This first appeared on my website blog on July 21st, 2010. The issue of spineless journalism in our nation’s media continues and even worsens.
Today is July 21st, 2010, one day past the last Democratic Primary and Republican Primary elections. It was the day to choose which candidate is allowed to represent each party in their given field of interest in the General Election of November. Those fields include races for state representation of our views in both local and national concerns. It was easily seen if you squinted through the reflective glare of aluminum road-side election sings for each candidate. It was the day we were able to choose. Yesterday was the day.
Today is the day we are either happy with our choices or we are concerned about how the choices of others will affect our lives. It always surprises me to see how few registered voters turn out to make these choices. For that matter, it always surprises me to see how few eligible voters actually register to vote. I won’t attempt to report the numbers but I will direct you to the website of the U.S. Census Bureau for the most accurate data available. I imagine it will surprise you as well.
Why so much voter apathy is unclear but voter uncertainty and a gradual erosion of trust in the process has much to do with it I think. There are checks and balances in place that are not being used to their optimal effectiveness. These checks and balances include many ingredients of an informed and motivated democratic republic. We simply need to know the truth about daily decisions, both locally and nationally, that truly affect our lives in the most personal ways. We need to be able to trust the information process in particular. Unfortunately our long time trusted information outlets are no longer able to deliver a message of what decisions are made and how they truly affect us. Deliberate or not, the messages are becoming less and less believable to a discerning and educated population. The job is not being done.
These thoughts led to the following poem, done yesterday, about what I think the issue is. I have served in the fourth estate myself and have had the opportunity to interview those in the process of government. At some point in the past, I can’t pinpoint exactly when, the process changed into an Orwellian chapter of our republic and I find it disturbing. The following three poems are meant for you to read and enjoy. They are also meant to be a call to think and discern rather than be fed what others want you to believe about current events and how they affect your life.
The Fourth Estate
Officially there are only three
On the governmental power tree
Executive, Legislative, and Judicial
As you can see there are plainly only three
These three keep government running
Two will say almost anything to keep returning
Every six or four or two years while the other is secured for life
As you can see the election cycle is stunning
But there are truly four legs to the table
And until lately this system was very stable
Not elected but trained as writers
Who must pass tests to show themselves able
The job of the fourth is to watch over the three
To show we readers what we are unable to see
The good, the bad, of the economy and more
But recently their words and other’s actions don’t agree
Without someone to tell us the truth of the day
We have no way to know what our votes should say
Each two years as we all go to the polls
We have no way to know who must leave or stay
It is a sad day in this land when the truth is twisted
To keep those in power from being resisted
It is a sad day when those who are not elected
Get to say whose voice is spoken and persisted
It is even sadder that we all watch and read news
From those writers hypnotized by administration views
Never saying what the consequences could possibly be
As they choose to pass pure fabrications to us as news
Awake and witness the table’s fall to the floor
Because there is simply no longer a leg number four