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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

political comedy « Previous | |Next »
July 30, 2008

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has its interpretation of Barach Obama in Europe and John McCain in the US. It is brilliant critique of the media.

What it highlights is the way that American politics as less like a college classroom full of rational truth-seekers and more like a theatrical spectacle. Symbolism and the emotion it evokes -- not facts and logic -- rule the day.

A good account of how this works in the US.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:37 AM | | Comments (2)
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The second link in the post is to Ira Chernus, whose new book Monsters to Destroy: The Neoconservative War on Terror and Sin, tackles the question of why U.S. foreign policy, aimed at building national security, has the paradoxical effect of making the country less safe and secure.

Chernus's answer is that the war on terror is based not on realistic appraisals of the causes of conflict, but rather on stories that neoconservative policymakers tell about human nature and a world divided between absolute good and absolute evil. The root of the stories is these policymakers terror of the social and cultural changes that swept through U.S. society in the 1960s. George W. Bush and the neoconservatives cast the agents of change not simply as political opponents, but as enemies or sinners acting with evil intent to destroy U.S. values and morals that is, as monsters rather than human beings.

The war on terror transfers that plot from a domestic to a foreign stage, making it more appealing even to those who reject the neoconservative agenda at home.

The war on terror is good for business, as was, come to think of it, the war on drugs and the cold war.
And what, according to Ford [?], is the business of America?