August 10, 2009

Palin's poison

From an opinion piece in the NY Times:

[The former governor of Alaska], a woman who was nearly a heartbeat away from the presidency, now tells followers that “Obama death panels” could decide if her parents and her baby, Trig, who has Down’s Syndrome, will live or die.

The United States, like most countries, has long had a lunatic fringe who channel in the flotsam of delusion, half-facts and conspiracy theories. But now, with the light-speed and reach of the Web, entire virtual crank communities have sprung up. They are fed, in the case of Sarah Palin, by people who should know better.

For a democracy, which depends on an informed citizenry to balance a permanent lobbying class, this is poison. And it’s one reason why town hall forums on health care, which should be sharp debates about something that affects all of us, have turned into town mauls.

The lies and shouts have had the effect that all crank speech has on free speech — stifling any real exchange.

5 comments:

wangmo said...

Birther and other Opinion-twisting Thuggery- manufactured by well-endowed Republican thinktanks and financed by oil barons and Dow Chemical CEO's and billionaire nazis etc.gets invesstigated by Rachael Maddow as she digs into this scary pile of wicked:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xlqxSRhARU

thesmoots said...

#1 on the affordable day trip list - get the gang together and show your stupid to the world by yelling "I want my own doctor" or "your not gonna kill my parents". Damn people, learn what you're protesting against!

big em said...

Excellent, concise post by Mr Egan in the NYT, especially the part about "...an informed citizenry to balance a permanent lobbying class,..." Trouble is, I'm not convinced that the particular segment of crazed people he's referring to can be reached by rational, humane,fact-based arguments. I suspect to them politics is a cathartic cultural experience -- they get to yell and act-out, always with an air of outraged morality. What could be more fun? Better than going to a bar (no hangover, cheaper,) and they can adopt an air of gravitas concerning politics. And of course they have their manipulators like Rush, O'Reilly, et al who will continue to hypocritically incite them to irrational pitches of craziness.

deals said...

It means Sarah you are worried about your baby..... oh dam...

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