“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge
among the people.” ~John Adams
By Alden L. Benton
I have not been on the internet for a week.
In the age of 24/7 information overload, I found that I could actually survive and function with a massive reduction in my information intake.
I don’t mean to minimize the need to be an informed citizen or the need to be aware of what is happening in one’s surroundings. In fact, I mean quite the contrary, as information is a vital part of modern society.
However, it is not the quantity of information consumed that is important, but the quality of that information. Having spent most of my day catching up with the onslaught of a week’s worth of email, I have made some observations.
Most of the so-called mainstream media have failed in the last week. First, they failed in their silence on the trial of a doctor accused of murdering babies who survived abortion. Second, the failed in their sloppiness, in using too many words that were not checked for accuracy in their coverage of the Boston bombings and the search for suspects. Perhaps they should heed the words of Abraham Lincoln when he said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
Social media, like Facebook and Twitter, are useful tools. However, they became dangerous weapons of false and misleading information during the investigation of the bombings in Boston. Thousands of people armed with Smart phones with photo and video capabilities were far more useful.
Our nation faces threats as dangerous as North Korean missiles and al Qaeda — hackers. They steal, destroy, and disrupt from their shadowy lairs. If this sounds farfetched to you, it was a false story reporting that the White House had been bombed that sent the stock market plummeting. Hackers planted the story on the Associated Press Twitter account.
The term “low-information voter” is really an epithet hurled at everyday Americans by the so-called political and intellectual elite that inhabit government and the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. These people don’t have a clue. They live in relative wealth and privilege and refuse to acknowledge their nearsightedness. Real people have jobs and families that occupy most of their waking hours and cannot spend hours on end following the event de jour. They struggle to find answers with little or bad information because most of the mainstream media is biased and unreliable. They have little time to search for the truth.
In dealing with the Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan said, “Trust, but verify.” Today, we all must operate on the principle of verify, and then question — especially when dealing with our own government and media.
“…Cities may be rebuilt, and a People reduced to Poverty, may acquire fresh Property: But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once lost is lost forever. When the People once surrendered their share in the Legislature, and their Right of defending the Limitations upon the Government, and of resisting every Encroachment upon them, they can never regain it.” ~John Adams
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