78% of american's get all of their political information from campaign ads. how scary is that!
when the founding father's gave us free speech they intended for us to have a dialog so the truth would triumph, but now we are passive on lookers for the most part. when freedom of speech and press falters the market place of ideas fails and it's impossible to fill the most important civic obligation. make and informed vote that will keep the government in check.
this leads to voter disenfranchisment because people feel they are being excluded from the process.
so, only the most committed are actively involved. (these are the people who donate $) both sides need this money so they cater with the strongest feelings of those who write the checks. so the elected play to base. so this creates a partisan discourse leading to 1 or 2 wedge issues, which we can totally feel! creates a divide, that is actually probably not as big as the media makes it out to be, but makes it impossible to discuss. (i can't even talk politics with family, can you?) and leads people to think, "why bother?" because you can't change peoples mind, and there is no room for compromise.
so concerning faith and politics. i had no idea there was a debate about what "a separation of church and state", but i guess there is. state is supposed to stay out of the church's business, where as i thought it was that church was supposed to stay out of government's business (which is probably how the atheist founding father's intended it, although it's not in the constitution or bill of rights).
the real issue isn't faith as much as values and morals or moral values. beyond the 2 wedge issues i can think of (abortion and gay marriage) it also tells people in the bible to care for the poor, the sick, the elderly, and orphans. and there is a just war doctrine and christians really aren't supposed to start a war.
it seems there really does come a point when politicians start to exploit the moral conscious. then faith becomes more important than policy because people are only paying attention to the one or two wedge issues. these moral values cannot be legally solved. george bush had the same values as mccain, yet abortion is still legal and more gay's have the right of marriage now that 8 years ago, but our economy is failing, our environment is being destroyed, we are fighting an war with no positive outcome, our schools are failing. . . .
the movie also talked about the willingness and readiness to disrespect their opponents. a take no prisoners attitude. this attitude filters down which is why it gets harder and harder to even discuss the issues, because it's ok to be disrespectful, we almost don't know how to talk about it without getting so impassioned we can be disrespectful.
the concentration of media ownership has created a bias in reporting. in 1986 there were 86 companies that owned media outlets, now there are 7. these companies determine the issues and how they are covered.
what are the strategies for the campaigns. traditionally the democrats try and get people to register and get out and vote. the republican strategy has been the opposite really. it's to drive down voter turn out by going negative. if this didn't work they wouldn't keep doing it. people get fatigued and don't vote.
so. . . what do we do? try and talk to people i guess. pay attention to the REAL issues. find a way to compromise and find the commonalities, because there are many more than a few wedge issues. vote.