Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Conservatives versus Liberals in US politics

United States, seen around the world as the bastion of democracy and capitalism is going through a phase of bitter political partisanship between the two main political parties; the republicans largely representing the conservative view and the democrats representing the liberal view.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall and disappearance of the Soviet Union as a super power in the world, the United States has become the world's policeman.

With the events of 9/11 and the Bush administration's foreign policy of pre-emtive war, the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq has bitterly divided world public opinion. As the war in Iraq drags out, the goodwill on America also is declining.

With the next US presidential election in November 2008, the world is watching the political moves of the aspiring presidential candidates from the dominating parties.

News media, the means through which information is transmitted to a large audience play a vital role in any democracy. Common forms of media includes newspapers, television, radio, and more recently the internet.

For the media to be most effective for its intended function, it has to be independent and report news objectively so that the public can make informed decisions.

Amongst the political bickering and mud slinging, even some of the mainstream media seems to have lost its independece or its objectivity. Some of them are seen to favour one ideology over the other.

Political pundits potificate their views which manipulate public opinoin and make it impossible to differentiate news from commentary. The issues being debated are and higly charged.

Let's take the case of abortion as an example. This is a bitterly divisive issue with the conservatives backed by the evangelicals who want to adopt an extreme an anti-abortion position as possible, even ruling out exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

On the other hand the liberals support and demand it as a constitutional right, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling Roe versus Wade permiting abortion in the early stages of pregnancy.

Information and misinformation is being thrashed to the public consciousness intended to further an idelogical bias. What is happening reflects a cultural war, with deep mistrust that is unrelenting.

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