Granted, I’ve supported Paul Waldman’s thesis that politics revolves around a personal narrative and not logical discussions of policy analysis is the right way to view things–depressing as that is. But after reading this post by Kos, I’m thoroughly discouraged. Kos writes:
The key is to find that negative value, and base the entire campaign to define the opponent around it. Then, every single issue that arises can be neatly slotted into that value, reinforcing it in the media and the voters’ minds.
I think he might be right, but how the hell did we as a people get so collectively stupid? At some point, someone is going to have to develop concrete policy proposals. If the entire political discourse revolves around simplistic narratives, or for that matter, outright falsehoods*, how do citizens even have the opportunity to influence what their government actually does? Was the idea of the citizen always subsumed by the reality of the consumer?
There endeth the jeremiad.
(Maybe all the funding stuff is getting me down)
*For example, how can we begin to have serious discussions about foreign policy, when a plurality of Americans is convinced that there were links between Al-Queda and Saddam Hussein? What does one do against such willful ignorance? It’s almost impossible to respect an alternative opinion that is founded in such ignorance.