I didn’t see a prompt for today, so I’m making up my own.
I’m interested in politics and am probably more informed than a lot of voters. I’ve lived a while, so I’ve seen different administrations come and go, and I have distinct opinions on many of the hottest issues. I have a degree in history, so I can say with confidence that history does repeat itself, and we should learn more from past experiences.
My problem is that I feel absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of “news” being dispensed in every possible way. I don’t know what “news” is anymore. There are twenty-four hour news and commentary channels — several — and on the one I watch, the same news is repeated again and again, hour after hour. It’s hard to distinguish the relative importance of news items because every issue seems to be treated with the same urgency. Blogs comment on everything, big and small, important and inconsequential.
Then there are these fly-by-night news stories: we hear endlessly about a topic when it’s hot, then when the story gets cold, we never learn the eventual outcome. Now that the Israelis and Palestinians are fighting ruthlessly, we hear far too little about Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria — equally important. Despite the stock market growth, the economy is fundamentally shaky, and little attention is focused on that. Immigration problems are one of the biggest challenges our nation faces — borders are there for a reason, and plenty of laws prescribe remediation — but are they followed? Is the focus on the wrong part of the problem?
I even wonder how much unnecessary stress this put on people who spend too much time in front of the TV, the computer, or listening to the radio. The message generally is that our world is in chaos and no one can control it. It’s fine to write and talk about it, but where’s the action?
Last night I took a drastic action: I deleted all of the political sites I’ve accumulated, by “liking” I guess, from my Facebook page. I can like and comment all I want, but I’m not in power, I can only vote. While all of what’s being talked about potentially affects me, I have no control over it. I’m opting out. One good news show a day to keep up with what’s happening, and I’m done.