I’m glad that one’s over! What a year 2019 was. For 12 long months, we witnessed one pillar after another being ripped from under the institutions that support our democracy. We saw giant steps backward on communications, media, health, education, environment, voting rights, court appointments, money in politics, equal opportunity, women’s rights, labor rights … the list goes on and on.
While much of our national regression can be traced to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, many others are complicit in the damage that has been, and continues to be, inflicted: a dysfunctional U.S. Senate; courts rapidly retreating to nineteenth-century jurisprudence; federal agencies self-immolating; too many statehouses, even local governments, falling under special interest capture.
Making a perilous situation even worse is a sadly diminished media too often fixated on sensational video clips, “if it bleeds, it leads” local and national news, twitter feeds and twitter feuds, horse-race elections coverage and reality-show politics — all driven by dominant corporate business plans that ravage real news and prioritize quarterly profits over the obligation to inform the citizens on whom successful self-government depends. It works for the big guys; for the rest of us, not so much.
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