Back in 2008 when Barack Obama was running for Presidency of the United States it appeared to be a tight race until the votes came in. The pollsters had been playing it safe and playing both sides of the fence. The end result was Obama with 365 Electoral College votes and McCain with 173 electoral votes. What had seemed to be a tight race had turned into a landslide victory for Obama. This result however is not the norm.
The polls are usually pretty accurate in US politics and they usually say that it is a tight race. It seems strange that you would see a split on Health Care reform but that is exactly what you see. Tax cuts, tax increase, the war in Afghanistan, the economy, gun laws, they all draw a split.
How is it possible to be so divided on so many issues? The answer comes by way of talk shows on radio and television stations disseminating political rhetoric in the guise of news. Some would call it “propaganda” and propaganda can be a dangerous thing.
I began listening to 1480-KPHX out of Phoenix and got a burst of Left wing rhetoric that would make the Canadian New Democrats look like a Right Wing radical party. I got to listen to broadcasters like Stephanie Miller, Tom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes Mike Newcomb Mike Malloy and others spout a line of rhetoric that had me cringing at the very thought of a Republican even thinking of running for the White House.
The Left side (Democrats) will tell you that Health care, the economy, defending the poor and middle class and ensuring that all citizens have the opportunity for a higher education and the chance to reach the American dream are what is important and damn the costs.
It was time to get some other input.
Listening to 550-KFYI, also out of Phoenix, put me in a world of Right Wing Conservatives like Rush Limbaugh, Barry Young and Sean Hannity. You get to listen to shows like “Savage Nation” and “Coast to Coast”. Listening to the Right you get the people who believe in being independent and scoffing at the idea of government help or interference in their lives. They hold this view even if they are going through tough times. They support the second amendment, free speech at any cost and of course believe in smaller government, less spending and a strong military.They make the Canadian Conservative party look like a bunch of Socialist immigrants from the Eastern block countries of the 90’s.
At first glance it appears that both sides have valuable although over zealous ideas to contribute to the dialog and one would think that negotiation and diplomacy between the two sides would result in some very valuable legislation. But such is not the case.
Listening to the radio stations listed above (recommended) you will soon see why. The way the political rhetoric is presented is as important as the message intended. Both sides of the spectrum spread what could almost be conceived as hate propaganda. There is no room for negotiation. No room for credible dialog that would lead to successful resolutions to the problems facing their country. The Republicans and Democrats are equally divide through out the country spending great amounts of money not only pushing their message but propagating lies about the other side’s stance on the same issue. This leaves the general population, both Democrat and Republican with little or no concrete information to make their choice at the ballot box and eventually decide to give up and follow their party’s line and vote accordingly. Once a Republican always a Republican. Once a Democrat always a Democrat. So what causes the occasional landslide such as we saw in 2008?
Along come the “Independent voters” who carry no political party’s card in their wallet. They are the ones who can not be swayed into following a party’s line just because they are members and owe allegiance to that party. As the race for the White house gets closer you will see vast amounts of time and money being spend in an effort to sway those independent voters to move to their side. They are the ones that truly hold the “Balance of Power” in the US and yet there are no radio and television stations dedicated to their views, if there were it would be called NEWS.