A generation ago, someone who doesn’t believe in evolution wouldn’t have been on the Science Committee in Congress, and someone who espouses the death penalty for sassy children would have been laughed out of the public eye.
A generation ago, the media might have called Mitt Romney out on his lies during the debate instead of declaring him the winner. And a candidate who was caught in the number of flat-out lies and scope of deception of the Romney campaign would have been shamed out of the campaign long before the convention.
We used to have something called common sense that helped us weed out the crazies; now we seem to welcome them with open arms.
The guys who claim women can’t get pregnant from “real” rape get to stay in the race and maybe even win the election.
We who fought for women’s rights in the 1960s thought we had won some of these battles — like the right to access to contraception and safe abortions, and the right to keep our jobs regardless of whether we’re on the Pill and not married.
I can actually remember when a woman could be forced to quit her job if she got pregnant because she belonged at home with her baby. It wasn’t her decision to make; her boss could make it for her.
Blatant lies like the ones put out there about the Affordable Care Act — the death panels, the $716 billion “theft” from Medicare — used to be dispelled by the media, which now repeats them over and over as “the other side of the story.”
Our previous president lied us into war, tortured prisoners and suffered no consequences for his war crimes. Our current president kills innocent people with unmanned drones on a regular basis and it doesn’t even make headlines.
Instead, we get to hear all about which celebrity is looking at jail time for drug abuse, who is divorcing whom, who wore the lowest-cut dress to whatever awards ceremony last week, cute fuzzy-puppy stories from Middle America and sports, sports, sports.
We are obsessed with Honey Boo-Boo and America’s Got Talent, but we can’t be bothered with the real issues long enough to demand that the corporate media explain the real ramifications of public policy instead of giving equal weight to the truth and the lies.
Instead of a media that searches for truth, we get a lying sack of crap declared the winner of a debate because he looked “sharper.”
I worry about this country’s future as people lose access to real information about real issues. Even the president is out there talking about Big Bird. Drop it already and talk about how we lower our military spending, make huge corporations behave and pay their share of the public load, regulate their greed-induced ill behavior and invest in education and other things that ensure a stable future for our children and families, not to mention our nation.
Leslie Boyd, a former newspaper reporter, is president of the health care advocacy nonprofit, WNC Health Advocates, founded in memory of her son, who died in 2008 because he couldn't access health care. E-mail her at leslie at lettersfromtheleft dot com or follow her on Twitter @leftyletters1, visit Letters from the Left on Facebook. For more information about WNC Health Advocates or to read Boyd's health care blog, visit wncha.org.