It boils down to this: Their opposition is more adept at selling lies than the Democrats are at selling the truth.
A case in point is the recent appearance of the Speaker of the House to announce that the president has no fiscal-cliff plan - none whatsoever. And it is more than likely that this lie, like all its cousins that came before it, is largely believed by those who heard it. The truth is that the president has actually submitted three sequential fiscal-cliff plans to Boehner, as the latter well knows. The most recent would call for a deficit reduction of well over $4 trillion and would roughly match spending cuts with revenue raisers.
Highlighting another example, a recent Bloomberg poll revealed that 62% of the respondents thought that the annual deficits were getting bigger, while 28% thought they were about the same and only 6% believed they were getting smaller. These views were consistent with a tsunami of distorted information disseminated from right-wing shows that allege to report the news. The truth is that the deficit for fiscal 2012 is $211 billion less than 2011 and the projected deficit for 2013 is $188 billion less than 2012. It is nothing less than disturbing that only 6% of the public knew the truth on this important matter.
Dan Rather was interviewed on television the other day and his main complaint was that lies have become a central component of some newscasts. One doesn't have to be psychic to know that he was referring primarily to FOX News, the broadcast company that was denied the right to establish an operation in Canada because that country has laws against lying in news reports.
While journalistic integrity would be a welcome goal in the U.S., it is an unlikely one. The Supreme Court would undoubtedly strike down any such legislation, just as they have struck down many of the provisions that attempted to control money in politics. In the name of free speech, the current makeup of the court seems determined to cut the political legs out from under the middle class.
So, while it is true that the Democrats are suffering from a failure to communicate, it is equally true that there is little they can do about it. The so-called 1%, the “elite,“ have erected the perfect stumbling block. In achieving their goal of converting our democracy into a plutocracy, the wealthiest among us have not only conducted a decades-long campaign against organized labor, which was once the muscle of the middle class, but have also used their wealth to purchase control of both the political process and the mainstream media.
It is their ownership of the newspapers, radio stations and TV channels across this nation that explains the woeful ignorance of Americans on important issues, and poses the likelihood that the situation will not change until or unless the system does. This is not a conspiracy theory, it is a fact. Consider the following brief summary of the billionaire raid on the media, and especially in light of the curious fact that the targeted sector has not been profitable and is steadily becoming less profitable.
Billionaire Charles H. Brandes now not only controls USA Today, but also 1,000 non-daily publications and 23 TV stations with a market reach of 20 million households. Billionaires Barbara Cox Anthony and Anne Cox Chambers control 17 newspapers, 15 TV stations and 79 radio stations. Other billionaires that now have control of various media are Rupert Murdoch, Sumner Redstone, the Newhouse Brothers, Ham Saban, Edmund Newton, the Sulzberger family, the five billionaires that currently control the Hearst Corporation, and even the “sage of Omaha,” Warren Buffett, who has taken control of the Washington Post through Berkshire Hathaway.
Furthermore, for the first time in 32 years, the George W. Bush administration enhanced the influence of these owners by giving them the right to create local monopolies involving different media. In the light of all of this information, it is not surprising that Freedom House ranked the U.S. 16th in terms of freedom of the press, and Reporters Without Borders placed us in 36th place.
Meanwhile, President Obama and the Democrats will continue to knock their heads against the wall as they attempt to get out the truth.