The Illusion of Freedom

I was reflecting on something Oprah Winfrey said about Barack Obama at a rally in California:

“Being free means you get to think for yourself and you get to decide for yourself”.

One does not have to search very hard to realize the 2008 American Presidential Elections are far from free. Information regarding each of the candidates has been meticulously filtered and “purified” by the news media and celebrity pundits. We are seeing and hearing only what the media wants us to. Given the mainstream media is controlled by Republican interests, making an informed decision is difficult at best. Asking people to “vote with their heart” is as misleading as the emotionally manipulative information bombarding the undecided American who just wants to make a sound decision.

Freedom of thought and choice disintegrates when manipulated information is presented as fact. Expecting voters to make an informed and free decision requires unfiltered and unmanaged reporting. The word for what we have experienced, particularly in the last two months, is “manipulation”. One does not have to be a media expert to recognize the clear slant towards Barack Obama and against Hillary Clinton.

For several months, the administration controlling the mainstream news and analytical programming, as well as the televised debates, have worked assiduously to doctor reality with the goal of influencing voters. The 2008 Elections have become a shell game. At first glance, it may seem easy to turn over the correct shell and discover the right choice. However, in these elections, the “con-artist” running the shell game is no better than the establishment creating the illusion of impartial and professional journalism. Just as a pedestrian may be conned into believing they can pick the shell covering the money-winning ball, the media deceives. Instead of objective and factual based information, the media has wielded their own informal, though more powerful, campaign promoting Barack Obama as the “people’s” choice and censoring anything to the contrary.

The First Amendment of the United States Bill of Rights gives people the freedom of speech. However, openly expressing one’s views, only to later suffer a barrage of insults and, in several cases, death threats – for example Tavis Smiley – hardly upholds this constitutional right. This reaction to independent thought is more reminiscent of the staged elections that have been held by Saddam Hussein and like-minded dictatorial leaders. The people under those regimes have the right to pick whom ever they want as long as their choice is the “right” choice. Nothing else is permitted. This is not freedom. The American people have been manipulated, coerced, and even threatened, to make the “right” choice in this 2008 election: Barack Obama.

In closing, this year is not the first time I have been alarmed by Oprah Winfrey’s over indulgent influence on American well-being. I first worried about her delusional grandeur when she came to New York to speak to Americans in the days following the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. She was one of the keynote speakers, along with President Bush, and the former Mayor Giuliani, at a rally with the sole purpose of healing and lifting the American people. A media personality lifted to national leadership? Now we see her exploiting her role by anointing a candidate in a blatant, oversized attempt to influence instead of inform. What free choice exists here? Are we to accept her benediction as the correct selection? Is it not enough that Oprah Winfrey tells the people what books to read; now she feels at liberty to tell everyone who to vote for?

The American voters have been fed mostly positives about Barack Obama and negatives about Hillary Clinton. By every method possible, Americans have been unconsciously raped of their ability to think and choose freely by those who have abused their national trust and social positions. Americans should demand to receive professional, ethical, and unbiased journalism now. The media shell game must be truthfully declared what it actually has become – a most elaborate scam. Freedom of Choice is not a game. While Freedom of Speech is a Constitutional Right, in the United States, Freedom of Choice is not. This unacceptable omission cannot undermine the existence of a free election. American voters deserve better.

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3 Responses to The Illusion of Freedom

  1. Dr. Carolyn:

    This is a brilliant analysis and I hope it gets picked up at HillaryHub. (I’ll send their online person the link and it will be his judgment call.)

    You have several power packed phrases that sum up complex topics in a few words such as: “…to influence rather than inform.” Applied in many respects to any major commercial marketing campaign, this is the most well organized effort to centralize a campaign around the nebulous ‘message and emotion’ rather than the actual candidate.

    Another powerful insight: “Freedom of thought and choice disintegrates when manipulated information is presented as fact. Expecting voters to make an informed and free decision requires unfiltered and unmanaged reporting.”

    I would add to that deep background investigative reporting and on the spot fact checking of stump comments. I suppose in my journalism classes long since past I took those actions for granted.

    Great work. Please keep writing. You are a powerful addition to the DemDaily.

  2. IF there are people who allow themselves to make decisions this important only on the basis of the most easily available information then that is a problem also. And I’m sure you’re right that there are a great many of them.

  3. Treehugger313 says:

    This is just wonderful Dr.Carolyn. Thank you for writing it. I look forward to sharing it with everyone I know.