Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bringing the last several posts together

I guess what I have objected to in this election has been the increasing "mahering" of electoral discussion. There are real issues that voters should be addressing and yet at many levels voters are not often being presented with those real issues. Maher and Spellings are two peas in a pod - present a show not a substantive discussion of important issues.

But then there are the overly aggressive proponents - I did a short post on Kuttner. I am not sure why people listen to him or his counterparts on the right. His paranoia certainly does not enhance the quality of public discussion.

Finally, there is the media. (or is it more properly Medea?) Reporting the news is a hard job. But we are often stuck with hacks who figure that the editorial page is too hard to find and so they sprinkle it all over the rest of the pages. That certainly does not contribute to public discussion.

Ultimately, any representative system will fail if we allow public discussion to decline in quality and substance. Indeed, there are lots of ways to look at the world. And there are times when strident public posturing is appropriate. But what passed for electoral discussion in this election was too much of that posturing and not enough of the real engagement that the voters deserve. One wonders why turnout is expected to be as low as it is. Or does one?

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