Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sick Politics

Filed under: Media | Pundits — by Will Kirkland @ 3:03 pm
Tags: , ,

Kurt Andersen, the popular NYC NPR host of Studio 360, has a column long overdue in a mainstream newspaper, especially the NY Times: Our Politics Are Sick


…the most troubling thing about Perry (and Michele Bachmann and so many more), what’s new and strange and epidemic in mainstream politics, is the degree to which people inhabit their own Manichaean make-believe worlds. They totally believe their vivid fictions.

Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. Perry is even entitled to his opinion that states such as Texas might want to secede, as he threatened at a Tea Party rally two years ago. But he’s not entitled to his own facts. “When we came into the nation in 1845,” he’d earlier told some bloggers visiting his office, “we were a republic. We were a stand-alone nation. And one of the deals was, we can leave anytime we want. So we’re kind of thinking about that again.” That special opt-out provision is entirely fiction, a Texas myth the governor of Texas apparently thinks is real.

Perry also believes in the fiction of intelligent design. Campaigning in New Hampshire, he said that in Texas public schools, “we teach both creationism and evolution” — an assertion that’s a fiction itself; last month the Texas Board of Education unanimously rejected creationist biology textbooks. In Iowa, Perry served up a fresh viral-Internet fiction as his what-the-hell example of federal over-regulation — a new rule forcing farmers to get special drivers’ licenses to drive tractors. In fact, the Obama administration had just taken the very opposite position, ruling that states should maintain “common sense exemptions” for tractor-driving farmers.

Sincere, passionate, hysterical belief that the country is full of (make-believe) anti-American enemies and (fictional) foreign horrors is the besetting national disease. And I’ve diagnosed the systemic problem: the American body politic suffers from autoimmune disorders.

NYimes: Andersen

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Words for Acts

It is impudent in the extreme for this man to go around Europe haranguing people on their duties to civilization when his own country presents one of the most lawless aspects of modern life the whole world affords.

Roger Casement
Irish Human Rights Champion

commenting on Teddy Roosevelt's 1910 Guildhall
speech telling Great Britain to either rule Egypt or get out.

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