Politics… is not something I know much about or want to know much about if I’m honest. I’m not a political person or want to be. Maybe, that’s good, or maybe that’s bad. Who knows?! All that I know is that the political landscape is too loud with too much drama, and noise that I don’t have the energy or mental bandwidth for so I keep way away from anything to do with politics… most of the time!
So, when Philip Gimson reached out to me to ask to come onto the podcast and bring the topic of American politics to the table I was initially reserved and hesitant to do so. However, after going back and forth I thought why not and was curious about Philip’s opinion, and his experience from afar.
We started our conversation by discussing the media landscape and its impact on society. Philip explained the evolution of news reporting, noting that in the past, there was a clear distinction between news and political commentary. However, in recent years, the lines have become blurred, with political commentary dominating the airwaves, particularly in cable news networks.
Philip went on to share examples of propaganda in the media and pointed out Fox News which despite labelling itself as a news outlet, often reports false narratives and supports political agendas. Fox News commentators, such as Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson, have spread misinformation and promoted controversial viewpoints.
The main concern that Philip shared with me was that misinformation leads to the spread of false narratives and is a dangerous trend. He highlights the importance of fact-checking and verifying information before it is presented to the public which, I may add I agree with him. His example was the unfounded claims made by Laura Ingraham regarding the involvement of Antifa in the January 6th uprising, and Tucker Carlson’s support for Russia, despite their track record of human rights abuses.
Furthermore, Philip explained the difference between opinions and facts. While opinions are not inherently bad, to present them as facts and/or truth is wrong. Opinions in the news must be supported by accurate information and respect for educating the public. Currently, opinions are mostly based on false or unverified information which is misleading, irresponsible, and dangerous.
The landscape of the media has an impact on the current state of politics and on society. It contributes to the divisive nature of politics, where individuals often align themselves with a particular side without considering differing viewpoints. This lack of self-awareness and understanding of one’s own values contributes to the polarisation and separation in society. And, is let alone another reason why I stay way away from politics.
The solution lies in open and conscious conversations about political issues. Having these types of conversations, even in the face of disagreement, is essential for bridging the gaps between individuals and groups and promoting a more inclusive and understanding society. The culture we have created avoids these types of conversations unconsciously and is contributing to the divide and through respectful and informed discussions we can make progress and create not just a better society but a better world.
Before we ended our conversation Philip posed a question about the state of American democracy and politics before the emergence of Donald Trump. Of course, we couldn’t talk about American politics without mentioning Donald Trump 😂. Philip believes that American democracy has always had flaws, such as the electoral college system and various forms of discrimination. However, he believes that widespread election fraud and grand conspiracy only emerged during Trump’s presidency, and is a massive concern.
Overall, this conversation was fascinating as I learned more about American democracy and politics from an American citizen and not a news outlet, or reporter. I agree with Philip on many points relating to the overall culture of media and politics and how it has an impact on society. I agree with fact-checking, holding officials accountable, and promoting a more inclusive and understanding society and by doing so, we will create a better world. Whether that happens or not is down to us individually and who we decide to be.