California Skeptics rank Reagan
as the worst of Presidents—as measured by harm done. Democracy has failed
because the liberal Democrats never adequately found a way of controlling corporate media which instilled in a thousand ways
an attitude that sold the perceived interests of big business. Media content
influences beliefs. News content, one part of corporate media had been under
the constraints of the Fairness Doctrine, passed in 1949. It required
Fair and Balanced reporting through the presentation of contrasting view points on the air waves (but not applied to
print). Under Reagan this policy was dismantled beginning in 1985. In June of 1987 Reagan vetoed an attempt by Congress to reestablish this doctrine. A much different Supreme Court after Nixon affirmed its dismantling.
This change permitted the blurring of the distinction between news, political advocacy, and political advertising,
and helped lead to the polarizing cacophony of strident talking heads that we have today, which hastened the death of enlightened
democracy. (By this we mean an informed public voting for and asserting political
pressure whereby there representatives legislate acts that promote the public’s interests and are often contrary to
the perceived corporate interests). See bottom of http://skeptically.org/gov/id15.html where is described the Fairness Doctrine, and how Reagan dismantled it.
The combination of the stead pro-business & anti-labor attitude of corporate media along with the stead decline
in organized labor entailed along with the now blatantly slanted news coverage and rantings of talk radio that there is no
longer a majority of Americans expressing an enlightened political voice. The
influence of the masses upon our two-party system has radically changed since the days of Franklin Roosevelt. Both parties have been dismantling benefits given citizens while at the same time promoting corporate interests. The demands of the populace in the past kept in check corporate influence. Today things are being done that would have produced massive protests, strikes, and various forms of political
actions. The steady and sometimes subtle assault on liberal values, on unions
and labor and the corresponding glorification of the rich, corporations, and the free market has changed beliefs, and with
that an apathy. The wolves have persuaded the common herd of sheep that they
are the ideal shepards. The legislative and presidential actions since 1990 have
proven that enlightened democracy has died. The American sheep have lost their
Much of this site exposes the neoliberal
(also labeled neoconservatives) assault upon governmental controls of capitalism and the social safety net. The political scene has shifted toward big business, and the once party of the people has changed for the
worse. Remember it was Clinton Democrats that put through NAFT (signed in 1992—Senate
vote of 34 Republicans and 27 Democrats in favor; 10 Republicans and 28 Democrats against).
The quality of life has steadily deteriorated under this assault. Productivity
and employment (as a percentage of the population) has risen, but the standard of living and wages have dropped. A return to the wisdom that got us out of the Great Depression is need.
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Teddy Roosevelt's advice that, "We must drive the special interests out of politics. The citizens of the United States
must effectively control the mighty commercial forces which they have themselves called into being. There can be no effective
control of corporations while their political activity remains."