Thursday, May 29, 2014

Conspiracy Theories, Functioning Democracies, and the Press

I don't really like to align myself with those who place great faith in conspiracy theories, but former U.S. President Jimmy Carter made a comment in a recent interview that he doesn't believe we have an actual functioning democracy in our nation at the present. Carter said that he has reason to believe that his electronic communications are monitored, and if he doesn't want those in the U.S. government to know the content of his communication to anyone,  he sends the communication in an actual letter as opposed to an email. While I've not necesssarily agreed with everything President Carter has said or done, I've never seen evidence that the man is paranoid or delusional.

I have mixed feelings about former President Carter. I admire that he has spent his retirement in service to his fellow man. On the other hand, things I've read from what I would consider to be reliable sources have lead me to believe he was never the "common man" he pretended to be while he was president. He did things, for example, such as carrying his own suitcase for as long as cameras were on him, then dropping them as soon as the cameras were off, usually expecting secret service agents to carry the bags for him. Such was not their job, and, in fact, compromised the job they were hired to do, which was to protect the president. If he needed aides to carry his luggage, he should have had his aides carry his luggage, and he shouldn't have pretended to be something or someone that he was not. Yet still  I suspect he is a good man at heart, and I believe there is something to his allegations concerning the state of our current government.

My feelings in this regard were bolstered a bit by a recent tweet  from People magazine regarding a luncheon to be held between Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama at the White House. The tweet was posted, then taken down almost immediately. Since the backlash over the removal of the tweet, it has been reposted.

I'm not terribly concerned about President Obama and Hillary Clinton having lunch together at the White House or anywhere else, nor am I concerned about whether or not the press is aware of it and chooses to publicize it. What does give me pause is the decision of People magazine to report it and then to immediately take it down. Precisely who applied pressure to the publication to delete the post  is a cause of perplexity to me, as is the decision to re-post the item.  

Do we have excessive governmental interference with our press, or do we have individuals in high positions of power in administrating our news agencies who are too biased to do their jobs effectively? Do we have a functioning democracy?

For the record, I'm a registered Democrat.


  1. Interesting post. There's no telling what prompted that tweet to disappear.

  2. Not sure either. Could be that Hilary asked the reporter from People not to publish their picture together and complained when it showed up on Twitter. But then, why pose for the shot in the first place??? Interesting about Carter and the SS/luggage carriers!