By Cliff Husted
This weekend, I carried out the mundane ritual of grocery shopping at Shoprite in Southbury, a task that as a bachelor, I try to avoid as much as possible. However, I could not help but notice the increasing population of “health food” items throughout the store. These products were marketed to an increasingly dominant demographic as “organic”, “gmo-free”, and containing “no artificial ingredients”.
The following day, I re-watched the movie, “Promised Land” starring Matt Damon who is a representative of a natural gas drilling company sent to a generic smalltown USA farm town to win over and extract permission from the citizens for his company to frack for natural gas beneath their land. These two events led me to postulate a societal conjecture, which I would like to forward to as a challenge to either prove or disprove.
I would like to propose a correlation between the downfall of mainstream – particularly print – media and both the increasing awareness of the American people and the eventual failure of the makeup of our current system of government.
To elaborate on my first point, using my grocery store example, I would like to propose that the rising popularity of “health food” in our super markets is a direct correlation with the increasing attention that is being raised about the harm of mass produced foods. I believe this increase in awareness comes as a result of the increase in independent news sources – online blogs, smaller news organizations, etc – being able to reach the American people.
I do not believe that this would have occurred if not for the failure of print journalism, because the large media corporations were directly affiliated with the major chemical and food production companies that were producing these foods. As print journalism fails, the hold of the corporations over the control of the press also diminishes. As a result, more Americans turn to sources like Google News for their information, which does not discriminate between – for example – USA Today or the New Hampshire Free Press, giving them more access to differing points of view, which in this case, exposed the harm of mass produced foods.
To my second point, I believe this same trend to hold true to our current government structure. I believe that as print media fails, the makeup of the government will also change. The ability of the political parties to censor the news by holding control over the large print media corporations is diminished by the print media’s decreasing hold on society, and as a result, there is an increasing transparency of government.
Take for example the recent Wikileaks and Snowden affairs. I do not believe that the information provided by Edward Snowden or Bradley Manning would have ever seen the light of day 20 years ago because of the relationship between the politicians and the print media corporations. They would have censored it. Currently, the Gallup poll shows that a whopping 91% of the American people have no faith in our current Congress. This is a historic record low. I believe this is proof of my claim. As the print media era ends, and the rise of independent news sources escalates, I hypothesize that this will correlate to an end of the dominance of the same-old gray-haired Republican and Democratic politicians and lead to a rise in the influence and government presence of independent and grass-roots parties and politicians. In fact, I would like to go as far as to predict that we will see an independent President of the United States in the next quarter of a century. As I am too busy with training horses and working in the veterinary field to do more research to prove my conjecture, I would like to challenge you to do it for me. I eagerly await your opinion. I hope all is well.
God Bless to you, your wife, and your family.