Saturday, October 21, 2006

Liberal Manifesto

I see that the good folks over at the American Prospect have planted the flag of liberalism and reasoned government upon the internet. Good to have some reassertion of this traditional term, which was once associated with advancement of the rights of man and of meritocratic, open governments of the people (not just for the heriditary rulers or propertied interest). Just as Andrew Sullivan does try to lead a way to a rationed defense of traditional conservative principles, there ought to be an effort to bring to the forefront the traditional liberal principles, so that these principals stand out when people speak of liberals or conservatives. See this Prospect post, "We Answer to the Name of Liberals."

The media has sadly steered the political discourse of this country first into the gutter, then into the bedroom, and finally, back into childhood. Parties became the "mommy party" and "daddy party," the horserace and individual tactics of a campaign took primacy over policy arguments, and any focus on the competence or diligence of a lawmaker. Reasoned analysis replaced with sound bites, and investigative journalism to stenography. Attempts to appela to mature and grown up thought disregarded, and instead reporting like its some sort of high school contest; an actual sheer popularity contest with no sort of realization that leaders of this nation should be ready to bear a heavy burden and to sacrifice themselves for the people. Instead, the only relevant question they enjoyed asking was "would you prefer having a beer with this man?"

I don't think this declaration will change the infantalized tone in politics, but it is a good start. There should be a consistent political voice refusing to be defined by a our media. The voice of rational governance, against the voice of the vacuous, no attention span talking heads who currently try and control our discourse.

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