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We've lost the ideal of being American

 
August 18, 2022

In response to Georgia Earley's letter, I agree 100%. It used to be that regardless of our party affiliation, we could still debate. Now, I see deep hatred for an opposing view. I believe part of the problem is that we have lost the ideal of being American. We have been divided into groups and pitted against each other. In the past, even when we disagreed, we all still had that underlining understanding that we were all part of a great country. Now many people don't even know the civil principles that make us a great country, so we have no ties.

Where you lose me is paragraph four. You mention biased and/or discredited sources. I would contend that all sources are biased and that discrediting has become a popular pastime for many. I believe if you start discounting your verbal opponent by assuming their information is somehow tainted, the discussion is no longer valid. Also, don't most sources require the patronage of their readers? I mean even the NYT is a business. And who are they accountable to? And I would argue that much of what they print is misinformation and uses their readers to spread discontent.

I assume by your Germany reference you mean the use of propaganda. It's interesting that in today's news environment, we have a media complex that runs a story and every single network uses the same words to describe the event. I first noticed this all the way back during Bush. Once everyone decided Cheney would be the VP pick, they started talking about "him bringing gravitas" to the ticket. Pay attention and you will see it very clearly since it continues today. I think you can even find montages online of them all reporting on the same story using the exact same words. We have social media who is using their platforms to decide what people read or see. We have a government that is colluding with the social media to make sure the right story gets out there. So, you are right, this is just like 1930s Germany.

I also agree that eliciting emotion is how you stir up mobs. Facts are king, but much is being presented today that isn't fact. It usually takes a long period of time for that truth to become known. Over two years ago, facts about damaging information of a presidential candidate from a misplaced laptop, were being presented by "discredited" sources and the "credible" sources were proclaiming it to be Russian disinformation. Today, we know it to be fact.

Phillip Bourassa
Kentucky

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