Our nation was founded on the premises of the 17th century philosopher, John Locke that our basic rights are God given and that ordinary citizens are capable of self governance. The primary role of government is to protect those rights. These ideas were in stark contrast to the prevailing thought throughout most of history that individual rights were granted by the government and only those appointed by the church or members of certain families were capable of ruling the masses.
However, today, as in the 1930′s, the concepts of the Founding Fathers are under assault by a small percentage of the population that wishes to exploit the power of government for their own economic and intellectual benefit. Union leaders want the government to force more people to join their unions to help pay their salaries and fund their deteriorating health and pension plans. Environmentalists want to use the power of regulation to impose their urban views of resource and land utilization on the rural population. Some large corporations want to use their political contributions to obtain an advantage in the marketplace.
The Founding Fathers idea of citizen legislators has largely been abandoned as career politicians of both parties benefit from retirement plans that encourage them to stay in office as long as possible.
This assault on the God given rights of ordinary citizens, i.e. the middle class, would not be possible if the middle class was factually informed of the events occurring around them. Unfortunately, a 2007 MSNBC Survey of the political contributions of print, radio and television journalists, found that 90% contributed to the Democratic Party. This bias is reflected in the stories that the American public sees or doesn’t see and the editorial slant of those stories.
However, unlike the 1930′s, the American public does not need to rely solely on biased journalists for their news. News sources like the Wall Street Journal and Real Clear Politics try to adhere to provide both sides of a story. When journalists believe that the role of journalism is to shape public opinion rather than report the facts and 90% of journalists subscribe to one political theory, is it surprising that so many media outlets are having financial difficulties?
Middle class Americans just want the facts. John Locke and the Founding Fathers were correct, we are capable of making our own decisions.