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The Suffocation Of Our Civil Liberties

539 words - 3 pages

Alexix de Toqueville's book, Democracy in America, compares the way the French and American governments function. Specificity in chapter 11, Liberty of the Press in the United States, contrasts the media and how they portray "news". He starts off by saying that "the press does not affect political opinions alone, but extends to all the options"(p. 1). Later in the chapter he also references how the media is the most common, if not only means of getting information. He compares the French to the American media to justify his claim that the press can cause a great influence on how you view facts, and how the press can influence your opinion. "The press cannot create human passions, however skillfully it may kindle them where they exist"(p. 3). He goes on by stating in America ...view middle of the document...

.. instead of radiating from a common point they cross each other in every direction the Americas have nowhere established any central direction of opinion”(p.4). Our opinions are no longer formed on facts gathered over varying of sources. Instead the first thing we hear or see that we choose to believe is what we consider to be ‘true’. “The opinions established in the United States under the influence of the liberty of the press are more frequently rooted than those which are formed elsewhere under the sanction of a censor”(p.5).
Further more, de Tocqueville's observations of the American freedom of the press is that our system is corrupt. Our media is more focused on material possessions, and attacking our fellow man rather than reporting political based news that could share vital intellect with our nation. He describes our president, Andrew Jackson, his “language has been a heartless despot, solely occupied with the preservation of his own authority”, Tocqueville believes that he will receive punishment for his actions and “his immoral practices will redound to his shame and confusion (p.2). We rather shoot down another man for stating his own opinion, and accept lie after lie being fed to us with no hope of regression. His solution to this epidemic is "It is a very difficult question to decide whether an aristocracy or a democracy governs the best. But it is certain that democracy annoys part of the community and that aristocracy oppresses another."(p. 6). De Tocqueville’s take on the liberty of the press in the United State is sheer poetry. Not only can his thoughts be applied to how America views the media, but it can change how we view every aspect of our lives. His book has showed me how there are possibilities for corruption in every part of our country. It is just a matter of stating our opinions and seeing the truth.

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