Federal Triangle: Privilege and Responsibility
You will go to the polls in a few weeks and there perform a function in which the majority of world citizens cannot participate. You can vote in a free election, a privilege that about half the eligible, U.S. population ignores and many pervert by failing to connect the thoughts that with this privilege goes grave responsibility. To cast a knowledgeable, thoughtful ballot is essential for a democratic republic to succeed. It seems that recently there are many uninformed extremists and hate mongers in the population who have been schooled by the radio, television and print media to be what they are, taught by obvious but un-admitted bias and errors of omission in reporting. This idea of being a reasoned and informed voter is quite important. I urge that your job is not to vote for or against Messrs. Bush or Kerry but before the November election day to understand and strike a blow against a real enemy, the public media that has assumed a sales role as a purveyor of distortion and a nanny to tell the uninformed what to believe. Common sense has not prevailed. Our future is being hijacked by extreme partisans who work against America's interests. The news media is an enemy within.
Readers of this column know I am a partisan but also know that truth, common sense and objectivity are treasures to retain and use. In the current national campaign as reported by "mainstream" news organizations, an overwhelming bias is projected through distortion and omission. Major news entities dismissed and all but failed to report on allegations by peer veterans of Mr. Kerry because such reporting would be unfavorable to their preference. Only when forced by "non-mainstream" outlets did major networks comment, but then with grudging distortions. It is incomprehensible that the public could be instructed by network news anchors that one 527 group like www.MoveOn.org offers documentary reports and fair analysis when another (Swift Boat Veterans for Truth) only tries to smear the reputation of a "war hero." By Labor Day it was known that this year leftist 527 political groups had raised and spent $131.5 M and right wing 527 groups $17M, a fact not reported in the press, an 8:1 spending bias (see www.opensecrets.org). The mainstream called 527s "shadowy" when first reporting the veterans' charges (although 527s were first authorized in 1974 by the IRS) until it was acknowledged that Michael Moore was partially funded by George Soros via a 527 group. Such distortions and intentional misleadings are bad for your country.
All of this has a real but obscure meaning for our nation's business. Industry needs educated and balanced employees, people who have a grip on reality and their place in it, including the workplace and its importance to the country, to themselves personally and for the health of the present and future world. While it is the role of business management to focus on quality performance and profitable economics, it is appropriate to encourage education and improvement of the work force. This approach is one of self interest but good sense, not any recommendation to instruct employees how to vote on Election Day. It is beneficial for business management and employees to improve education. Without access to understanding about U.S. industrial operations and the context in which they operate, American enterprise cannot perform successfully.
Also remember that there must be a penalty for failure to perform. In the modern political process and especially in government employment, nobody gets fired for making mistakes. The closed fraternity of the news media is not different and only accountable when an obvious crook is uncovered. Without penalty there is no fear factor and without that, performance and accountability often slide quickly. Management, including those in the news media, is not exempt from penalties and should be on the frontline to demonstrate performance.
The privilege of living in our world, of life and times at a pinnacle of mankind's achievements, is a blessing. Overwhelmingly, it is a matter of performing good work and making the correct choices throughout life that brings success. That is an unbending rule for a healthy, high quality business venture and should also be a truism in politics. The media that has abandoned their objectivity and good sense must be called to task for that failure and this trend corrected. We each have responsibilities joined to our privilege.