To the mass media, a controversy means money. Controversies get people to pay attention, which gets companies to pay for advertising. However, there are controversies that reduce advertising dollars – controversies that make advertisers look bad.
The reality of the “free market” controlling the mass media is that the mass media doesn't tell the whole truth. We all know this, and have passively accepted it. We even continue to spend money with those who actively manipulate our information.
Presently, our own money is being used to bore us into submission. And since omission is a form of a lie, our own money is being used to mislead us into believing what advertisers want us to know.
Moreover, our perception of today's relevant controversies has been manipulated into extraordinarily simplistic “us and them” concepts. This has been so ingrained into our minds that we often actually believe (without thinking) that this is just the way things are.
Take for example; the mass media has handed us two choices for how to view the world – you're either a Conservative or a Liberal. This simply cannot be more oversimplified. Are those who control the mass media actually trying to confuse us?
If you ask a conservative what a liberal is, your answer would be quite different from the answer a liberal would give you. Actually, Conservatives and Liberals can't even clearly define themselves. As the investigative reporter, Greg Palast once said; “In confusion is profit.”
So, why the confusion? Why not talk about the actual controversies? We know what they are:
Up until the economic crisis, the rich were getting richer, while the rest of us were getting poorer.
Those who actually caused the economic crisis have been bailed out with our tax dollars and (inflationary) deficit spending.
Those with money have the influence to convince our government to effectively take from those without influence.
Companies have influenced our government to privatize government functions in such a way as to provide less services for more money.
Our budget surplus from 2000 was squandered... and much worse.
In order to maximize short-term profits, companies have sold out American labor to foreign competitors.
In order to maximize short-term profits, companies have environmentally sold out future generations – and all life on Earth.
Established companies have been able to suppress competitors with safer and cleaner technology.
The military/industrial complex has been bleeding the civilian economy dry for decades now.
And our public airwaves have been bought out by corporations committed to convincing us that these stated controversies are less important than the vague differences between the Right and Left.
I'll tell you why we're not actually talking about the real controversies in America; because if presented in a way that made sense, most of us would agree about what needed to be done. Remember the saying “Divide and conquer.” By arguing ethereal concepts like Right and Left, we ignore what's really going on.
What's really going on? This:
The rest of the world sees the US on the same path as the Soviet Union, about to collapse, and yet today America is not addressing the issues that collapsed the Soviet Union.
The war on the rich is being waged by other rich people.
Our government is being run by lobbyists.
There is indisputable proof that other health systems work better than the American system – people in other countries live longer (and they haven't always). Yet Americans have been led to believe a system without price gouging and non-paying insurance companies would be a bad thing.
Drug companies don't get rewarded for coming up with a cure. So, we get stuck with expensive “treatments” for life.
We're still fighting a war on terrorism against a country that never attacked us (not even on 9/11).
For 30 years; the fossil fuel industry (although polluting, profiteering, and running out of resources), has received orders of magnitude more subsidies than renewable energy.
What's really going on is that the greedy have run our nation into the ground.
President Obama is in an extraordinarily difficult position. He has been handed a country that is a mere shell of it's former self. This reminds me of South Africa after Apartheid. (They gutted the system before the black guy took over.)
But President Obama is also in a unique position to lead us into the 21st century. We now realize we've been lied to. We're open to better ideas. We want change. This is his moment. History may someday see President Obama as even greater than President Franklin D Roosevelt. His challenge is greater. He not only has to fix the economy, but he has to do it in such a way so that we can support far more people in an increasingly environmentally fragile world.
Obama won't be able to do it on his own. In fact, I have doubts he wants to. The American people will have to see through the smokescreen of the mass media – and push hard for real, sensible reform – and change that ultimately leads to a sustainable economy.
Its not about Right or Left.
Its about fixing our failing systems.
After 30 years of neglect, we'd better be in a big hurry.