too. Watch Chris Mathews’ show and then Bill O’Reilly’s. Read books by liberal as well as conservative authors. Reading is key. Check their sources, pay attention to the footnotes, look at the appendices in the back of the book, and always remember that “he who does not read has no advantage over he who cannot read.”

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