I heard the news today, oh boy.

I made the mistake of watching cable news today.  It’s not something which happens very often, and I plan on keeping it that way, since I don’t have cable.   The topic du jour was the usual:  is this weak-ass healthcare bill a sign of the apocalypse or a sign that the universally limp-wristed and worthless democrats are on their way out the door? And if things do go well for Congress, how will this result completely undermine Barack Obama and hopefully lead to his expulsion from the US and perhaps even the solar system, if the soon-to-be-Republican majority can get the last-minute Low-Regarded President Launched Permanently Into Outer Space Act of 2010 passed before the summer recess?

So from this momentary excursion into TV news, I am almost totally convinced that a national polity based on good faith is no longer feasible in this country. I mean to say: it’s dead. Unfortunately, this means that we should probably all be backing the Village Media (the drive-bys, for all you Dittoheads out there)  as they continue to spout the Common Wisdom of the day, supporting them somewhat like a terrified audience member listening to the string quartet playing on the Titanic as it slowly sinks into the northern Atlantic. I don’t see how it gets better from here, unless the internet evaporates or is blown to hell by some furrin terrist. This nation of thousands of tiny subcultures is simply too striated at this point. Admit it, my fair & liberal friends: 99 percent of you here don’t read RedState or New Majority, even though YOU SHOULD READ IT and you damn well know it. Sure, you might give David Frum a chance when he’s taking down his own party, but that’s it. Now, take that selection bias and multiply it ten times, and that’s the kind of intentional segregation you find on the right. I can tell you from my thousands of hours of experience “behind enemy lines” as a southern US resident that they don’t even give your philosophy the time of day. They wouldn’t even take the trouble to piss on you to put your fire out, as they would say.

It’s an odd dichotomy, this country, because I still think that, although it’s far too late to put the genie back into the bottle (meaning, to go back to a time before the internet and on-demand cable), that doesn’t that I’m totally convinced that the nation is doomed, although I do think that on the whole, a thousand years from now, historians will be looking at the post-Vietnam era as the time when things started to slowly fall apart for the American Experiment (but that is a long-road scenario – I’m not some idiot know-nothing who honestly thinks that America will last forever, though I don’t think it has to end ignominiously, either.) Clearly there is still a dominant cultural influence that, at the moment, still works very much in our favor. The liberals OWN Hollywood, and probably always will. Turn on any show besides COPS or any thing on FoxNews, and you will find at least a lukewarm liberal worldview behind it. So that to me is a little cheering, although what would be even more cheering is to know that there is a place on the internet that EVERYONE could feel comfortable going to in order to discuss, to discover, and to have a break from the normal insular experience of the internet. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: going to Balloon Juice is a fucking blast, I love John Cole like a long-lost brother (ok, second cousin) and I sorely wish I still lived in Morgantown just so I could buy him a beer sometime, and all of that friendly partisanship is great and vital to the overall health of “Team D”, as it were, but we’ve got to get out from behind this leftist shield and the right needs to do the same. If we want to preserve the Republic (and I do) we have no choice but to break bread together.

Alright, so bring me some arguments.

PS: I know the Republican Right is an unserious party right now, and I also know that the Left is under the paralyzing influence of corporate power, which all congressional majorities must face in order to do anything in Washington. The question is, how do we engage each other such that some form of reasonable discourse becomes possible again? I thought the Common Wisdom dictated that the Right were due for some “time in the wilderness”, but they apparently took this to mean a twenty-minute play-period outside the schoolyard before going right back to stealing our lunch money.

Thoughts?

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