Manufactured cynicism

I’ve been watching the heating up of the political debate in this country around the coming presidential election, and I can’t help but notice that it’s been getting a bit weird. Everything is being framed in terms of “good guys” versus “bad guys”.

Of course, depending on whom you ask, the identities of those representing “good” or “evil” are mutable.

This is, of course, a classic media circus production. It reminds me a bit of the plot of the Charles Dickens novel “Bleak House”, which centers around a multigenerational fight over the family fortune. The result in the end is that nobody gets any money — except the lawyers.

In this case the winners are, arguably, not the lawyers, but the media industry. The more angry and cynical and divisive we all become, the more we are pushed to the reliance on polarizing sound bytes, rather than on our own abilities, as citizens, for reasoned debate.

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