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.)
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"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
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, Hanania 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. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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