Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Off Their High Horses

What happened to the kinds of editorials once so common in American newspapers? You know the sort: "It's high time So-and-so realize s/he isn't above judgment. S/he had better start realizing it before s/he gets knocked of her/his high-horse. After all, every one of will have to face a time of reckoning, if not in this world then in the Next."

This goes, in particular, for elected representatives of our government on both sides of the aisle. I am not asking for "citizens' arrests" of some kind or another. Rather, I am speaking about the kind of common sense that once not only prevailed in American society, but was, in a sense, its hallmark; a trait we see in a diffuse, unfocused way in the rather unfortunate phenomenon known as "Tea Parties" these days.

The trouble with Tea Parties is that politicians have become too sophisticated in the ways of media exploitation and manipulation, quickly (and all too easily) branding them "racist" or other accusations that turn sympathy away from them and toward their (supposed) "victim". The trouble with this cool, snarky bit of sophistry is that it lends itself to that kind of hubris we now see in our present-day politicians in office.

I would simply like to see newspaper editorials once again appeal to a moral authority beyond that of focus groups or the set of values of any - ANY - group right or left, Democrat or Republican, etc.

I had better not hold my breath.

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