2017/01/14 Commentary: America’s Kool-Aid Crisis
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COMMENTARY: Saturday, January 14, 2017
America’s Kool-Aid Crisis
And when we say America, we actually mean all of the developed economies. They have all succumbed to the siren call of the highly partisan political divide that has polarized a significant portion of their populations. It is America however where the problem is most acute, and going through its full manifestation both into and after the November general election. This means voters are likely to buy into a particular view, and leave little room for any independent thought. That is also an indication that the politicians who both drive and benefit from this tendency are constrained once in office as they need to fulfill constituents’ expectations. And media is one of the prime movers behind a process that thrives on soundbite electioneering that requires a lot of TV commercials, creates significant viewing of major events like debates and ongoing press conferences, and most of all… sensationalist stories that sometimes have little basis in fact.
It is more of a prismatic ‘narrative’ than ‘factual’ news environment, due in large measure to the success of social media. A lack of rigorous fact checking allows for promulgation of ‘post-fact’ quasi-reporting. We will be exploring that at length below. In the meantime consider how Donald Trump made use of many ‘post-fact’ ideas to defeat powerful entrenched political machines (his nominal party as well as the opposition) while using social media to spend a small fraction on the campaign compared to his opponents.
Along the way it must be allowed that Secretary Clinton was a mediocre candidate, and her campaign was poorly run. We have previously noted one of the best post mortems on the Clinton loss, and revisit it here to illustrate it was not only the new media environment which spelled trouble for a rigid establishment candidate. That is our late November post that highlighted the cogent view from our friends at MODERN TRADER in their CLINTON DEFEATS CLINTON election analysis. Owner Jeff Joseph teamed up with his very adept Features Editor Garrett Baldwin to take a tour on the Capitol Limited.
That is the railroad line from Washington DC through the Rust Belt to Chicago. This takes riders through now rotting remains of the US industrial heartland. Had Clinton bothered to assess the situation and propose solutions for its residents she might not have fared so badly… unimaginably handing the key states of Pennsylvania and Ohio to Donald Trump.
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