org)"none of the men had actually served on the Swift boats that Mr. Kerry commanded." There is much more in the way of empirical evidence to show that this attack campaign was false, but the point is made that lies wrapped in glossy TV commercials during election time can be effective. In Kerry's case, he chose not to lash out at the lies, but many now feel he should have. Ironically, it was Bush himself who should have come under investigation; he got out of going to Vietnam by having his father get him assigned to the Air National Guard, and he failed to complete his required service there.
Meanwhile, many younger voters are not getting their election information from TV or from newspapers; they are going online. A PEW report ("Young high-speed users flock to internet for campaign news") shows that about 21% of Americans now see the Internet as their "...main source of campaign news." Among people between the ages of 18 and 35, PEW reports that 40% use the Internet as their "main source" of election news. Is that good or bad? It may not be entirely good, according to a report in C/NET News.com (http://news.com.com);that is because the Internet is not subject to the same election accountability rules as TV and radio, which require a candidate to say that he authorized that ad that ran. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden has introduced legislation that would apply TV rules to Web advertising, because now, he says, "You go in, sling your mud, hit below the belt, and get the heck out of Dodge before anyone knows who did the dirty deeds," according to C/NET News.com.
UNINFORMED VOTERS MAY BE UNAWARE of ELECTION FRAUD. Taking it one step further beyond voters being either apathetic or badly uninformed (and thus being influenced by slick attack ads), an article by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. ("Was the 2004 Election Stolen?") asserts that after close investigation of the 2004 presidential election, he has "...become convinced that the president's party mounted a massive, coordinated campaign to subvert the will of the people in 2004." How so? Kennedy's research shows that in Ohio alone (the state that the election came down to) "at least 357,000 voters, the overwhelming majority of them Democratic, were prevented from casting ballots or did not have their votes counted in 2004." Kennedy asserts that data from the election showed that "...one in every four Ohio citizens who registered to vote in 2004 showed up at the polls only to discover that they were not listed on the rolls, thanks to GOP efforts to stem the unprecedented flood of Democrats eager to cast ballots."
CONCLUSION: FACISM: According to former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, "The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself." There is in this paper and elsewhere easily available research that reflects the enormous power that has been concentrated in the executive branch of government since 9/11. The power of a simple 30-second attack ad, when shown to an uninformed voter 30 or 40 times, can sway an election, and move the country away from democracy. And those entrenched in office have access to more money and power to produce and pay for air time with those unethical ads.
Kennedy, Robert F. "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?" Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 26, 2007 at http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/10432334/was_the_2004_election_stolen.
McCullagh, Declan. "Liberal Net rules spawn political attack ads." C/NEW News.
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Media Matters for America. "Submerging the truth about Swift Boat Vets on Hannity
Colmes, Scarborough Country." (2004): Retrieved April 26, 2007, at http://mediamatters.org/items/printable/200408050007.
PEW Internet & American Life Project. "Young high-speed users flock to internet for Campaign news." (2004): Retrieved April 26, 2007, at http://www.pewinternet.org/ppf/p/1023/pipcomments.asp.
PEW Research Center for the People & the Press. "Fewer Turn to Broadcast TV and Papers. (2000): Retrieved April 25, 2007, at http://people-press.org/reports/print.php3?PageID=243.
PEW Research Center for the People & the Press. "The Views of Political Consultants."
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Wikipedia. "Definitions of Fascism: Franklin D. Roosevelt." Retrieved April 26, 2007, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/definitions_of_fascism.