Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Culture Critic Camille Paglia Does Some Truth Telling

Over the years, but especially recently, one phenomenon that has become profoundly obvious is that left-of-center polemicists tend to accuse right-of-center writers, bloggers and other counterparts of "lying."

But this trend has emerged a classic case of projection, because it is in general those on the left who engage in half-truths, distortions, disinformation or lack of information, taking things out of context, and perhaps what's worse, incuriously accepting at face value virtually any pronouncement from this administration.

We hesitate to use the word lie because that word has been thrown around so much in so many different quarters that it is almost devoid of meaning. [Even Judge Milian too often seems to accuse a litigant of lying when it might be just an instance where two individuals simply have a good-faith difference in perception.]

In her latest Salon essay primarily about the "sick" obsession of this administration, Congress, and what she calls the "liberal lemmings" of the mainstream media, to impose socialism on the medical delivery system, self-described Obama supporter (and Republican critic) Camille Paglia makes reference to the same trend:
Why did it take so long for Democrats to realize that this year's tea party and town hall uprisings were a genuine barometer of widespread public discontent and not simply a staged scenario by kooks and conspirators? First of all, too many political analysts still think that network and cable TV chat shows are the central forums of national debate. But the truly transformative political energy is coming from talk radio and the Web -- both of which Democrat-sponsored proposals have threatened to stifle, in defiance of freedom of speech guarantees in the Bill of Rights. I rarely watch TV anymore except for cooking shows, history and science documentaries, old movies and football. Hence I was blissfully free from the retching overkill that followed the deaths of Michael Jackson and Ted Kennedy -- I never saw a single minute of any of it. It was on talk radio, which I have resumed monitoring around the clock because of the healthcare fiasco, that I heard the passionate voices of callers coming directly from the town hall meetings. Hence I was alerted to the depth and intensity of national sentiment long before others who were simply watching staged, manipulated TV shows.
Why has the Democratic Party become so arrogantly detached from ordinary Americans? Though they claim to speak for the poor and dispossessed, Democrats have increasingly become the party of an upper-middle-class professional elite, top-heavy with journalists, academics and lawyers (one reason for the hypocritical absence of tort reform in the healthcare bills). Weirdly, given their worship of highly individualistic, secularized self-actualization, such professionals are as a whole amazingly credulous these days about big-government solutions to every social problem. They see no danger in expanding government authority and intrusive, wasteful bureaucracy. This is, I submit, a stunning turn away from the anti-authority and anti-establishment principles of authentic 1960s leftism...
But affluent middle-class Democrats now seem to be complacently servile toward authority and automatically believe everything party leaders tell them. Why? Is it because the new professional class is a glossy product of generically institutionalized learning? Independent thought and logical analysis of argument are no longer taught. Elite education in the U.S. has become a frenetic assembly line of competitive college application to schools where ideological brainwashing is so pandemic that it's invisible....
Throughout this fractious summer, I was dismayed not just at the self-defeating silence of Democrats at the gaping holes or evasions in the healthcare bills but also at the fogginess or insipidity of articles and Op-Eds about the controversy emanating from liberal mainstream media and Web sources. By a proportion of something like 10-to-1, negative articles by conservatives were vastly more detailed, specific and practical about the proposals than were supportive articles by Democrats, which often made gestures rather than arguments and brimmed with emotion and sneers. There was a glaring inability in most Democratic commentary to think ahead and forecast what would or could be the actual snarled consequences -- in terms of delays, denial of services, errors, miscommunications and gross invasions of privacy -- of a massive single-payer overhaul of the healthcare system in a nation as large and populous as ours. It was as if Democrats live in a utopian dream world, divorced from the daily demands and realities of organization and management.
By the way, tonight would be a good night to rent a DVD, check-in with the Dog Whisperer or Animal Cops if they're on, or engage in recreational reading, or participate in any "healthy" activity other than watching yet another tedious, narcissistic presidential address.

Besides, the lemmings in the mainstream media have already decided for you that this is the greatest speech ever delivered in recorded history.

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