My Letter to Arizona Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl

At a time when the majority of our nation is struggling and suffering with the repercussions of this great recession, it is baffling that an attempt to weaken the voice of the people through the Public Broadcasting System and National Public Radio has actually gotten the support of our national legislature. It is difficult to fathom why we (and I consider my government my elected voice, and not the voice of the individuals who are elected–perhaps foolishly idealistic, but I retain faith and hope in the ideals we strive to reach)–it is difficult to fathom why we–would strike at the foundation of non-corporately owned and run major media. It should be evident through the events and circumstances that greatly helped to bring about this latest recession that although we strive to allow the public as much unregulated freedom to achieve its dreams and goals, that without ‘some’ regulation and intervention from non-invested government sources, corporate ‘voices’ are likely not to be in the best interest of the people. They are not elected; in fact, they elect themselves, and through economic success, they work their way into the public discourse by manipulating it. When those voices are in line with our best interest, we do not react with alarm, but in the event that the tides should shift (and they do, as you are well aware), it is vital that a voice not aligned solely to corporate ownership and interests be able to compete in the public media. Please do not support the law that the U.S. House just passed in H.R. 1, when it comes before you in the Senate. When a country is at war, and it intends to weaken an enemy, it is not uncommon to attempt to weaken the enemy’s cultural strongholds. When we attacked Iraq, their museums were looted, and we did relatively nothing to stop the harm to their cultural legacy. The public is not our enemy. The people’s access to the public media as a vehicle for their voice is a cultural legacy our government saw fit to ensure through PBS and NPR. Dismantling them is not an act of war, but its consequences are uncomfortably similar to one, and tragically, one that seems perilously close for it to be taken by those whom we have entrusted to protect our rights and create laws that ensure them. Please, I repeat, do not vote for this legislation. Sincerely, Sarah Amira De la Garza,Ph.D.