Consider the power of democracy – everyone gets to vote for their government! How wondrously beautiful, a true victory for the rights of mankind!
Consider the truth: most people don’t have time to follow politics, read up on foreign and domestic policy, or educate themselves about economic principles. They depend on others to gather the necessary highlights and deliver the relevant information to them – in the form of news.
In theory, this works just fine, with one caveat: if those disseminating the information are honest and strive for objectivity, then the Will of the People can be expressed, because the People, generally speaking, are at least somewhat aware of the big picture.
If in practice, the media is – willingly or not – the propaganda arm of the ruling elite, then democracy is just a facade, because the people who don’t have time to investigate for themselves are fed a pack of lies and irrelevant information, and are never given a complete picture of the world.
There are more low-information voters than high-information voters. Thus whoever controls the media has a de-facto lock on political power, because they can get enough people to vote however they desire. It does take effort and expenditure of resources to run an oligarchy this way, but on the upside, the illusion of participation and control keeps most of the people fat, happy, and completely ignorant of what’s actually going on.
I wonder how many Hispanics would have voted for Obama if they’d been told about how his administration was running guns to the drug cartels in Mexico and then sitting back as the criminals murdered hundreds? How many Americans would have changed their minds about him if they’d seen the video of Obama outright lying to a group of black preachers about the government not waiving fees for disaster relief (because of raaaaaacism!) – the relief bill that did actually pass, despite Obama personally voting against it? Not to mention all the civil liberties violations that were Signs of the Impending Apocalypse under War Criminal HitlerBush – quietly renewed by Congress and signed by President Obama, who – in addition – has decided that it’s perfectly legal for him to send drones to kill whomever he pleases overseas, American citizens and Pakistani villagers alike.
Instead, what did the media talk about? The Republican “War on Women”! Vote like your ladyparts depend on it!
I guess we should be glad that our “democracy” hasn’t devolved into the naked barbarity that followed the Arab Spring. That’s a real low bar to clear though – “at least women aren’t being raped by mobs of angry men in our streets!” But maybe the media is onto something – democracy HAS involved war on women! Just not in civilized countries, but that’s just a minor irrelevant detail, no?