Our politics are broken. Our people are divided. Our America is under attack. Our rule of law is being challenged by our own leaders and our great nation is facing a great threat. As our politicians divide our nation with the use of propaganda, we are falling victim to our own weaknesses and our beautiful country, the land of the free, is being ruined from within by none other than our own citizens.
As we attack each other and disparage the good name of good people many times by members of their own party our politics have evolved into a free-for-all, full contact event that spares no one.
I listen to people talk politics and what I hear are the sounds of anger, frustration, disappointment and fear. The cycle of information that we are fed through social media, television, and our own personal information sources is corrupted by sensationalism and the need to attract eyeballs.
Even more sinister is that the information we see through the internet is biased by our own personal belief systems. The more we “click” on articles and follow content that perpetuates our own ideals the more the algorithms, that watch our every keystroke, learn our interests and the more of the self-fulfilling stream of similar stories shows up on our screens.
Two recent documentaries on Netflix, “The Social Dilemma” & “The Great Hack” speak directly to this from the point of view of industry insiders and explain how elections all over the globe are manipulated by “weapons grade” information abuse of our personal data.
It is important that we understand that we are not always getting news. We are not getting truth and we are definitely not getting all the facts. We are seeing the story that we believe we want to see, and it is different than what other contemporaries of ours are seeing. Websites and apps need content, and the more outrageous the content the more views it gets. The more views the more money and the more money the more power is concentrated into the hands of the few.
Do not be fooled by what you see every day. We are being manipulated by Artificial Intelligence that is designed by the best & brightest minds in the industry, using psychological tricks learned at some of the best universities in America to addict us to our device and capture our attention.
There was a time that only the best of the best in the field of journalism were afforded the luxury to provide the “news.” The great journalistic institutions were held to a high standard of truth to the best of the ability of the journalists and editors. They did the best job they could to provide information that was as factual and unbiased as possible. Yes, they failed on occasion but at least we and they believed that they were held to the principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness, and public accountability.
Now, anyone with an internet connection can publish whatever they want. There is no editor, no journalistic integrity nor any ethical standard by which the information we digest every day is held or judged to be truthful, accurate or factual. Our information sources are as unreliable as the people publishing the information.
This is the America we have created. We are in for terrible times ahead if we don’t change our course. We will destroy ourselves, our democracy and our planet if we do not demand the truth.
Money defines the truth and money creates the facts and those with the most money are able to control the flow of information and spin it whichever way they need to control the dialogue. When the Supreme Court struck down limits on “independent” expenditures and established the controversial idea that spending money for political campaign purposes is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment it doomed America to be at the mercy of money. One person with a million and one dollars has a louder voice than a million people with one dollar each.
Big tobacco, big oil, big agriculture, plastic, global warming, and the most valuable commodity in the history of the human race – our own personal data, all of it is just money speaking to power to control even more money. There is no truth required. Just look at the most powerful companies on earth and see how they have manipulated all of us with hundreds of millions of lobbying dollars to further their own enrichment in contradiction to the benefit of the planet & the people who live on it.
We have elected a new aristocracy with our apathy and let our lives be led by lesser Gods in the form of artificial intelligence.
Free speech is the freedom to not be denied speaking your mind. It should not be the freedom to deceive and disparage for political gain. Free speech should not be used to provide a platform for racism and conspiracy theories. We need to wake up from our device-induced comas and fight for our survival because we only have ourselves, our country and our future to lose.
Rick Bush of West Hartford is a self-employed business owner. He is a Republican candidate for State House District 18.