With so much about President Obama, Obama-care, and Jonathan Gruber, and their apparent disregard for the American voter in the news lately, I felt I needed to weigh in.

Gruber obama schultz

Is the American Voter stupid, as many of the elite lawmakers and policymakers in Washington appear to believe? No. I don’t believe so. What I do believe is that the vast majority of Americans are not provided with the facts they need to make cogent decisions on policies being enacted in Washington, and I believe this is just how the policymakers want it.

There was a time when Americans could tune into one of the big three networks and get 30-60 minutes of the top news each evening. Cynics will say that back then it was just as slanted as it is today, but I don’t believe that to be true. Cynics will also say that there is no excuse for voters to be uninformed with all of the sources of news they have at their fingertips with the advent of the internet. I believe the sheer enormity of those sources is part of the problem.

In the fifties and sixties Americans would tune into their nightly broadcasts and watch their choice of newscasters tell them of the goings on in the world and the nation. In my home, it was the Huntley-Brinkley Report. I remember hearing the second movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and knowing the news was about to start. Perhaps the reporting was slanted one way or the other but if it was it was not so blatant that the viewer didn’t get at least of modicum of understanding of what the issues were and what was at stake. Also, the limited time allotted to the newscast was not taken up by so much of the vacuous nonsense that makes up today’s network broadcasts and editorial commentary was clearly labeled just that.

Regarding the idea that an uninformed voter is inexcusable in the information age that presupposes with the vast amounts of ‘information’ and opinion masquerading as information out there that the voter knows where to go to get unbiased reportage. The truth is there is very little out there that isn’t biased. I believe that the vast majority of Americans who want to be informed have abandoned the hallowed three networks in search of alternative sources. This has caused or at least exacerbated a polarization between those that have remained loyal to the networks and those that have fled.

Network loyalists, on the whole, are those not opposed to the unmitigated bias in reporting by the big three. Those that have abandoned the networks in search of a more balanced brand of news have in some cases fallen into the trap of ‘if it’s giving an opposing view, it must be unbiased’ when in fact they’ve only managed to find the other end of the spectrum.

All of this works counter to producing a well-informed voter. What is needed is not a return to the Cronkite and the Huntley-Brinkley Report, but a channel of information, much like provided in the California voter information guide, that presents both sides of issues in a reasoned approach and allows the voter to decide. Unfortunately, because the average American voter is more invested in feeding their family and raising their children than in understanding the intricacies of foreign and domestic policies, they don’t have the time required to read and digest everything from what’s going on in the Middle East to what’s going on in the local water district.

The American voter isn’t stupid, he and she are tired of Washington assuming too much and doing too little to make their lives more livable.

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