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Voting Democracy off the Island ­ Response
In “Voting Democracy off the Island ­ Reality TV and the Republican Ethos”, Francine
Prose confidently, and often sarcastically, illustrates her convictions on the ties between the
Republican Party, reality television, and the demoralization of our society. Prose asserts that the projection of ‘Machiavellian’ television shows in which average contestants must constantly deceive and best one another represents a twisted set of Republican ideals. Although shows like
Survivor do not seem harmful at first glance, Prose believes that these shows venerate the paragon of immoral Republican ideals such as“flinty individualism...the belief that certain circumstances justify secrecy and deception, the invocation of a reviled common enemy to solidify group loyalty”(291). Her ultimate fear is that the American public will become so desensitized to political acts of treachery and deceit ­­ like the Bush administration’s withholding of information on weapons of mass destruction (292) ­­ that we eventually become an indifferent, apathetic representation of what our democracy once stood for (293).
Francine Prose is very quick to draw ties between the Republican Party and what she believes to be the decent into a crumbling democracy where “everyone always votes, for himself”(293). Her undeniable political bias weakens her argument. and her belief that simple perversions like individualism and deception are only Republican in nature is an incorrect assumption. Although she adds strong support to her dissertation of social decline and reality television with the idea of Social Darwinism, her argument becomes a whole new animal with politics involved. She seems to be so set in her ways of opposition against the Republican party that she doesn’t consider the idea that anybody will do what it takes to be on top if they believe

the situation is dire enough. To say that Social Darwinism and the immorality it supports is a
Republican construct is a post hoc fallacy. It is hard not to notice her obvious contempt for
Right Wing politics and the Bush administration, and it might make the reader wonder whether or not her argument is too biased to be valid.

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