Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Primary Documents #7: Far From Home

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Primary Documents #7: Far From Home

On the first page of our packet, Primary Documents, we encounter a paragraph that goes on to state the following:
"In the democratic age, wars can not be fought without the public's consent. Then, as now, Americans had to be convinced to conquer strange countries, to pay for war overseas and die in far away lands. Through public speeches, newspapers and magazines the case was made for supporting American intervention, with appeals made less to reason and more to public emotion. But this was contested terrain, and the same media were used to argue against US imperialism as well."

Now, I know this paragraph was already done by another student but, after I had read this, I had to write about it because I whole heartedly agree with that other student. I belive that we as a public have no say what so ever in what happens in war and in deciding if a war were to take place. That is all based on who has the money and the power and who can make the final decision and if that person wants to go to war, then we are going to go to war, whether it be the popular decision or not.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post.

Yes, in the short term the President can take our country to war according to the Constitution.

On the other hand, under the War Powers Act the Congress is supposed to act as a check on the power of the executive branch. And the voters are able to vote out a government that takes them into an unpopular war.

We are a republic with representatives who are supposed to respond to pressure from their constituents. The reality is that the majority of the population was not against the war in Iraq and chose to give the Bush Administration their support even after it was clear that the war was going badly.

Just because the public does not exercise their democratic power to remove pro-war politicians does not mean that they couldn't have done so if they thought it was important enough.

Democratic checks and balances will not stop a war from occurring in the short term but they can stop a war from continuing if a clear majority of the population opposes a war.

2/25/2007 6:57 PM  

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