Jan 13, 2011

As great as the president's speech, as moving and unifying as it may have felt to so many, it will make no difference to the tone of political debate. Nor will it lead to a general civility. Which is not to dismiss the speech or mock its idealism, or to say that it will not initiate a subtle but profound change in this country. Nevertheless, for the moment, through 2012, this speech will make no difference.

Indeed, the voice of fear and ignorance will only become more shrill. Why? Because of bad economic times, of course, but more because hatred is now commerce. It's now become a sophisticated product, and bought the same way you might buy gold to protect against inflation or buy an accountant's help against the IRS, or buy a posturpedic mattress to fight sleeplessness.

It is finally a remedy and although sold under another name, another label — knowledge, for example — cynicism and skepticism are the natural ingredients.

Earlier this week Mark Lavin excoriated Chris Matthews, as he often does, adding, "Is he still drinking?" Lavin is more vitriolic than ever.

And you understand, it's not just a matter of personal animosity, it's not just an ideological difference, much as the haters hide behind that conceit, it's knowing the taste of the crowd in the coliseum, how and when to bring on the lions and the gladiators.

Or think of it this way: What is the best entertainment? The mystery, the thriller, the disaster movie, the horror movie... The Hills Have Eyes.

We pay to be frightened, because that's the way to get out of the doze. It's the only way we know, have ever known as a specie. We have to be reduced to fight or flight to find ourselves. We need to be at the most dangerous point to be saved...

Meanwhile, gun sales are up, and in one state or another it has been reported that gun owners have been coming in droves to shooting ranges with their Glock 19s to see for themselves how it is that this man had such a problem putting in a new magazine.

Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh goes right on with his mantra, this morning looking for insincerities in Obama's speech, finding solace in David Gergen's criticism of the "pep rally" atmosphere during the President's address.

In the end, I don't believe Limbaugh really believes his shtik. He simply found a way of political being that fits with his personality. He has discovered his nature in an ideology and a culture that has increasing value these days.


Anjuli said...

It is a sad thing to see- the fear which drives people- It is even sadder to hear all the rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

Yes I heard about the speech and the shooting did you hear about the Tunisian president fleeing his country?