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With the presidential debates going on this month I decided to explore why they are set up the way that they are. This lead me to the Commission on Presidential Debates, and I was shocked (not really "shocked," but more like: oh of course, why shouldn't there be corruption here too? there is everywhere else) to discover that this was a private corporation jointly established by the Democratic and Republican parties. Which would explain why there have only been Republicans and Democrats featured in these presidential debates since the CPD took over, and which would further explain why no third party has been able to gain a foothold in the polls year after year. The mainstream media, of which the presidential debates are a big part, is after all the most powerful tool for influencing potential voters. The "free speech" appears to be awarded only to the corporate donors for each of the two powerhouse political parties and the lobbyists in D.C., nevermind about the people. When the wealthy and powerful control the very mechanism that informs voting, how is voting an accurate expression of free speech? Anyway, this is only loosely related to book censorship, but my point is that when I discovered this, I thought of good old Littlefinger, who also uses his power/money to buy more power/money. And this is why I love ASOIAF: because it speaks to so many of the truths of society and human nature, both admirable and ugly. I think King's Landing and Washington shows us that the ugly seems to be nurtured and facilitated when people and groups of people become empowered. However I'd much rather read about King's Landing than Washington because I have to think as an author you'll be dishing out some just desserts and poetic justice here and there; I don't often see them in real life.

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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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