All of political punditry today is a mere footnote of this classic debate (not unlike how post-modernism is a footnote of Nietzsche…but I digress!):
The way that we consume political content now is different than the way gens before of us consumed this kind of content. Whole organizations thrive on the idea that the average American prefers a yelling, offensive, talking head over a competent truth-teller, and I believe the roots of such a norm are uncovered in this documentary. One of the greatest minds of cool-headed conservatism also became the forerunner (accidentally!) of what is typically labeled “news” or “politics” today. Of course, most people have forgotten about his opponent, Gore Vidal – an odd human being. But many people still remember William Buckley Jr.
I do believe we are in a kind of “revolution,” or “displacement,” which is seeking truth, no matter where “they” find it. The flip side is that more of us find this kind of media to be laughable at best and despicable at worst. As I’ve stated before, we need a better conversation, but first we have to rip out the roots before we plant a different tree that can bear fruit for the next generation.
But the seed goes beyond labels and the endless game of dual comparison of who is actually intelligent, as well as the silliness of identity politics. The truth is, if we are honest, the limits of our imagination are being tested and it’s time to find a better Way. Perhaps, it is the Way.
What are your thoughts?