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Post for 11/16

In the chapter, “The Unreported Resistance,” Zinn makes the effort to point out the “permanent adversarial culture” that goes unmentioned. Whenever there is resistance to any institution or any part of the government, the first response is to act surprised as if it’s something new and unlike the norm. As much as this happens, I don’t think this is actually what is going on. I think no matter what, there is always going to be an opposition, but at times it isn’t always heightened and so the media doesn’t feel the need to highlight it. Even when there is heightened resistance to problems, the media doesn’t always feel the need to cover it. For example, this year, there were many protests across the nation and even the world for many different reasons. Although the number of protests was a rising phenomenon, the reason for the protests wasn’t anything new. There have always been people that spoke out against, abortion rights, police brutality, the president’s racism, and many other reasons, but the media made it seem as if these issues were new to America and that people were just starting to have a problem with them. For a while, the media was covering a lot of the protests and demonstrations that were going on but eventually, they stopped, even when the people didn’t. It made it seem like a large part of the country stopped caring about these issues when that was not at all the case. Long after the media stopped covering protests in New York, the people were still out there on a daily basis. The media has the ability to create the feeling of strong ups and downs in institutional opposition, even if it is always there, and is a factor in the “permanent adversarial culture” going unnoticed.

In Ezra Klein’s podcast, he talked about the polarization of American politics. I question how polarized American politics actually are, and if the polarization has more to do with our perceptions of each party. The reason I say this is because when we look at what each president is able to accomplish during their time in office, it has little effect on many peoples’ daily lives. I feel like during presidential campaigns, there is always an emphasis on what each candidate will do differently and how much better they will make the lives of Americans. Yet, regardless of each candidate or what political party they represent, the changes they do make have little effect on many people or they never get around to the big promises they made during their campaign. In Zinn’s chapter “The 2000 Election and the War on Terrorism,” he talks about the democratic and republican candidates Albert Gore and George W. Bush. Although they were from different parties, their views on certain issues were very similar. Neither has plans for health care, low-cost housing, or environmental control. They both supported the death penalty, prison growth, large military, and actions against Cuba and Iraq. They appeared to be completely different just because they represented different parties when in reality, they agreed on many of the same issues. I think our ideas of what the parties are and represent are very polarized, but in action, the parties themselves are close to the same.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Kathrine Yeaw Kathrine Yeaw

    I think it’s interesting how much influence the media has over a country’s feeling towards social issues or the government. The media, especially now, are people’s nearly entire source of information going on in the country, so when something isn’t reported it almost makes it seem as though it doesn’t matter. This shows once again how important it is to make an effort to look for information everywhere from different perspectives, because if not there is the risk of becoming so close minded and biased.

  2. Madeline Orr Madeline Orr

    I agree that the media plays a large role in how issues in this country are portrayed and addressed. It is an amazing tool of communication and sharing information but it also has the ability to pick and choose how and what they report. If someone was not in the same place as certain movements or directly involved then they may not have any idea of the issues that people are opposing. I agree that this shows the importance of being informed on issues by looking at different perspectives and media outlets because the media industry is easily biased.

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