If heroes are defined by their enemies, then what does it say about a person who excitedly proclaims he is in ‘a war’ with an obese, mostly deaf, recovering Oxycontin addict with a penchant for hyperbole?
I think it says that the addict, in this case Rush Limbaugh, may have mistaken the hero, in this case John Avlon, for some ham or a ‘scrip pad full of blank, signed pages. I’m sure it has little to do with John’s project to eliminate the labels ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ in an effort to paper over some very real differences among Americans. After all, No Labels stands as much of a chance at changing the political landscape in this country as President Obama did.
The reality is that you have two sides in this country, one overwhelmingly ruled by irrationality, emotion and fear. The other, of course, is us. The media and people like Avlon are attempting to make the entire political dynamic shift by saying that both sides are valid, we should work together on consensus issues and tone down the rhetoric. While I think it’s appropriate to return civility to public discourse, we’ve tried the other ideas. It’s a rabbit hole down which all rationality disappears forever.
Why? It’s simple really. You can’t argue with blind faith. It is an impermeable shell that completely surrounds the True Believer, rendering them incapable of listening to anything that might contradict their beliefs. To a very minor extent, you see this on the left with some marginal groups. On the right, these are the people running the show.
What’s wrong with America isn’t a lack of, or inability to, compromise. It’s that one side understands that two plus two equals four and the other
believes absolutely knows and is completely certain that two plus two equals five. Except when a ‘leader’ stands up and says it equals three.
That can’t be cured by changing labels and it certainly can’t be cured by pretending that insanity is somehow OK. It also can’t be cured by demonizing journalists and commentators brave enough to tell the truth by attempting to establish a false equivalency between Keith Olbermann’s fact checked work and the bloviating of someone like Rush Limbaugh whose screeds have driven some in this country close to paranoid schizophrenia.
If there is to be a change in this country, it will not come from the establishment media. It’ll come from people just saying they’ve had enough, not of labels but of ignorance, fear and stupidity.