PostHeaderIcon Good For Newt – Bad For Us

The GOP primary “debates” have become such a sham that I did not bother to watch the most recent S.C. “debate”. However, I was pleased to see re-runs of Newt tearing into that CNN moron who opened the questioning with something totally beside the point of the debate, something totally personal and (should be) private, and worse yet, something said by an angry ex-wife.

While I still prefer Ron Paul, I do sympathize with Newt. You see, I too have an angry ex-wife. And, while she is not really a bad person, any conversation with her regarding me would likely suggest that I am the devil incarnate.

The public knows nothing of the Gingrich’s private lives in the days before the affair (and the divorce it seemed to lead to) anymore than nobody but my ex and I really know what went on between us before a similar outcome. How then can any rational person believe that a public discussion of such a thing could have any meaning? In my own case, I am not sure even I understand for sure what transpired or why.

Even more important, how can an unfortunate end to a relationship between two private individuals have any bearing on one’s qualification to hold office? I know that many will use the excuse that it speaks to character. I retort that, lacking details that will not (and should not) be made public, one can make no conclusion other than the obvious fact of an unfortunate outcome.

I understand CNN’s motivation. They are supporting the re-election of the Obamanation and they hope that, if they sling enough crap toward his potential rivals, some of it might stick.

All this has gotten me thinking again about the notion of a “free press” and what that notion really means in a constitutional republic. It is my understanding that the Founders referred to a press that was “free” of government control – a press that had no obligation to get clearance form those in office to print (or, today, broadcast) information for general consumption.

If that is truly what the Founders intended, then what our Constitution seeks to protect is actually the people’s right to be informed. In other words then, “freedom of the press” is not some special license that belongs to those in the journalist profession.

In a contorted way, this brings me to my real question: to what extent, if at all, does our Constitution grant to journalists the right to knowingly misinform the people? Note here that I am not referring to honest differences of opinion or the inevitable human mistakes. Instead I am asking whether “freedom of the press” was intended to grant the “press” the “freedom” to knowingly lie to the people?

I think that it obviously was not. This is why there are laws against libel and slander. But these laws are very hard to enforce -and- pursuing their enforcement in the courts is more expensive than most of us can afford.

This presents a very real quandary. We can’t have government regulate the press because then it would become subject to the whims of the regulators (and, we are already too near that abyss).

Once again, the only real answer is that the press can only be “regulated” by the people. All media outlets require money to operate. If WTS merely withhold our support – by not tuning in, by not purchasing their products – by not donating money, they will soon disappear. Yet, we do not and I can only conclude that too many of us like the slop they are throwing our way.

It seems that every time I get myself into one of these “tail chasing” quandaries, I come to the same conclusion. Self government can only work when a vast majority of the people participate in a manner that is rational and informed. This, in turn, requires some minimum level of individual education. And, every time I get to this point, I end up more discouraged than before, left with a feeling of hopelessness.

I cannot help but feel that we are at the precipice of a new level of societal evolution and that the vast majority of us are afraid to proceed. And, I so wanted to be among those who actually journeyed forward (that is the Libertarian in me speaking).

Sorry for the rambling nature of this screed. This often happens when I want to express something that I don’t know how to put into words.

Troy L Robinson

3 Responses to “Good For Newt – Bad For Us”

  • requires some minimum level of individual education

    Back to only land owners can vote.

    • Troy says:

      I don’t know what the test should be but universal suffrage is the second worst idea we have come up with. (Slavery first, Prohibition third).

      Troy

  • ◄Dave► says:

    One must realize that the word ‘press’ described the only possible way of propagating political dissent beyond the range of one’s voice at the time. It is simply amplified free speech. Amateur pamphleteers, like Thomas Paine, were the epitome of what our Founders meant by a free press. Thus, this and every other blog that discusses politics, which is the modern form of pamphleteering, is part of the modern press. Caveat emptor is the only acceptable regulation of free speech/press.

    The dumb sheeple problem is serious, and I too struggle with what we might be able to do to reverse the Progressive’s deliberate course of dumbing down American children, which they have been actively engaged in for over 100 years. Indeed, for some time now, I have been nagged by my conscience that this is where my efforts toward saving our country ought to be focused. Public schooling needs to be abolished; but this decision will not come easily in this society.

    In the interim, we need to encourage thoughtful parents to home school their children, and help them do so in a way that returns our Founding principles to consciousness in future generations. Sometimes, I think I should just stop trying to awaken sheeple and spend my time trying to save some of their children. ◄Dave►

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