Talking Politics Is Work
It is difficult to contemplate or talk about politics. In Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything! a phrase attributed to screenwriter William Goldman is applied to American politics. The guy who wrote Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All The President’s Men once said “Nobody Knows Anything”. Goldman was referring to Hollywood know-it-alls. In those days as today producers, professors and other so called experts wanted to make people think they knew the ‘formula’ for success in the movie business. The truth is making movies is almost always a gamble because no one knows what’s going to sell before the fact. Nobody Knows Anything.
Nobody Knows Anything And Our Politics
What goes for movies goes for American politics these days. Everyone has a voice. An audience. A constituency. Everyone wants to tell you what is happening. What to do about it and what will happen next. Everyone knows. Except no one really knows anything. From the highest of the high to the lowliest position on a small town board of education. Everyone has a voice they can’t wait to use but what they have to say is empty. In Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything!
Tell Your Audience What They Want To Hear
Social media. Local radio. The Internet. Protect your audience. Tell it what it wants to hear. Get accolades, speaking fees, book sales, click throughs and even election certificates. Commentariat. Bloggers and podcasters. Comedians. Subpar politicians and local political operators. All ply their political but noncontroversial wares to people only too willing to applaud when they hear what they want to hear.
It’s All About Power
For those in what is called the Deep Government where policies are implemented everything is theater. Everything is Pay Back. Get Back. It’s all about power and games. Using your constituency to get what you want. In office. Out of office. All part of the game in the puzzle palace we call government in Washington DC or your state capitol.
The Fairness Doctrine
30 years ago a regulation called ‘The Fairness Doctrine‘ was rescinded by the FCC. The Fairness Doctrine simply required broadcast licensees to both present controversial issues and to do so in a manner that was, in the FCC’s view honest, equitable and balanced. 30 years ago there was no social media. There was no political talk.
Political talk was something you heard on Sunday mornings or read on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. The news was something you heard at the top of the hour. With a technology and media revolution, political talk today isn’t just a virus. Political talk has become a cancer.
Every political development is dissected, repurposed, rewritten, opinionated, worked over, subjected to satire and analysis. Today’s demons and today’s heroes. They’re only too happy to tell you what will happen tomorrow. The louder the cacophony grows the less we know. The solution isn’t some kind of new Fairness Doctrine. Maybe the cure is more of the disease. We’ll talk about it in Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything!
Nobody Knows Anything
The big talk radio guy speaking at your local political dinner doesn’t know anything. The guy who has the You Tube Channel or the Podcast? Nope. The local radio station talk show? Talk radio now depends on people calling in who don’t know anything to add to the conversation by two guys who don’t know anything either. Clearly the White House doesn’t know. The Pentagon doesn’t know. The people at your state capitol don’t know. The people behind the desk on the 24 hour news channel don’t know either.
Open your mouth about a political issue on social media and you’re branded. We’re saturated with political talk and political partisanship. Our differences are encouraged by know it alls commanding increasingly misinformed tribes fed a steady diet of what they want to hear. A few sell ‘expertise’ on the US Constitution. Some are self appointed media experts. Many are the founders of popup political movements. Many more are simply political operators selling their wares to the highest bidder, behind the scenes. These are the new carpet baggers.
Hungry For Leadership
Those sold to us as heroes turn out to be pygmies and charlatans. We read their books. We cheer and believe in them. When they are destroyed we move on. In Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything I share with you my utter disgust with the political process in this country. You can forget the labels. They all suck. Republicans. Democrats. Socialists. Populists. Libertarians. It’s all noise. Memes. Rants. Photos. Guest Appearances. Stand Ups in front of the capitol. Everyone wants to be the next Juke Box Hero.
Republicans who claimed to be for freedom and less government continue to expand the scope and cost of government. Democrats who claimed to be for the little guy are increasingly associated with the rich and powerful. Both sides want to increase the surveillance state and curtail your freedoms. Are we reaching a tipping point?
In Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything!.