The news is once more captured by the conservatives, led by Donald Trump. The leader of the Republican party, in concert with the mass media, has managed to so control the news that the sixth largest descent (by gross shares traded) of the stock market in a single day, in history, preceded the day before by the 12th largest loss, did not even made the front pages of any newspaper, or hit the sweet spot of the evening television news for almost a full week. Instead, a nonsensical report provided by a Republican committee attacking the FBI is all the front-page news. What has happened to the information flow so necessary for free people to be free? Instead, the experts at delivering fake news, while screaming that everything else they don’t control is fake news, so completely control the media that this kind of garbage continues to go on, and one piece of daily nonsense follows another. Chattering “Tweets” made by a president, but sounding like some sophomore high school student on drugs occupies the attention of everyone. Oh, I almost forgot, the longest state of the union speech of all time, delivered in true dictatorial ‘long-winded with nothing to say’ style, was all about how well the stock market had done and how great was the ‘dictator’s’ ability to make that result happen!

The stock market tanks terribly right after this grandiose idiot’s speech, but that is not news because it does not suit the dictator, and the mass media cowers like the Republican power brokers in the rear with the gear licking their lips and getting ready to take more of whatever else is left lying around. If you are a Republican or a conservative, you may not be a coward, but you sure as hell are following a bunch of them. That almost all of them avoided military service, these leaders of ours from the Republican party, is entirely forgivable because the conservative movement is made up of people with a level of life experience so low that they need the sympathy, not hatred, of the rest of us, for not seeing or crediting things so obvious as this daily feed of nonsense. To be republican, and stick with it today, is laudable only in that it is such a revealing expression of that very limited life experience. It is also frustrating to a tremendous degree for the people who do have a clue.

How deep do you want to go? How closely do you want to examine everything presented to you that is appearing on the national scene through the mass media?  The mass media is the only way the public gets any news, although it seems like they get a lot of it from the Internet. The Internet, however, is mostly made up of presentations of mass media news coupled with either educated and experienced opinion, or opinion based on nothing at all, except opinion. The Internet does not send out reporters. The Internet is not filled with video material that is ‘inside.’ What do I mean by inside?  Amateur videographers provide some truly revelatory footage, but they are not getting in to interview the President, attend White House briefings or even talk to representatives and senators. The mass media have big budgets, so it can send people and equipment.  This problem is one of the real unspoken conundrums of the news industry. To get the money to really do the job, the mass media must get in bed with big advertisers and private owners. Those advertisers and owners then control the content of that media (while all the time claiming that they do not). The once free press has been bought and paid for by only six corporations. None of those corporations is in any way what might be considered progressive.  Conversely, the Internet news, when it can be found, like the video from a police shooting or at a concert, is vastly more accurate and uncensored, but it is sporadic, at best. And, the Internet news has little opportunity to reach any sizeable audience. The mass media owns the networks and cable.  YouTube is a fine Internet provider, but nobody finds anybody on it unless there’s some sort of viral hook involved. Most people find it too difficult, and too tiring, to attempt to search out anything that might be construed to be the raw truth.

What has to be done is what has been effectively done over the centuries, ever since this country was founded. The local populations have to place their interest and trust into developing a quality local government. It is only through this “grassroots” kind of work that the creation of local projects and local funding that the nation can be impacted by an individual’s work at the state or federal level. All the issues, so loudly trumpeted forth daily on a national basis, are understandable and treatable at the local level if they will be discussed and then acted upon, from racism, anti-Semitism, and even these multiple violations of women that have arisen to claim the attention of everyone exposed to the national news. Involvement is the key, following motivated interest, and coming to a decision that local effort is really worth the effort. Political races across the nation have been won or lost by only a handful of votes. And remember these votes are local votes. All votes are. Get involved. Agree or disagree with this article. Come forth and argue your position, and then work to see that you get your way. It is the American way, and indeed, you are an American. Act like one.
~ James Strauss


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