It may be worth noting, in the context of politics again, that the "performance of a choir is only a strong as its weakest voice."
As well,in politics, as is too often the case with web forums, the tone of the discussion is dictated by presence of contrary nay-sayers, who enjoy disagreement for disagreement's sake. And there are a lot of those, who simply enjoy the disproportional power that comes from contributing nothing of value to a conversation, but rather simply engage in argumentative "drive-by shootings." It's a simple manner to create a whole host of straw men play a silly game of obfuscation of the argument--it's vastly more difficult to counter arguments by offering well measured counter-arguments.
There is a real risk, and I'd go so far to say a real effect--in politics--that thoughtful well meaning people interested in progress--precisely the group that politics really needs--simply elect to drop out of the process entirely. When people "involved" aren't afraid to assert, without a blush, that they don't believe anyone with an education has any business in politics. . .well, there you go. I'd say that sort of thing sets a tone. The problem is Sarah Palin has an opinion about stem-cell research. Does she have any right to that opinion? No, of course not. Does that make any difference to her? Obviously not, not to her. To a kid with leukemia, well, it makes a difference.
The danger is, again, that the majority of problems we face as a society are complex issues that demand more than a cursory understanding of their intricacies. There are those who for personal reasons obviously want to alienate from the process those very people, ie., those people who take the time to remain informed, and who are needed to solve these issues. The result is, of course, more of the same.
It is a real mistake to take for granted the good-will of those who in a meaningful manner have capably and ably worked for a better world for years. It is and always has been a very small segment of society that effectually creates beneficial change, and for altruistic reasons shoulder on bearing that thankless task.
An awful lot of those people are becoming pretty jaded and are looking hard at shrugging. . .
It is ironic in the extreme that the modern crop of financiers have found "Atlas Shrugged" to be some sort of manifesto. There isn't a a CEO to be found that bears any resemblance whatsoever to John Galt. Most critically as a distinction, John Galt actually created things of value. The real John Galts of this world are not running GM or Lehman's Bros--in fact these are the ultimate examples of the parasitic sponges Ms. Rand despised. Rather, the real John Gaults of the world are slugging away planting gardens, figuring out how to live more efficently, and creating attitudes and expectations that allow society in large to suggestfully tranform, with as little carnage as possible, into a post-consumer driven society. It might well be well for some to ask, especially those with the deliberate attitude of ignorace so prevalent among those commonly called conservatives--what the hell anyone needs them for? What do they contribute to society? Why should anyone give a damn what they think, especially, when it's clear, they don't do much of it.
The heart of the progressive movement, the sole place in society where constructive reform is occuring, is one increasingly focusing on knowledge and productive self reliance. As such, it is one step every day closer to telling the rest of society that rides on their coat-tails and flicks shit at the back of their head while riding along--well, to fuck off.
If you want to see how god-damned stupid we've gotten--check out these interviews. Can you imagine this sort of depth of interview or treatment in any forum today, let alone television?
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