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Television, Literacy and Democracy

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posted on Oct, 7 2005 @ 10:48 PM
This is an OP-ED piece.

As many of you know, I am a conservative in speech, manner, politics, dress, etc. I generally don't care much for the ideas and schemes of liberals because in my opinion they don't reflect the values of mainstream Americans. Al Gore, for example is a liberal who I tend to dismiss out of hand because of his generally inflamed rhetoric, past adolescent behavior and his record of running on one issue and then switching once elected. However, Al Gore gave a speech on October 6th that, in my opinion, really hit the nail squarely on the head--as far as the central theme of the speech goes. I think his speech is important enough that all Americans should hear it, or read it, and think about it.
I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse . I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled "marketplace of ideas" now functions.

In fact there was a time when America's public discourse was consistently much more vivid, focused and clear. Our Founders, probably the most literate generation in all of history, used words with astonishing precision and believed in the Rule of Reason.

Their faith in the viability of Representative Democracy rested on their trust in the wisdom of a well-informed citizenry. But they placed particular emphasis on insuring that the public could be well- informed. And they took great care to protect the openness of the marketplace of ideas in order to ensure the free-flow of knowledge.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

The remainder of Gore's speech is replete with illustrative examples to make his points, plus additional food for thought.

While I don't agree with some of Mr. Gore's examples and his bias, his speech was never-the-less excellent and makes a very important point. The links between literacy, television and democracy are things we should all think seriously about and endeavor to change for the better.

[edit on 7-10-2005 by Astronomer68]

[edit on 10/12/05 by FredT]


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