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(2,805 posts)
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 12:26 AM Jul 2018

Oddly, most Americans have no idea what's going on.

We had our thirty-something son and his wife and their six kiddos visit for a few days last week. They were on their way back home after being on a vacation. When I brought up the children being separated from their parents at the border, they didn't know about it.

I was reminded of myself at that stage of life, busy with work, kids' activities, and paying scant attention to news sources. I was in my forties before I started focusing again. I say again because I was raised in a politically active family and volunteered for various candidates in high school, college, and beyond.

We have a large number of our compatriots who may have heard very little about Trump, Russia, Mueller, and have a long way to go before they'll understand or believe. It's hard to imagine, the way this has captured our attention, but they're pretty clueless. That is not connected at all to level of intelligence. We've got our work cut out for us between now and Election Day, even more than we may have realized.

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Oddly, most Americans have no idea what's going on. (Original Post) summer_in_TX Jul 2018 OP
Damn right... our great bored, unknowing citizenry.... pangaia Jul 2018 #1
You said it! mountain grammy Jul 2018 #3
That's the Republican's secret weapon. Public ignorance of what's going on. Kablooie Jul 2018 #2
I was thinking about this earlier today when reading a couple of posts. Garrett78 Jul 2018 #4
Exactly. procon Jul 2018 #5
Shocked into reality SonofDonald Jul 2018 #6
Not that oddly. PoindexterOglethorpe Jul 2018 #7
I agree bdamomma Jul 2018 #19
Right. PoindexterOglethorpe Jul 2018 #20
there are many people who are very apolitical . for them it's all about their own personal lives JI7 Jul 2018 #8
Frustrating, yes kurtcagle Jul 2018 #9
Tuned Out suprcali Jul 2018 #10
My thirty-something children know. murielm99 Jul 2018 #11
It isn't only that they are busy with "life and family" but, even if you explained what is going on, Frustratedlady Jul 2018 #12
"no author will be able to write a story on the entire scenario" BumRushDaShow Jul 2018 #15
Yeah, I felt overwhelmed to try to tell them and be believed. summer_in_TX Jul 2018 #13
I keep saying this BumRushDaShow Jul 2018 #14
It's because people don't read the news Zing Zing Zingbah Jul 2018 #16
You almost wish citizens bdamomma Jul 2018 #17
But you can be sure the faux noise fans will have their talking points...... a kennedy Jul 2018 #18
I know no one like that, except 1 pair of Trump-voting elderly neighbors. maxsolomon Jul 2018 #21


(18,673 posts)
2. That's the Republican's secret weapon. Public ignorance of what's going on.
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 12:36 AM
Jul 2018

That should be on the Democratic agenda.
Get the word out everywhere, EVERYWHERE about what Trump and the Republicans are doing to this country.
They have Fox News.
What do the Democrats have?


(10,721 posts)
4. I was thinking about this earlier today when reading a couple of posts.
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 12:45 AM
Jul 2018

I get the impression sometimes that some on DU forget that DU participants are, in addition to being a minuscule fraction of the population, *far* more aware of current events than the vast majority of people in the US.

That's why it is so crucial that Democrats in Congress engage in smash-mouth politics and be the ones who establish the dominant narrative. What bits and pieces are soaked up by the masses need to be bits and pieces that help our cause.


(15,805 posts)
5. Exactly.
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 12:57 AM
Jul 2018

Look at what's on network news, still the mainstay for a majority of households. Its 30 minutes, minus 6 minutes of commercials, with the broadcast time divided between sanitized generic national news, human interest schlock, entertainment and the weather.

Most people don't even know what they don't know.


(2,050 posts)
6. Shocked into reality
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 12:57 AM
Jul 2018

Mr Mueller needs to do something to help them along, something that would administer an instant epiphany.

I think it's coming but I hope it's real soon.


(25,988 posts)
7. Not that oddly.
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 01:00 AM
Jul 2018

Most people don't read a daily newspaper. Most people might possibly watch their local TV news and then one of the network's news programs.

I don't happen to own a TV, although I watch plenty of TV shows on the internet, so I'm not exactly one of those "I NEVER watch TV" snobs. Far from it, although I am very, very behind in the shows that I do watch compared to those who are actually current.

Anyway, some people who know me and know I don't have a TV assume I have no clue as to what's going on in the world. Au contraire. I wake up every morning to Amy Goodman. I try to listen to BBC news once a day. I come here. I subscribe to my local newspaper. Recently I was visiting family in the Kansas City area, and every time one of them said, "OMG! Do you know about this story??" I invariably did and knew more than that person.

Back in the mid 70s, in an earlier era of no TV, and well before the internet, a co-worker was genuinely concerned that I did not know what was going on in the world. So he'd quiz me. Most of the time I knew exactly what was going on. Not always. But in the parts where I did know, I usually knew more than he did because I was reading the local paper (which happened to be The Washington Post) and I read the weekly news magazines, and I listened to the radio. Oh. And I read books. What a novel concept. Reading books to understand what is going on in the world.

Back to the point raised in the OP. Most people don't listen to real news, and most of them don't read books. Even having kids -- okay, so I only had two, not six and I do understand what a quantum difference that would make, you can still squeeze out a few minutes each and every day to find out what's happening in the world. There is zero excuse, job, kid, whatever, not to read for a few minutes or listen to some real news every day.

I wake up every single morning to Amy Goodman. I said that above. But her program, without anything else, keeps me on top of what's happening.

We all have choices in our lives as to how we'll spend our time. My choices may not be yours, and vice versa. But, I'm sorry, there is no excuse whatsoever not to know the basics of what's happening in the world.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think the "I'm busy, I have a job, I have kids" is actually a valid excuse. No, it's not.


(64,142 posts)
19. I agree
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 02:49 PM
Jul 2018

there is really no excuse, this very serious what is happening in the country and around the world it affects all of us.


(25,988 posts)
20. Right.
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 04:43 PM
Jul 2018

It is possible to listen to some news, to spend a few minutes on line, to ask questions of someone you trust to be well informed.


(89,387 posts)
8. there are many people who are very apolitical . for them it's all about their own personal lives
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 01:01 AM
Jul 2018

this is not always a bad thing as it's important to focus on life . and sometimes people don't have a choice because they work too much.

but in a lot of cases it just seems selfish to me. like a it doesn't affect them personally and it's just news which is always full of bad stuff and has nothing to do with their lives.

the worse are those who know about celeb gossip and pay attention to that crap but not real serious news.


(1,652 posts)
9. Frustrating, yes
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 01:03 AM
Jul 2018

I was on Linked In earlier tonight. The site is considerably more conservative, overall, but you're now seeing virtually hagiographic pictures of Trump being posted in what has traditionally been a business only forum. I wrote a fairly scathing comment about one of those posts, including clearly public record things that Trump has managed to blow, and the responses included "You're wrong!" and "Name three notable things Obama did."

So I named thirty.

I doubt seriously it will make a damn bit of difference to any of them.


(108 posts)
10. Tuned Out
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 01:06 AM
Jul 2018

Some may have purposely tuned out. So if you can engage them then do so with what will affect their life. It could be pre-existing conditions, the tax cut scam, Medicare / Medicaid, and so on. They need to tune back in on election day but ensure they're registered a month before.

The messaging from those running need to get out now and increase as we near election day.


(30,876 posts)
11. My thirty-something children know.
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 01:10 AM
Jul 2018

They often know more than I, even the one who lives in Canada. They were raised to be activists and to be aware.

But you are right about this. Many people are too busy. Or they think they are too busy.

I have been canvassing with candidates. Even some of my very astute Democratic neighbors do not know who the candidates are, or anything about the races. Please get out there with candidates, or do some phone banking.


(16,254 posts)
12. It isn't only that they are busy with "life and family" but, even if you explained what is going on,
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 01:12 AM
Jul 2018

it is too complicated and interwoven that they wouldn't believe it. IF they believed it, they wouldn't be able to follow all the dots and put them together to form a complete picture.

Many of us follow this crap all day long and still can't picture how huge it is. I doubt that when this is over and done with, no author will be able to write a story on the entire scenario, include all the characters and explain how it happened. The set of books would resemble World Book Encyclopedias.


(131,785 posts)
15. "no author will be able to write a story on the entire scenario"
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 01:55 PM
Jul 2018

My exact thought! Assuming we survive this.


(2,805 posts)
13. Yeah, I felt overwhelmed to try to tell them and be believed.
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 01:44 PM
Jul 2018

They avoid watching news around the kids, protecting them from being scared or disturbed. My son works two jobs and is busy most of the time so R&R and family time.time. The kids range from 1-10 in age.


(131,785 posts)
14. I keep saying this
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 01:52 PM
Jul 2018

DU skews "older" (based on a number of "age polls" done here over the years), where many are recent "empty nesters" and/or have a big stake in making time to keep track of the details of the nightmare. There are some younger "political junkies" - notably those who are activists. But the majority of folks are not watching CNN or M$NBC 24/7 and may get blips on the 1/2 hour evening national news about what is going on and then they move on.

This doesn't mean that they will not vote in November, but the "stakes" of not doing so, as we get near election time, needs to be emphasized. Too much hassling of them now will only turn them completely off.

Zing Zing Zingbah

(6,496 posts)
16. It's because people don't read the news
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 02:39 PM
Jul 2018

I read the news practically every day. I always have since I was a teenager. I'm in my late thirties now. I'm busy. I work. I'm married and I have kids. It doesn't take long to check the news. I get the NY Times and then two local papers in an rss aggregator (Old Reader via goggle account). Works nicely because I avoid the pay wall and see tons of articles. Also, no advertisements and I have it set up to hide the articles automatically after I've scrolled through them, so I'm never looking over articles I've already seen. I can always star an article if I want to view it again later. I don't personally know anyone else who gets the news via rss aggregator like I do, but it is a very organized way to keep up with the news. I figured it out myself because getting free and good news minus the ads was important to me. I don't think a lot of people care about it all that much to put in any sort of effort there.


(64,142 posts)
17. You almost wish citizens
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 02:44 PM
Jul 2018

would pay a lot of attention of what is going on and how it can happen here. Being here on DU and other sites and just plain reading there are valuable sources of journalism out there to be abreast of all situations, and just keeping in the know definitely helps and it's almost an obsession for myself I just need to know no matter how sick things have been.

I could not be walking around blindly to what is happening out in the country.


(33,620 posts)
21. I know no one like that, except 1 pair of Trump-voting elderly neighbors.
Thu Jul 12, 2018, 05:20 PM
Jul 2018

Everyone else in this city (Seattle) seems to be tuned in, and in agreement. You can just assume that if they're not elderly or homeless, they're appalled.

80% of the city voted for HRC.

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