It is a fundamental characteristic of our technologically driven society, and one that we have discussed previously in Technocracy, that technology distances us from one another. The paradox is that in a world now more interconnected than any before it – a world in which we microblog the most trivial events of our lives while staying in touch electronically with everyone we’ve ever known (and calling “friend” many people we’ve never even met) – the same technology that binds us together helps us to dehumanize, mischaracterize and ultimately dismiss whole swaths of humanity based simply on ideology and willing misconception.
Never has this been more obvious than in the mischaracterization of Republican, Libertarian and even Democrat opposition to the sweeping socialist policies and breathtakingly totalitarian power grabs of the Obama administration. Using the distancing and jaundiced lens of technology as misused by yellow journalism, our “mainstream” media outlets – and an army of left-wing commentators and pundits who pose as “objective” journalists – misinform the American people every day. The end result is that any and all criticism of President Obama, his policies and those he appoints to rule by bureaucratic fiat is decried as racism, as “lies,” as contrived or manufactured, and as otherwise illegitimate.
The most recent example of this type of technologically facilitated mischaracterization involves the recent protests on Sept. 12 in Washington, D.C. A sea of protesters – some estimates put their number at over 1 million – converged on Washington in a display of outrage over the policies of the Obama administration and the arrogance of the Democrats now holding power.
Predictably, the numbers of the protesters, and the significance of the protest itself, was downplayed in the media at levels so absurdly inaccurate as to represent journalistic malfeasance. This is the double-edged sword of technology. The very means through which we come to see a protest like this, most of the time over vast distances, is the means through which its significance is dismissed or mischaracterized by a single sneering talking head in an online video or transmitted on the nightly news. Most of us weren’t there; we have only what we see in our omnipresent electronic media to inform our sense of reality.
When that sense of reality is reported inaccurately, and willfully so, by those who do not share our beliefs – in fact, by those who sincerely believe that our political opinions are racism and hatred incarnate – up becomes down, black becomes white, “conservative” and “libertarian” become “racist” and “evil-monger,” and fully one-third or more of Americans are marginalized by their unresponsive and increasingly totalitarian government. These same compassionate liberals and progressives spend their time calling Americans “retarded” and wishing suicide on them – but of course, this is never “hate speech.” In the universe of leftist ideologues and in the language of left-wing argot, only conservatives and libertarians can ever be guilty of “hate.”
Folks on the “right” side of the political aisle repeatedly point to left-wing media bias as a way of explaining that this marginalization of right-wing opinion, this mischaracterization of conservative and libertarian politics, is actively occurring and being disseminated through the web of news and infotainment outlets online, broadcast and printed. This deeply entrenched bias is a part of our popular culture. It is promulgated in our schools by a left-leaning education establishment. It is promoted in every aspect of our technology-saturated lives. It is not debatable; it is a fact. That is a bold claim – but it is supportable through statistics.
We’ve known since the 1980s that the overwhelming majority of journalists in this country lean more left than they do right in their political views. Much more recently, in 2005, the University of Connecticut’s Department of Public Policy surveyed 300 journalists nationwide and determined that they voted overwhelmingly for Democrats. These are the self-appointed gatekeepers of what is news; these are the people who would dictate to you what is true, what is false, what you need to know and what you should think about it. They do this while all the while their own credibility is being eroded by their tireless and deeply ingrained leftist bias.
That bias extends to every level of our government and to reporting and commentary on goings-on in that government. The same Democrats who have so conveniently forgotten that they booed, hissed, and shouted “No!” during speeches by President Bush (including the State of the Union) now want to sanction Republican Joe Wilson. Wilson’s crime? During Obama’s most recent (and most embarrassing) campaign-style address to the nation, in which the president yet again hectored Americans to accept his nationalization of roughly 20 percent of the American economy, Wilson could stand it no longer and actually shouted out, “You lie!” Most of the reporting on the incident completely ignores Democrats’ past behavior with regard to conduct like this. Meanwhile, the rub is that Obama was lying, and Obama has repeatedly lied to the American people about his health-care power grab, at times directly contradicting the language in the bills being debated in Congress. Frankly, it’s about time somebody stood up and said so, decorum be damned.
We, as conservatives, as libertarians, as the possible “third-party voters,” and even “single-issue voters” that the Department of Homeland Security wants to redefine as domestic terrorists, must continue to stand up and fight for what we believe. We must not be cowed, frightened, or dissuaded by attempts to mischaracterize and vilify our opinions as “hatred,” as “racism,” as “unhinged,” or as otherwise illegitimate. We have nothing to hide. We have nothing for which to apologize. We have no reason to allow our technologically motivated, operated and facilitated society to broadcast in every possible venue the dictate and dictum that we are somehow less than real, that we are not “normal,” that we are not permitted to believe in ideals of liberty, limited government and the sanctity of human life.
No less than the future of our society, technological or otherwise, is at stake.