Propaganda Easily Fools The Uneducated

 

Our Democracy is being threatened as never before.  How can you say that, you might ask?
I was just reading a column written by another and was appalled to see the amount of people who are illiterate or might as well be.
Chris Hedges, a columnist for Alternet, gives some very interesting statistics on literacy in the USA.  Mr. Hedges said there are 42 million people who cannot read. Twenty percent (20%) hold high school diplomas. Fifty million cannot read above the fourth or fifth grade level. The two groups make up nearly one third of our population and he also said that number is growing at a rate of two (2) million per year.

I am very concerned that we radically and immediately find ways to put our education house in order. We cannot survive in a global economy with those statistics facing our nation and state. The method of communication apparently is now images and bytes of information.  The information we get is fed to the majority of us which happens to be most of our population who don’t read. The propaganda is published in clever ways of showing images and bytes of information and may not represent the facts. That is and has been the story behind our recent political campaigns.
Give the uneducated what they want because they are too illiterate to sort out the facts. I sent out columns from my State Senate office and I always put the information in sixth grade English. I was told we needed to write it that way. It didn’t occur to me then how we were getting into trouble.
A comparison has been drawn between the political campaigns of three different Presidential campaigns. The Princeton Review analyzed the transcripts of the Gore-Bush debates, Clinton-Bush-Perot debates in 1992, the Kennedy Nixon debates in 1960 and the

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858. A standard vocabulary test was used to see what the minimum education needed to understand the text of the debates. They found that in the Gore- Bush debates Bush used a 6.7 grade level and Gore 7.6. The 1992 debates between Clinton –Bush senior and Perot; Clinton used a grade level of 7.6, Bush 6.8and Perot 6.3. In the Kennedy-Nixon debates they used 10th grade language. The Lincoln-Douglas debates used 11.2 and 12.0 grade levels.

We should all worry and collectively find ways to address this monumental problem. The terrorists or any nation that finds this key will have no trouble exploiting us. The radical nature of those, who try in our own society, trying to get everyone conforming to their beliefs need to see the big picture. Education provides a basis for understanding our democracy. It is a democracy which allows all people to agree to disagree and allows free thinking if you can interpret what the other person has to say. Propaganda, Political spin and the artifice of some politicians needs to be exposed; that takes reading and an educational foundation.
Benjamin Franklin said, when asked what kind of a country will we have, “a Republic if you can keep it.”

 

signature 2

 

Email reply to:  jthoward@jerryhoward.com


howard2.gif

FORMER STATE SENATOR
        JERRY T. HOWARD