A Note To Those Making The Perfect The Enemy Of The Good
And Yes, This Is A Condemnatory Post
By Pejman Yousefzadeh Posted in Culture | Featured Stories — Comments (19) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
There are plenty of people within the Republican Party who fit that description and who believe or believed that the Republican loss in the recent midterm elections was a good thing for the party. You know, purifying the soul, and all that.
I personally took the view that in the midterms, Republicans may have deserved to lose but Democrats didn't deserve to win. This caused me to hold my nose on certain matters as I voted, but hold my nose and vote I did. For as disappointed as I was--and am--in the national Republican Party, from my standpoint, I still preferred to throw in my lot with a party that could still conceivably come around to my point of view rather than a party which is diametrically opposed to my point of view.
Here's why (read on):
Over the weekend, the National Conference for Media Reform was held in Memphis, TN, with a number of notable speakers on hand for the event. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) made an surprise appearance at the convention to announce that he would be heading up a new House subcommittee which will focus on issues surrounding the Federal Communications Commission.
The Presidential candidate said that the committee would be holding "hearings to push media reform right at the center of Washington.� The Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the House Government Reform Committee was to be officially announced this week in Washington, D.C., but Kucinich opted to make the news public early.
In addition to media ownership, the committee is expected to focus its attention on issues such as net neutrality and major telecommunications mergers. Also in consideration is the "Fairness Doctrine," which required broadcasters to present controversial topics in a fair and honest manner. It was enforced until it was eliminated in 1987.
Kucinich said in his speech that "We know the media has become the servant of a very narrow corporate agenda" and added "we are now in a position to move a progressive agenda to where it is visible."
The argument that the media has a corporate agenda is, of course, risible. Would that it were true! But the important thing for Kucinich and other Democrats is not the thwarting of some supposed "corporate" agenda. Rather, it is the thwarting of any right-of-center presence in the national media under the misleading rubric of "fairness." Understandably, the Democrats don't quite like the fact that Republicans are now carving out a presence--however small--in the national media. Republicans were unable to do this back in the days of the Fairness Doctrine and only were able to start with the Doctrine cast to the Four Winds, as it deserved to be.
Now, Kucinich wants to take us back to the bad old days when "fairness" trumped any kind of passionate and reasoned advocacy on either side. I suppose he thinks it is worth it if, say, Democratic talk radio suffers as much as Republican talk radio does. But in a day and age where we have seen enough infringements on political speech--thank you, McCain-Feingold--do we really need to see more?
I would have preferred to see a full-on battle between Democratic media outlets and Republican media outlets in the marketplace of ideas. It would be good for our national discourse and it would spur Republicans on to carve out a greater niche for themselves in the national media market. To the extent that dream dies, I suppose that we can not only thank Dennis Kucinich, but all of the Republican voters who went out and made the perfect the enemy of the good.
Nice job. You got your purifying defeat. Look where it got you.