Sunday, August 01, 2004

The dumbing down of politics

As usual, Paul Krugman has written another excellent article, titled "Triumph of the Trivial". What is funny, is that he is not carried in my paper very often. Which is too bad, because I think he is the most succinct and insightful of the liberal columnists. A few of the gems:

Under the headline "Voters Want Specifics From Kerry," The Washington Post recently quoted a voter demanding that John Kerry and John Edwards talk about "what they plan on doing about health care for middle-income or lower-income people. I have to face the fact that I will never be able to have health insurance, the way things are now. And these millionaires don't seem to address that."

Mr. Kerry proposes spending $650 billion extending health insurance to lower- and middle-income families. Whether you approve or not, you can't say he hasn't addressed the issue. Why hasn't this voter heard about it?


Somewhere along the line, TV news stopped reporting on candidates' policies, and turned instead to trivia that supposedly reveal their personalities. We hear about Mr. Kerry's haircuts, not his health care proposals. We hear about George Bush's brush-cutting, not his environmental policies.

Much of what you read today, is too partisan, and does not attempt to provide any sort of balanced view, or get to any broader truth, except that the candidate they don't like is Satan in disguise. Not, mind you, that I haven't been guilty of that before myself, but it is nice to see someone step back a little and take a look at da Big Picture.