Feel the Silence

In December 2007, mid-way through the saga that was the 2008 Presidential primary season, you would have had to look long and hard to find an American that was more engaged in the political process than me. Sadly, the bulk of my free time was spent consuming the news cycle and pinging Kyle about how the day’s drama should play out here at Comments from Left Field. Fast forward six months and you would be pressed to find someone less interested than me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have not lost the bug completely but one major change in my life has put an entirely different spin on how I see this election cycle. I moved from the battleground state of Pennsylvania, a place that is still at the epicenter of drama, to Vancouver, British Columbia, fifty miles north of the US border but a place that is so foreign it could be located 20,000 miles away.

At first I couldn’t quantify why the political news of the day in the U.S. did not hold its typical controlling power over me. Maybe I was just adjusting to being an expat? Could it be that I was just consumed with work so much in my new role that I couldn’t fit politics into my feeble little brain? While these were plausible reasons the longer I spent here the more I realized that the change had everything to do with my lack of access to the drone of the U.S. mainstream media.

No more Olbermann, O’Reilly, Blitzer, Stephanopoulos and Matthews meant no more mindless dribble to piss me off. As a result, I feel like a wall of speakers droning on at 110 decibles has been turned completely off leaving me the freedom to hear the real discourse that was previously completely drowned out.

That real discouse is what is lacking within the media borders of the U.S. and if we can not find a way to turn up it’s volume to a level just loud enough to compete with the noise, we are guaranteed to suffer an endless series of deceptive political cycles capped by years of rule by politicians whose only interest is to line their pockets and the pockets of their corporate donors.

I am about to head out the door to go spend some quality time with my family but if you have the time I suggest you read the following post by John Farrell. It illustrates just how utterly pathetic the media environment I have left behind is.

So, in a week or ten days, we got the two major presidential candidates digging through some pretty important stuff, and offering glimpses of how they would lead America.

And then I switch on CNN last night, and there is Campbell Brown being an absolute idiot.

When Obama encouraged his countrymen to learn foreign languages, Brown asked a guest, wasn’t the Democratic candidate undermining the desperate efforts he has been making in the last few weeks to prove that he is a real American?

How do you answer such a dumb question? Her guest was stunned speechless.

The underlying assumptions of Brown’s question are: Americans are stupid. Americans are lazy. Any suggestion that does not treat Americans as stupid and lazy is politically risky. This international economy thing isn’t too important. Foreigners are bad. All foreign cultures are inferior. Education is a drag. Obama is foreign. The nominee of the Democratic Party needs to persuade Americans that he is American. By urging citizens to unite, learn and work hard in school, Obama is an elitist. Learning is a foreign value. Any suggestion that America needs improvement will be viewed by dumb, cowed voters as unpatriotic.

Come on folks it’s time to wake the hell up and take control of the cycle before we end up with four more years of McSame.

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