Oh woe is me, the Health Care debacle is untying our unity I tell you; butchering the freedom of speech while reducing the actions of our free democratic Republic into something unrecognizable. But don't be afraid, we've been here before.
WE the people, have overcome great conflict and desperate times many times over. I think what has changed is the ability to see everything play out in front of us almost instantly. It takes personal diligence and fortitude to find the courage to keep from turning on the TV, opening the yahoo page or glancing at a newspaper, fighting to turn our consciousness purposely away, otherwise we are inundated with a perfect storm of media churning out rhetoric and spin and instant messaging.
We are so used to it we forget that there was a time when Gore and his Internet was just not invented yet. Glory be to those days...gone by eras of the Revolutionary War where news traveled by town crier forcing the creation of sensationalized pamphlets recording every social and economic condition weighing in the hearts of man. Out of which we need to look no further than the infamous Thomas Paine's Common Sense.
The newspaper can really be credited for escalating and dramatizing the uprising that took place against England. Newspapers, heaven forbid, were actually being suppressed in an effort to keep people from speaking up and causing such a raucous. No way...
Here's a tidbit:
"Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without
newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a
moment to prefer the latter."
Thomas Jefferson, 1787
And then there is:
Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech or of the
press..Article One, Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution, 1789
Even so, in the early days the newspaper had its share of issues. There were some very turbulent years to record throughout the American Revolution, testing our faith, the human spirit, and the will of the people all along the way. When our Declaration of Independence was published in Congress, some newspapers took weeks to cover the story. Times were slow.
The irony is that the paper then was far more cutting edge with regards to the printing liberties taken by the editor in chief. Papers were downright used and referred to as propaganda all the time. And by today's standard, were far more vocal when it came to slanderous accounts, remarking on the body politic, using a no holds barred approach to win the loyalties of its readers, shifting a community of thought brilliantly and shaping American opinion. It became an industry that actually reveled in the representation of all views, right or left, republican or democrat and loved the ability to take this one mode of communication to the people, written by the people, for the sole purpose of being instrumental in the growing of a new America.
It wasn't until the mid 1800's that the body known today as the Associated Press turned out in order to speed up the process and take advantage of compiling news sources from all around the country, and even the world; with a product of the Industrial Age, the Telegraphic column, taking it's rightful foothold in the history of the American Press in 1844.
We've come along way, and then again what is it good for?
Considering its already old news if we're not getting automatic updates on CNN, we are seeing Government intervene in our lives through bail outs and take overs and health care and taxes at such a pace, the amount of information coming to us and linked to other stories, is frightening.
The faithful newspaper that would arrive like a new day is seeing troubling signs of not keeping up with the times; local papers having extreme difficulty staying afloat, easily going belly up against the news that just pops up on our screens for free. We are no longer sipping a cup of coffee and catching up with the world quietly over the Times or the Post, we are speed balling and intravenously digesting the news and expecting answers to come and problems resolved almost as hastily.
Stop. Breathe Dear America. We don't have to do anything we don't want to do; and our Government cannot suppress nor hinder our ability to speak freely and often, through whatever means available. Our first newspapers and federalist papers accomplished this task against all odds of not enough paper, patiently waiting through the lag in between stories, finding our brave editors voicing the efforts of the reformation movement against England without fear. We were funneling the new American agenda into every home in the face of "give me liberty or give me death" (Patrick Henry) via newsprint no less! Capturing the hearts of each and every citizen in splendid unison for one thing, freedom.
We need to be very careful these days with our right for free speech and the ability to link with other like minds. Don't be surprised if this simple liberty is challenged in the days to come, if for no other reason but to suppress those who do not agree with the current shaping of America. No Way...
Make it a good day, G