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America Needs a Hero
  by Geezer

Today I’d like to explain why I feel that Americans need, at this moment in time, a national leader
so bold that he’s willing to risk his political career, and even his life.

Without sweeping changes in the infrastructure of our national discourse, progressives, even moderates,
will never again win the hearts and minds of the majority of Americans.  Most of you reading this are in
a small minority.  You are the ones who have abandoned the corporate news media for sources you trust,
for like-minded commentators, and for court jesters who speak truth to power.  The vast majority of
Americans still believe that American journalistic standards are the world’s highest and rely on short
snippets from broadcast news to keep them informed.  Those with stronger opinions isolate themselves
among political allies.  Most have paid little attention to the long and careful breakdown of ethics originally
forged by such American legends as Edward R. Murrow.

If you ponder why Americans seem to be at each other’s throat to a far greater extent than at any time
since the Civil War, you need only look so far as my preceding paragraph.  In years past, I spent a large
amount of time arguing for the return of the Fairness Doctrine and related laws and regulations. 
I anticipated the America that has come to pass without them.

Rush Limbaugh has frequently referred to the Fairness Doctrine as “the hush Rush law.” 
He’s essentially correct.  The Fairness Doctrine would have required Limbaugh to give equal time on
his program to spokespersons opposed to his political vomit.   If he failed to provide that time, he’d be
denied access to the broadcast infrastructure across America.  And so would Fox News.  The Fairness
Doctrine and its attendants would deny the use of propaganda proponents from both the left and the right. 
Further, Americans would not be able to shield themselves from political opinion they did not immediately share.

I recently spent some time driving across America from Vermont to California.  What should strike
anyone who takes the time for this journey is that practically every television in every bar, truck stop,
roadside diner, and motel broadcasts Fox News twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  What will
not immediately occur to you, unless you think about it, is that this is quite simply the way the vast
majority of Americans get their news.  While going about their daily business, they gather information
from publicly viewed television sets and from talk radio.  Nobody is more aware of that fact than
Rupert Murdock and Roger Ailes.

By the Ailes design, Fox News identifies two or three talking point sound bites per day, and hammers
them relentlessly throughout the day.  Folks who trust the information they get from broadcasting absorb
those brief, unexplained talking points and the Fox News nutshell version of American history. 
Don’t waste your time arguing any opposing view or asking these people to check another information
source.  They don’t have the time.  They are far too busy protecting the remnants of what they have,
while Fox News tells them who to blame for their losses.

A politician with communication skills, such as Barack Obama has shown, might still find some success
in beating back the misperceptions with the diligent use of the bully pulpit.  President Obama has chosen
not to do this.  As a result, any success he has forged will be quickly overturned with the electorate’s
broad approval the moment he steps down from office.  Without a president with the tenacity of Harry
Truman and the speaking skills of John F. Kennedy, this will continue to be Rupert Murdoch’s America. 
The rest of us will only be allowed to live in it.  Maybe.




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