One of the most used clichés used is “The Media” as if all news programs, all newspapers, and all magazines were all alike and not presenting the views of the speaker.
The use of this cliché is most strange. Those who consider themselves “conservative” complain about “the liberal media” even though they get their news through the likes of Fox News or the Wall Street Journal. Those who consider themselves “liberal” complain about “the conservative media” even though they get their news through PBS and the New York Times.
Maybe the truth is that most “media” present a wide variety of news, including what a “conservative” says and what a “liberal” says. The “media” is “biased” because some of the news includes views that the complainer disagrees with.
And maybe the complainers watch too much TV news and don’t read enough newspapers. Most papers include a variety of columnists and a large variety of opposing view in their letters columns.
If “The Media” has any bias, it is partly “laziness” and partly lack of resources. It is rare that we see on the front page “Joe Blow” came in second to a de facto “none of the above”. That is, Joe Blow received 55 percent of the 55 percent turnout, giving him a “landslide”. Huh? 55 percent of 55 percent represents a tad over 30 percent of the registered voters; it’s even worse if you consider eligible voters. Come on, almost 70 percent of the voters didn’t care to vote for Joe Blow, but “The Media” tells us a different story.
“Two party system” is used almost as if it were were written in the Constitution. It is just a fiction of convenience. If you think about it, we had a de facto “three party system” in the middle of the Twentieth Century. There were the Republicans, the Northern Democrats, and the Southern Democrats. The two parts of the Democratic Party came together on many issues, but if the Southern Democrats detected any threat to “States Rights” they were agin’ it. The miracle was that a Southern Democrat, Lyndon Johnson, broke the log jam. Now many of those Southern Democrats are Republicans.
Now Southern Republicans and “Tea Party” Republicans have all but drowned out “moderate” Republicans. “Moderate” Republicans being those who want to work with Democrats to solve real problems. What’s a “real problem”? A problem that affects the “General Welfare” as called for in the Constitution. That is, how do we make government work for all of our people, not just a chosen few.
This impasse many call a “dysfunctional Congress” and blame each and every member of Congress for this problem. Interestingly, some commentators point out that in almost every district or state, a sizable number of people don’t think their Representative or Senators are part of the problem.
Along with this view many say that “government is the problem”. But it is “We, the People” who have voted for this government.
However, some of the same people who think government is inefficient think that the United States should and can solve all the problems of the world. Worse, they think the United States should use force to do so. Ah, another cliché, “Leader of the Free World”. Who in the “Free World” outside the United States had a vote in selecting the President of the United States?
When those who want to exercise their will on other countries with military force, they call it “defense”. But defense of what? Defense of our homeland? Or defense of their view of the world? A thought experiment: if we hadn’t “defended” ourselves in Afghanistan, Iraq, and dozens of other places, would there have been a “9/11”?
“Greedy corporations” is a cliché used often by the “Left” as if all corporations were the scum of the earth. Interestingly, many of them find out about meetings complaining about corporations on their computers and cell phones and drive to the meetings in their private automobiles. In other words, they depend on large corporations to complain about large corporations. It makes me think of a Lenin quote, but I don’t think it quite fits: “A capitalist will sell you the rope to hang him with.”
Just like we have good government and bad government, we have good corporations and bad corporations. For every hidden recall, how many public acknowledgments of corporate problems do we hear?
The latest effort at corporate responsibility is by General Mills. Because of the various sources of grain it has, it makes every effort to make sure its products are what they say they are. To ensure gluten-free products they use expensive machines to separate wheat from other grains. As with all human systems, stuff happens. As soon as General Mills found out about the problem, they recalled supposedly gluten-free products. Interestingly, it may have been the truck of a small, independent contractor that had the mixed grain. For more details, see the Star Tribune of 2015-10-10.
To end on a negative note, I’ll fault General Mills for deceptive packaging. We had Golden Valley Nut Bars as a snack this past Sunday. The nut bars ended at the border between the clear part of the wrapper and the opaque part. Even considering the need to seal the top of the package, three quarters of an inch more of bar could have fit in the package.
Also published online in the Duluth Reader, 2015-10-15 at http://duluthreader.com/articles/2015/10/14/6089_slicing_and_dicing_clich_s