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Personal Observations Of Our Society – Where Are Our Priorities?

Priorities of SocietyI doubt if I am the only person around who notices these things, but I have observed some things that make me wonder about our society. These things make me question if we will be able to see any meaningful change to the place America finds herself in. Is it just me or are our priorities completely messed up? They make me question if Americans really want a change, or to continue on the same path we are on.

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Take a few moments and visit some of the major news organization websites. Most of them have tabs labeled Opinion, US, Politics, World, etc. Some of them have a tab labeled Campaign 2012, in honor of the extravaganza we call our Presidential election. If you click on one of the stories at any given website, you are likely to find a group of stories at the bottom or side of the article you want to read. One would think these would be related stories, but many times, they are not. I can’t say most of them, but many, have to do with celebrities and their lives. If you pay close attention, you may be able to read about Kristen Stewart and her boyfriend, whomever that happens to be for the moment. You can also find out which Hollywood stars got their “start” by working at Hooters These are just a few of the stories I came across, without even looking. Some of the more important ones include vital information, such as the photo of Paul Ryan, without his shirt on.

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There is also an ongoing spat about President Obama and his lack of love for the national media. It’s not something I can really understand, given how they usually fawn all over him, but that would be the subject of another post. So, instead of him answering questions from the reporters who are stationed at the White House, he is giving most of his interviews to local media outlets. Instead of answering questions about his economic policies and spending practices, he has the chance to let us know what color of chili peppers he prefers. Instead of explaining how Obamacare is gutting Medicare, he tells us what his favorite superpower would be.

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Have you heard the Obama campaign’s reasoning behind giving interviews to local media and entertainment media outlets? It’s actually quite interesting.

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(Politico) Forget Chris Matthews — he’ll take Nancy O’Dell.

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President Barack Obama has been taking a lot of questions in the two months since his last press conference or national news interview. He’s just been doing them with ESPN, Entertainment Tonight, People Magazine and FM radio stations around the country, mostly to talk local sports and regional cuisine.

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This isn’t a mistake. Even at the height of a campaign in which they’ve been firing hard at Mitt Romney and trying to keep hold of the news cycle, Obama’s reelection staffers are pretty sure most voters aren’t tuning in.

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“People get their news in many different ways,” Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki told POLITICO. “Sometimes it’s turning on ‘Entertainment Tonight’ and seeing what the latest news is out there.”

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Psaki said the president will be doing a variety of media appearances in the coming weeks with both national and local outlets, but for now, “We’re reaching an audience that may not be paying attention to the day-to-day political back and forth.”

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The Obama campaign is playing a strategy by not interacting with the national media. They are counting on the theory that many Americans are not paying attention to the condition of the nation. In a time when many of us are focused on the upcoming NFL season, or the amount of skin shown by a particular Hollywood star, they could very well be right.

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It troubles me that so many of us are not even paying attention to what is going on around us. We are more concerned with entertainment, sports, and other items that can not change our society for the better. There is nothing wrong with entertainment, but where is the good in it when it completely blinds us to the condition of our society? Not everyone can be a politics buff like myself, nor should they be. But, one would think more people could at least pay enough attention to understand the shape America is in. At the risk of sounding like an old fuddy duddy (yes, that is a real phrase), I can’t help but wonder if our shift in priorities is a foretelling of things to come.

About LD Jackson

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LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

  • I’ve found ESPN’s fawning over Obama very disturbing. People turn on ESPN in part to escape politics and the problems of the world. On some level I suspect people do the same thing when watching Entertainment Tonight and nonsense like that. I’m not sure people take to kindly to political invasions outside perhaps the color dress the First Lady is wearing. Even I can’t pay attention to politics 24/7.

    I think many of us on both sides of the aisle are too quick to dismiss the public as ignorant or not paying attention enough. I think the public pays a lot more attention than they let on.

    • You may be right, but I still find it troubling that so many people seem to be more concerned over issues of such triviality. Considering our country as a whole, our priorities are not where they should be.

      • lou222

        The way I see it, is that it takes an effort to make a change. I think there are alot of people that don’t want to put out that effort. It might just be that simple, we have alot of pre-occupied people that cannot be bothered.

        • It is much easier to sit back and leave things alone. Not disturbing the status quo is the “safest” way to go. Many times, the end result leaves much to be desired.

  • Spot on, Larry. Our society’s priorities are screwed up. Just think about how children’s role models have changed over the years. Many teens and young adults know more about what’s happening in our pop culture than American history or even simple questions relevant to politics today. Think man on the street.

  • Well said. What the world needs now is more fuddy duddies like you and me! Or is it fuddies duddy?

    • Dragonconservative

      I prefer fuddies duddy. It sounds cooler 🙂

    • I’m not sure how that term is supposed to be used. Whatever works, I suppose.

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  • The Obama campaign is playing a strategy by not interacting with the national media … counting on the theory that many Americans are not paying attention to the condition of the nation.

    Obama’s strategery aside, maybe people are paying attention. Maybe that’s why Congress’ approval rating is a dismal 10%.

    Maybe folks are tuning out the national media because it’s devoid of thought and simply regurgitates the state line. People without jobs constantly hear about economic recovery. The cost of groceries and other necessities keep rising while they’re told there’s no inflation. Governments across the land are broke yet small towns are buying tanks and “we” must bomb Iran to smithereens. Etc.

    Can you really blame anyone for not paying attention to the national media? Or politicians? Maybe the problem isn’t so much the people as it is the junk so-called news organizations “report.” And let’s face it, for the 90% of us who disapprove of the bipartisan regime on the Potomac, Kristen Stewart is more interesting.

    So maybe the problem isn’t so much the people, but the system itself.

    • It could be the system and the fact that our society has glorified celebrities to the point they are almost considered royalty. Either way, I still hold the opinion that our priorities are far from where they should be.

      • I agree that people (sadly) glorify celebrities. But then again, aren’t people glorifying Obama and Romney right now in the same fashion? Can a free people glorify political “leaders” and expect to remain free? Doubtful.

        I agree our priorities are wrong too. But then again, the national media doesn’t really present the facts, and the two major parties don’t really offer genuine solutions. So it’s easy to “tune out.” One almost has to to remain sane.

        I mean when printing money is considered a “solution,” and a “budget cut” still results in increased spending … Kristen Stewart’s life suddenly becomes a welcome dose of reality. See what I mean?

  • Dragonconservative

    You see, Mr. Jackson, the problem in this country is my generation; those who are below eighteen years of age. They have a serious problem when it comes to learning about what is going on in the news because our society is becoming less focused on success. As a current student in the American public school system, I see that the most common thing that matters in schools is “Are you happy with your grade?” That is the question that students ask themselves, as opposed to “Can I do better?” The focus is on personal happiness, which inadvertently leads to mediocrity. If there were a greater focus on success, children would be naturally influenced to be aware of what is going on in their country’s politics, and how it will affect their own successes as adults. Your analysis is completely accurate, Mr. Jackson.

    • Thanks for your insight into how your generation looks at these things. I take no pride in being accurate, as I can not see how this bodes well for America.

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  • I think seniors are beginning to pay attention more, Larry. I’m worried about young people, however.

    • Dragonconservative

      You’re right to worry. My generation is so disconnected from stuff that matters. As Sherman said above, we need more fuddies duddy.

  • Obama is a master Chicago-style politician. He plays polls and public opinion like a violin. He understands that most voters will follow their gut–their intuition–on Election Day, and he’s trying to influence that gut-level reaction through popular programs like Entertainment Tonight. He changes his “policies” and crafts his sound bites to suit the times (eg against gay marriage, then FOR it; against amnesty for illegals then FOR it). It was successful in 2008 and may well be again this time. I don’t think much of him as a president, but as a dirty and self-serving politician, he has no equal.

    • That’s true enough. I have no doubt he is fully aware of the strategy he is using. I just hope enough Americans see through him this time. We desperately need him out of the White House.

  • Obama is essentially playing Defense right now and will be until the election.

    He is not holding any press conferences. He is not going onto any serious shows. He is not giving anybody the opportunity to ask him anything real. He is only harping on Romney’s tax returns because he cannot speak about the economy. He is basically just trying to to lose any more support… not going on the offensive and trying to win new support.

    It is successful for him thus far.

    Only the debates can provide a chance for him to lose.

    • I am hoping Mitt Romney can get him off balance in the debates. Obama doesn’t do well when he is caught off guard. Just look back at the video of Paul Ryan taking his health care plan apart. By the time the exchange was finished, Obama was clearly upset. Romney is not Ryan, when it comes to a debate, but I am hopeful.

  • I share your concerns Larry and this is something I think about every so often as well. If you turn on Boston sports radio after the Red Sox lose a game because someone committed an error you would think the world was collapsing around us. When the sports teams are struggling people call in depressed and talk about how worried they are about the teams, there is anger there as well. I like to wonder how these people feel about what is happening in politics and I wish they showed the same passion for what is happening to our country. There is nothing wrong with a distraction from life once in awhile, but I think this goes beyond that.

    If Obama’s tactic works of talking to people on sports radio because that is the only way they will hear a politician talk about his plans than I think we are already in serious trouble.

    • I have no problem with anyone taking a break from the grind and doing something they like to do. I like to hunt, mainly for the pleasure of getting out in the woods where it is quite. But the priority some people place on some of these activities is mind boggling to me. I knew one man that completely shut his transmission shop down in the winter, just so he could hunt every day. It didn’t matter to him that his wife was having to do without the things she needed. His priorities were backwards.

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  • Americans have been obsessed with and consumed by trivialities for a few decades now.

    Just as disturbing to me: the short attention spans. I believe that attention spans began shrinking rapidly after the introduction of television into our homes. And now we have the computer, the iPhone, the iPad, etc. Everybody is multi-tasking all the time and loving the changing screens.

    • There is a reason why my Dad used to call television a one-eyed monster.

  • This is where we the bloggers come in. Maybe some of these folks will surf the web and catch a story they would have otherwise never known about. Nobody needs to immerse themselves in the day to day workings of the republic but at minimum we should be spot checking what these folks are up to. Maybe we can be the conduit for that.

    • I do think we can play an important role in making sure people have real information about what is going on.

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