“I’m convinced that right now one of the biggest impediments to [strengthening democracy], indeed one of the biggest reasons for democracy’s weakening is the profound change that has taken place in how we communicate and consume information.” – Barack Obama
It is encouraging, no thrilling, to see President Obama take on the fight against media disinformation. I have to say it feels rather strange though, after we have been despairing about the media problem on Blog for Iowa for more than a decade, sounding the alarm about the danger along with Al Franken (Lies and the Lying Liars, Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot) – and others, to have President Obama, smartest guy in the room, seemingly just now in 2022 getting it. It’s unsettling on one level but definitely happy news. Welcome aboard Mr. President. I hope you persevere on this issue much like you did health care. Your help is sorely needed.
In his memoir President Obama acknowledged that when he was president he didn’t fully appreciate the power of the right wing media and the Republicans’ relationship to it. I don’t blame just Obama for not getting it sooner. Hardly anyone did until Trump. I’m glad he sees it now, but now everyone gets it because it’s so obvious. The problem has been left to fester and grow and has caused real instability for democracies around the world.
You kind of go along through all the political chaos hoping someone at the top knows what they’re doing and it’s pretty scary when you discover that they frequently do not. I suppose it’s a case of life in the DC beltway where you can’t see the forest for the trees. I hope his involvement sparks some kind of action or movement among those that can actually do something about it because even the cool, calm, collected, ever optimistic Barack expressed pessimism about our democracy’s chances of survival if we do nothing.
This was a great much needed Barack Obama speech, worth listening to and hopefully, a beginning of something.
Obama begins speaking at 33:00.