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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Abysmal political discourse

    Back in mid-March, Senator Barack Obama was spurred to give a speech on race relations during the first wave of the controversy surrounding Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s then pastor. The speech carried a lot of earnest power, and tackled some huge, complicated issues in a nuanced and honest manner. I wrote back then that I was most impressed by the semi-subtle undertone of the speech, a pretty heavy indictment of the very poor quality of our political discourse. I’m still impressed – it’s the first time in decades that a prominent politician spoke to the American public as if they were adults. Na’vely, I thought it was compelling enough that the other campaigns would have to follow suit.

    Instead, we’ve been subjected to ever-increasing amounts of idiocy. There is the constant back-and-forth of he-said-she-said over trivial issues; the continuing influence of Rev. Wright; best of all, a couple of relatively-to-very wealthy people – who run in the most elite of all circles trying to convince working class voters that they’re just like them and feel their needs. How? Bowling and slugging down shots of Crown Royal. There is almost no substantial discussion of real issues that the next president will be presiding over: health care costs, education costs, the long-term weakening of the American economy, Iraq. Instead, we get sound bites and ridiculous posturing.

    I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I am. The biggest story of the year is that political discourse is getting worse, not better.

    Matt Styer is an interdisciplinary studies senior.

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