The great majority of us are somewhat slow to get truly riled. The instantness of becoming a pundit or responding to same on the web and blogs notwithstanding, much of the rhetoric falls into the categories of "preaching to the faithful" and "not offering much that is new."
I'm not complaining -- merely commenting that this is my opinion. Those of you who have bothered to read my LiveJournal blog may have figured out that my title, "They Didn't Ask Me", covers a wide range of the stuff I do talk about. Things which are strange or irk me. Other stuff is commenting on life, entertainment stuff and SF writing -- not particularly in order.
I haven't made much political hay here.
What I find interesting is that twice this week I've seen two people go beyond how they've commented before, one blog and one cable news, and I find this significant. Because if people have reached their limit and feel obligated to speak out, then perhaps I/we should take notice.
My 2004 Clarion classmate Trent Hergenrader would, I think, much rather talk about futbol and literature, his dog and hiking, and his personal and professional growth. But yesterday he let loose with a commentary on what's been bothering him for a while.
Although surely it pegs me, I have a fondness for Keith Olbermann's Countdown 8pm ET M-F on MSNBC. Years ago when I was underemployed, I discovered the joys of watching ESPN SportsCenter reruns in the morning while I was puttering around doing other things. The tag team of Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann put a literate and thinking man's spin on sports which I loved. There's truly nothing like providing news, even sports news, with people who can actually and cleverly use the English language. Over the years they've both moved on and then Keith showed up on prime time cable news MSNBC.
Keith and his writers use a mix of humor and analysis, with a whole lot of excellent and literate discussion, to cover a handful of stories in great detail. Much like my morning and evening news on NPR, when someone makes a claim in a speech, they actually check on the facts which are known and call them on those claims which are wrong, incomplete or meddled with. Keith hides none of the "feud" between himself and FOX News, liberally quoting his "opponents" with their own words.
Last night, however, Keith took a step back from analyzer and commentator on the news to take a more personal and very strongly felt response to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's most recent speech.
I'm sure there are others and more official, but I ran into this one... Here's a link which has the full text of Keith's opinion from last night.
No doubt these links will merely be preaching to the choir for some or displaying the idiocy of the opponents for others. But I recall there's an old Heinlein story whose title, "If This Goes On...", is getting rather evocative of the moment (even if the original story isn't my point here).
And The Point Is...?
I think there's a change in store. Don't know what way it will go. I'd rather not be "the first one lined up along the wall" (grin), but I rather like this 230 year "experiment in democracy" we run in this old United States of America. And I'd like reasoned discourse, passionate though it may be, to regain some lustre and abject name calling on all sides to take a back seat.