23 October 2006

Our ignorance is their power

Some idealistic and important words in back-to-back ADN columns about paying attention to politics.

Stephen Haycox writes about my least favourite aspect of politics - television ads:

The campaign ad surely is the most postmodern device ever imagined. Judging by their work in myriad examples, its authors seem fully to embrace the postmodern notion that truth does not exist and does not matter. Either that, or they conceive of the voting, viewing public as utter uninformed nincompoops.

The conversation about postmodernism will continue. In the meantime, voters tired of being treated like dumb sheep by mocking politicians will search for the truth and act accordingly.
John Havelock urges folks to look at issues:
Where does one get this information? Ignore television ads, radio sound bites and vacuous doorknob hangers. Signs are for name recognition. Study the voters' pamphlet. Ask each campaign office to send you issue papers. Go to a debate where you actually see the candidates, and be sure also to catch the TV debates. Read the papers. Let's get the best governor available.
I agree with all this, of course, and am in the enviable position of having had the opportunity to speak extensively with the major candidates about topics of my choice, though even that isn't necessarily a great approach as a good candidate just turns any question into what he or she wants to talk about and not what I asked about.

I do agree with this comment from today's New York Times:
“Everyone knows about football, but more people need to know about Congress,” Mr. Lee said. “If as many people knew about Congress as knew about football, baseball and basketball, we’d all be more educated.”
We'd also have a lot better leaders.

Remember, our ignorance is their power.

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