Kay Syvrud, Hawley, Letter: Americans' grasp of issues is slipping
Owen Sivertson's letter Jan. 12 caught my attention. His thoughts on the upcoming national elections are worth noting. His statement, "I begin to wonder if we are worthy or able to be citizens of a constitutional republic" strikes a familiar chor...
Owen Sivertson's letter Jan. 12 caught my attention. His thoughts on the upcoming national elections are worth noting. His statement, "I begin to wonder if we are worthy or able to be citizens of a constitutional republic" strikes a familiar chord in me.
For quite some time, I have had the same thought that Sivertson expresses. The most recent news out of the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries has ramped up my thoughts, as well Sivertson's.
I have noted the gradual descent of the American people's grasp of "issues" that relate to choosing our national leaders. Our culture has been moving downward in its perception of what is truly important in facing such choices. Collectively, I see a national mentality greatly affected by "Oprah," "Dr. Phil," "The View," The National Enquirer, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and "American Idol" shallowness. It is a terrible thing to anticipate that the voters of this formerly great nation will possibly choose a president based on such things as Sivertson alluded to - the tear-filled eye or the off-hand snarky remark in a so-called debate.
Even the "political debates" have become "You-Tubed" into farcical shadows of the original presidential debates between candidates such as John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon in the early 1960s. The word "gravitas" has been flung around in recent years, but it is my opinion that our national "gravitas" is going downhill when it comes to the issues voters use to choose national leaders.
I am borrowing a quote from Doug Leier's areavoices.com blog site to illustrate my point about the current batch of American voters: "A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon its character." (Theodore Roosevelt). That could also be applied to the voter.
Kay Syvrud, Hawley, Letter: Americans' grasp of issues is slipping 20080117