Sunday, August 31, 2008

Let's all do some CE.....

We pharmacists are required to complete continuing education to maintain our licenses, and I wish that Americans were required to do the same to maintain their citizenship. I'm worried about the 'low information' voters. In fact, I believed that before they received their economic stimulus check, all Americans of voting age should have been asked to complete a CE packet. This would include things like how Congress actually works to pass bills (explaining things like veto-proof majorities and filibusters), what the Patriot Act actually says --- heck, what the Constitution ACTUALLY says, in plain language, and what it doesn't say. That way, when politicians make assertive statements which are in fact misleading or outright lies, we Americans would know better. I think there is a shocking amount of ignorance out there, and our politicians don't hesitate to cater to that lowest common denominator.

It's been shown that more people know the names of the American Idol judges than know the names of their Congressman or Senator. I had a few days off last week and in flipping TV channels was treated to "cage" fighting (where two guys beat the crap out of each other while the crowd screams for blood), Jerry Springer (enough said), Maury Povich (the 'paternity' show guy who determines who's the daddy of some poor kid born to a bunch of losers who scream at each other and then parade THE KID out there too), and of course the endless cheaply-produced reality shows that put a bunch of self-obsessed spoiled brats into contrived situations and then zoom in for those icky close-ups while they ponder their boring lives. I know there are many people who pay no attention to this garbage, but I fear there are too many that do. I guess with the election coming up, this makes me discouraged and worried.

Fact checking --- priceless!


The Ole' Apothecary said...

How can people care about the Constitution when they are soon to cease caring about anything except their MP3 players and booming sound systems?

Anonymous said...

Where would this general reference information for the people come from? Annually updated textbooks available to all with tax returns? Pamphlets from the Federal printing office? On a general information TV network? It's simply...amazing...the amount of information that is available in different formats, but it's easiest to 'believe' the National Enquirer, because it's clear that there should be question about what one reads--but, should we 'trust' what the 'officials' tell us? Just who is or is not a politician? I mean, it's usually been 30-40 years since high school or college for the decision-makers of our society are influential...just take a look at all those that consider Mr. McCain as a knowledgeable citizen.
Cathy Lane RPh

Frantic Pharmacist said...

I agree with you Cathy, that people seem to find 'bias' in anything these days because we are so divided. The information that citizens need would have to be very straight, dry and factual -- and how do we get people to read that? -- it's not exciting, gossipy or titillating! For that matter how do we get Americans to read anything these days? I wish we had a TV network like the BBC--
if you have ever watched their newscasts on PBS they seem very straight, informational and factual -- but not nearly exciting enough for us Americans, unfortunately. We just don't have the attention span.