Thursday, July 31, 2003

The Prodigal Media, The Prodigal Congress

There's no sense in being angry with the mainstream media. Now that they seemingly have regained their footing, and good sense, spirited public debate seems to have returned to the land, along with reason and hope.

We shouldn't forget to thank our wayward Congress either, missing in action for so much of the Bush Administration, for the media revival. Clearly 9/11 marked a new sort of challenge, the kind that Congress was not ready for. Thankfully, the men and women in our halls of democracy have emerged from their trauma, and realized that they were not eliminated by anthrax attacks, that they in fact are still around, and in power, and may still contribute.

All kidding aside, it really is good to see American public life reinvigorated. Contentious. For this is the stuff of democracy, and for too long we've shucked freedom and democracy aside in the crusade to defend or install freedom and democracy elsewhere. Thankfully, the time for this foolishness has nearly run its course. Freedom and democracy are means, not ends. The ends are love, happiness, good feeling, good will, satisfaction, and the like.

We must never forget what it means to be human, what this has always meant. In this age, freedom and democracy are our birthrights, as best expounded in the Declaration of Independence. These are the ways and means by which we pursue happiness and our dreams. We must never relinquish them, as Ben Franklin has so eloquently stated on a previous occasion, in the face of fear or insecurity. Certainly not without due and diligent consideration should we suspend any aspect of our birthright, and then and only then, after such consideration, with a determination and precise explanation of the effectiveness of such suspension, and its proscribed, and definite, duration.

Welcome back members of the mainstream media. Of Congress. Let this be a reminder to you of the dangers of democracy. The contingency. A new community has joined you, right here in cyberspace. On the Internet. Use it as a tool, and have no doubt of engagement. Listen. The people have found a voice, and, as such, your job has become that much easier.