I remember as a child holding my history books like bibles. They offered valuable information about how the world as we know it came to be — the lands we discovered and the pioneers behind them, the wars we fought, the bridges we crossed, and the civil injustices we protested in our search for freedom and equality.
But then I grew up, and the Internet became a powerful platform for truths to be exposed. History books were rewritten, national holidays were changed, myths were revealed, and people began to realize one very important thing: no one can be trusted, and that includes the people who govern our country.
Given the circus of events that has been the 2016 presidential election, from Hilary Clinton lying about her part in the Benghazi scandal to Donald Trump lying about a long list of things, it’s hard to take politicians seriously.
Former Clinton political consultant Naomi Wolf has spoken out regarding this clear form of betrayal within government:
“As a journalist, to say these words, I can’t tell you with what a heavy heart I say them, but we’ve entered an era in which it is not crazy to assess news events to see if they’re real or not real, in the United States, as well as overseas, and in fact, it’s kind of crazy not to.”
People responded to her statement with a resounding applause that proves Americans aren’t just aware that nothing is what it seems anymore, but they’re absolutely fed up with it — which is, perhaps, why Donald Trump announcing he was running for president was comical at first, but soon turned to a reality made possible, at least in part, by our distrust in traditional politicians.
Whereas statements like Wolf’s, and the people who support and disseminate them, used to be dubbed conspiracy theorists, they are now being listened to by a larger audience filled with skepticism. With politicians driven by money, it’s hard to believe we are being saved from illnesses, terrorism, racism, etc. It’s hard to believe our best interest is being taken care of, because everyone has an agenda.
And while many people might still be unaware of this massive shift in American rights, there are plenty of situations that expose how the system is flawed and corrupt. For instance, in 2014 it became legal for the US government to use propaganda on its citizens. Under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), an amendment permits the use of propaganda on the American public.
Reading news stories may no longer be as valuable as you thought, as this use of propaganda is simply brainwashing the public into believing a specific perception.
A longstanding federal law made it illegal for the US government to share propagandized information in 1948. But when you consider events prior to 2014 and the official conversation around them, it becomes clear that the government was still doing it anyway. The only difference is that they were doing so illegally.
And like Wolf, other important voices have weighed in on how Americans are being lied to and their rights being abused.
Dr. Ulfakatte, a top German journalist and editor, went on public television to explain how he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, and threatened with the loss of his job should he not comply:
I’ve been a journalist for about 25 years, and I was educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public. But seeing right now within the last months how the German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia — this is a point of no return and I’m going to stand up and say it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do and have done in the past because they are bribed to betray the people, not only in Germany, all over Europe.
CBC News reporter Sharyl Attkisson exposed in a TEDx talk how fake grassroots movements funded by political, corporate, or other special interests are used to distort public perception.
And Amber Lyon, a three-time Emmy award winning journalist at CC, revealed that they are paid on a regular basis by the US government and foreign governments to selectively report and distort information on specific topics and events.
A mere six corporations control over 90 percent of the media, which means almost everything we hear, read, and see, is biased. So when, and how, will we escape this type of brainwashing?
It’s time for news that isn’t fear-based, but heart-based; news that fosters connection, not division.
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