From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
Shame on the American media!
For one thing, you have helped create the underwhelming politicians we’re stuck with. As a group they have an uncanny talent [and, according to some cynics, no other discernible talent] for catching your attention. Your job is to hold their feet to the fire for all the smoke and mirrors they peddle; for their dismissing real problems and incessantly kicking them down the road for some other decade to grapple with; for all the goofy, salacious things they come out with. But like an infant [“Hey, look at that! I think it’s gold!”] you’re captivated by whatever glitters. And when the best of you actually ask a penetrating question at, say, a presidential debate or a White House press conference you sit there like a bump on a lump as they prattle on with the talking point that your question more or less activated. The dynamic looks something like this:
- “What will you do about problem A?”
- “Let me tell you how my opponent isn’t dealing with problems X, Y and Z!”
And when he/she is finished you don’t come back with, “Now please answer my question.” You are our surrogates and yet you role-model for us how, like you, we should acquiesce to their non-answers.
The Founding Fathers carved out a Constitutional amendment Just For You because they knew your role was absolutely crucial to maintaining a vibrant democracy. Instead you continually abdicate your responsibility leaving that same democracy vulnerable to creeping anemia. Not only is that creeping apparently inexorable but it’s hiding in plain sight!
Shame on you!