Thursday, October 06, 2005
Dumbing Down

The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance -- it is the illusion of knowledge.

I have been stewing about the political culture in this country for a while. I am constantly wondering--are democrats really that out of touch with the mainstream American public? What is it that explains Bush's appeal (and Clinton's for that matter)? As a budding scholar (actually, I don't think I have any buds yet) who studies political communication, I just don't get it. I don't understand how ALL the literature can be wrong in regard to Bush, the 2004 election and the major news media. However, I've been sorting through a lot of my thoughts and my capable and observant classmates help me. In an attempt to provide some resolution to my ongoing (internal) political debates, I want to continue to unpack some of those observations from Deluca's class the other night and maybe add to these thoughts.

We've been discussing the disconnect between nature and humans--reading an amazing book. This led us to a discussion of the disconnect of humans from a lot of things. *Disclaimer* no one in the class feels that the left has a monopoly on truth or rightness--rather we shared concerns of the lessening of standards in this country. We discussed some of Bush's rhetoric, claims made by many on the right and the popularity of Fox news. We couldn't help but notice the extreme inaccuracies as of late. Deluca even made the claim that as long as Fox says something enough times and loud enough--the American people will listen. This obviously translates to the voting booth. The only real leftist voice able to penetrate this wall is Michael Moore--I think we can all notice the similarites (Even if we agree with him). These connections led us to the obvious observation that what echos best with the American people is yelling, jumping to conclusions, broad generalizations w/out support. Why? When and where did this culture start? Was it easier to vote for a President who we liked rather than one we listened to? Even in 2004, was it easier to dismiss Kerry as a person who was different from us--someone who was a stuffy, educated elitist? Nevermind that Bush and Kerry have simliar educational backgrounds, travel in similiar social circles, etc...But Bush yelled louder...his cronies at Fox also yelled...Kerry sat back and waited. He waited for the American people to notice his class, his arguments, his plan for America. He waited for the American people to notice that Bush is an idiot. Moore didn't wait--he just got out there and yelled. He made documentaries. And many of his ideas are now becoming mainstream (it only took more than a year). I would look at people like Al Franken who also uses humor, shock value claims yet is nowhere near as effective. Could it be that he has Harvard minions fact checking his book? He makes fun of Coulter for not being honest and accurate but why? Does the general public really care about that? I would like to believe that they do...but the jury is still out.

The only unexplained phenomenon is Jon Stewart....


6 Comments:

Blogger kristen said...

Oh yeah...I also want to point out an interesting paradox I referenced in my last post about politics--It seems the conservative base (which has been more than happy to support unsubstantiated politices in the past) is now pushing for Bush to provide data and proof about Miers. I guess it's all fun and games unil Dubya nominates someone who may not advance the religious right's agenda. Oops. I'll be interested to see how this plays out. How will an adminstration who hasn't had to defind itself to ANYONE suddenly start to defend themselves to their own base--all the while trying to evade a skeptical democratic base. Fun times.

Anonymous Bill said...

This post kinda relates to a movie I just bought - This Divided State. It's about the community reaction in Orem, UT at UVSC to having Michael Moore come speak. I think you'd like it.
Bill D

PS Plus you get to see some cool landscapes of the former land o' Bill.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://media.dailynorthwestern.com/pages/drudge/434637e79a469.html

Blogger kristen said...

I can't get the link to work :(

Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://media.dailynorthwestern.com/pages/drudge/434637e79a469.html

Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://media.dailynorthwestern.com/pages/drudge/
434637e79a469.html

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