The Agenda and the Current Political Climate
Letter to the Editor, The New York Times, August 1, 2012
The dearth of substantive political debate in the United States calls to mind Cicero's admonition that emotion (pathos) often overwhelms reason (logos) and integrity (ethos) in the realm of public discourse.
Yet our existential quandary in 2012 goes far beyond staccato sound bites, voter apathy or the candidates' "bumper-sticker rhetoric."
As a result of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, well-heeled ideologues have poured untold millions into Super Pacs designed to swift-boat the opposition while affording presidential aspirants the patina of plausible deniability. Aided by cable TV pundits and a partisan blogosphere, vitriolic billionaires can reap the sluttish spoils of opportunistic demagoguery.
This election year may well be a watershed in American politics. Should the malefactors of great stealth prevail, the Republic as we know it will not long endure. In this age of political deception, The Times's The Agenda, represents a revolutionary and patriotic act.