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Al Gore's "The Assault on Reason"

Time has an excerpt. It's worth a read, and will likely make you wonder yet again why this man is not our President.

Here's a favorite graf or two to whet your whistle:

Many Americans now feel that our government is unresponsive and that no one in power listens to or cares what they think. They feel disconnected from democracy. They feel that one vote makes no difference, and that they, as individuals, have no practical means of participating in America's self-government. Unfortunately, they are not entirely wrong. Voters are often viewed mainly as targets for easy manipulation by those seeking their "consent" to exercise power. By using focus groups and elaborate polling techniques, those who design these messages are able to derive the only information they're interested in receiving from citizens—feedback useful in fine-tuning their efforts at manipulation. Over time, the lack of authenticity becomes obvious and takes its toll in the form of cynicism and alienation. And the more Americans disconnect from the democratic process, the less legitimate it becomes.

[snip]

So the remedy for what ails our democracy is not simply better education (as important as that is) or civic education (as important as that can be), but the re-establishment of a genuine democratic discourse in which individuals can participate in a meaningful way—a conversation of democracy in which meritorious ideas and opinions from individuals do, in fact, evoke a meaningful response.

In short, the Internet. Well, so far it's not getting taken all that seriously by the 'real world' of politics except as a means of raising money (and yes, that is the cynicism Gore referred to talking), but perhaps that will change with time.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 17, 2007 7:45 AM.

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