30
Nov
09

Political discourse

Every time I check out the news, its the same old garbage. Of course, there are a lot of reasons to complain about the news, but here’s mine: the news is always about people. Palin did this and Obama did that. So and so talks about family values, but he has sex with his secretary, what a hypocrite. On and on.

Why can’t news be about ideas rather people? Rather than trying to implicitly regulate who is allowed to say what, I think we should be concerned about what is being said. 90% of the time a story about politics is about something a senator said about some policy followed by some personal scandal the politician was involved in or how the particular senator, has, in the past, acted against his current stance.

Who cares. Ideas are not supported or refuted by the character or actions of the people who present them. Legislation that is supported under the banner of family values is not discredited if a supporter of the bill commits adultery and climate policies are not a sham merely because some politicians who support such policies drive hummers or limousines or fly in jets or whatever.

Ideas, especially the most important ones to a democracy, have to stand or fall on their own merits, and talk about who is doing what and saying what is completely irrelevant to the importance or cogency of a position (unless the issue is an investigation into someone’s misconduct). It would be really refreshing if the media could follow this simple point.

Of course, I’m just an ivory tower intellectual who runs with the limousine-liberal intelligentsia elite. So what do I know. There are more than enough labels that could be used to silence my opinion.

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