Tuesday, April 17, 2012

We Gullible Americans

We used to believe that America was the leader of the free world. We used to know that freedom was an American institution to be copied by other countries. We all once understood that the United States of America was the leading innovator for new and high technology. But now, in our beleaguered economy and socially restructured society we are beginning to believe that we are rapidly declining as the world’s leader in all of these categories. Our television programs tell us that our kids are under educated, our industry is failing, our economic policies are not keeping up with the times and that socially we are inept due to our indulgences and prosperity. Nightly we hear how our society is falling apart because people aren’t understanding enough and lack compassion. We are ridiculed ad labeled shameful and unworthy just because we support the so called heavy-handedness of consequences that befall a family or person because of bad decisions or actions on their part. We have been increasingly indoctrinated to believe that we are inferior, even though we are the most powerful and wealthy country ever to be in existence in the history of mankind.

There used to be a saying that I still remember my grandmother touting as a child. That is that you can’t always believe what you read. How did we forget that this also applies to television? It certainly is true, isn’t it? I think so. Just because someone wrote it down doesn’t make it fact. The only fact you can take for granted is that it was written down! For some reason we, as a society think that the evening news is absolutely right all of the time. Have you done any research on what is presented to you at 5:30? Try it once and see what you get. Let’s take the recent global warming hypotheses. It’s promoted as undisputed fact, but is it? I am not going to try and debunk global warming but did you know that many facts are contrary to this belief? Have you looked into it or did you take the news anchor’s word for it? My mother told me that global warming is getting bad and that the polar bears are losing a battle for survival because the ice is disappearing. She swore to me it had to be true because she heard it on the news. Well, I did a little research and found that not all the facts were presented. Polar bears may be losing numbers but did you know that they are at their highest population the world has ever seen since man has recorded their numbers? How can that be? The news said they were disappearing. Did you also know that while the North Pole ice cap shrank this year that the ice caps in Antarctica were the thickest they have ever been? Probably not, nobody bothered to report that. Part of being Gullible is letting other people tell you what to believe.
How about the economy then? The press wants to report news that makes people watch so they can retain and attract advertisers. So they put on the evening news that 16 million people are without jobs in the US and how those people are trying to keep from losing their homes and eating PBJs instead of steak. Well, I am empathetic to those folks; in fact right now I am one of those folks. But guess what. 16 million people out of 305 million people is not bad at all. In fact that’s damn good if you ask me. The national unemployment rate also says that about 93% of the people have jobs and are able to buy food and pay for housing. Now take that and subtract those who cannot work and you have cut about 3% from the number. You know what, that sounds real good! Sure we have working poor, but if you watch those folks trotted out on the evening news that are supposed to be the working poor they all have some video game player for their kids and it seems that most of them have cell phones too. I don’t call that poor, I call that privileged. Poor to me means living off of ramen and egg sandwiches while sharing one car to get two people to two different jobs. When I was poor I never had a cell phone or cable or a video game player. Not until I started my own business did I have those things and only after 2 years of working to make the business work.

We are also gullible when it comes to our religion. We are told every day how some priest did this to some child, or how a minister was secretly gay. The onslaught is brought to you by falling ratings for most of the network newsies. Remember, they need advertisers to pay for their salaries and they can’t get advertisers without viewers. Because of this you don’t hear the news of the burned down house that was rebuilt by a church. It’s just not news. I think it is. I want to know about those Christian folks who go the extra mile to help. But again, Brittany Spears makes more headlines and sells more papers.

So stop being gullible. Think for yourself and stop believing everything you read or see on TV.