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Low turnout reflects hypocritical monitoring systems
By Ray Hanania
Southwest News-Herald Newspaper Friday April 12, 2013
Everyone likes to blame the low voter turnout each year on the “low quality” or the “corruption” of elected officials in government, but I like to blame it on something else, the hypocrisy of the monitoring systems.
Those “monitoring systems” include the mainstream news media, good government groups like the BGA, and the truth about reformers like Cook County Clerk David Orr, that they are the worst hypocrites.
The truth is most people who either are registered to vote but don’t vote, or who are qualified to register to vote and don’t, are motivated by a disappointment in everyone, including the monitoring systems.
The mainstream media is the least admired profession by the public. The public sees through media hypocrisy and the phony self-aggrandizement and arrogance. The media is filled with hypocrisies that rival those they report about and exaggerate constantly.
Nepotism, the hiring of relatives is not a problem in government. It is a problem in the news media where family ties carry more weight than talent in journalism. The media is filled with nepotism, and the public sees it.
The media is also filled with corruption. One of the most corrupt newspapers is right here in Illinois, the Chicago Sun-Times. The newspaper has lied about stories, produced some of the most dishonest writers who have been fired for plagiarism and lying, and was owned by a convicted felon at one time, Conrad Black.
So much for championing truth, justice and objectivity there. The Chicago Sun-Times, with its mob-investors and its controversy plagued owners has done more damage to public confidence than any single institution, and I would even rank them lower than politicians who have gone to jail, like Gov. Rod Blagojevich who was constantly and often unfairly belittled by journalists.
The public sees this media corruption because they live in the communities that media like the Chicago Sun-Times constantly and unfairly attack. The attacks are personal and vicious and often cross the line of propriety. It’s one thing to be a public watchdog, which the Sun-Times is not, but it is another thing to be a hypocrite, which is the Sun-Times.
That’s why voters overwhelming have returned elected officials to office despite the most vicious, inaccurate and unfair writing by its reporters and columnists like Carol Marin, a journalism bully who uses her position to unfairly demean and defame public servants.
The other truth is that the public likes their governments and that is what makes the media and the do-gooders like the BGA scream for “reform” and demand that new systems be implemented to encourage more voting.
We implemented early voting to make the majority of people who don’t vote go out and vote and it still does no good. In fact, in most cases, the same people who do vote in elections now vote early. But those who don’t vote and who are jaded by the system, still refuse to participate.
Blame it on the media, and phonies like the BGA and even “reformers” who sit in their ivory towers and glasses house and throw stones and rocks like former Chicago Ald. Dick Simpson. You have to wonder how easy it must be for him to cast aspersions against his political rivals while remaining silent about his friends. What a phony.
Low voter turnout? It isn’t because the voters are disgusted with government. They’re just as much if not more disgusted with the people who profit from bashing public servants and governments.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and political consultant. Reach him at www.UrbanStrategiesGroup.com or follow on Twitter @RayHanania.)
This post has already been read 11 times!
Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.
Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.
Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com