A Dirty Campaign in Prospect?

Stuck in with the heat wave this week, I could scarcely avoid ugly stuff issuing forth from our pols. There is the usual ad hominem attack on persons — wives, perhaps children next, of candidates. The lies per report are really extraordinary in number and general madness. I won’t repeat them here so as not to give them further mileage. But I have been surprised that people who expect to be taken seriously are willing to lie to our faces. And more distressing is that our cheap, if overpaid, media types perpetuate the garbage in chorus in more instances than not. One gets to recognize such stuff coming up through the smirking preparation for delivery of the latest — as often by attractive young women as seasoned men who know exactly what they are going. The ability to read a script with a smile, no matter how grim the subject matter, seems to be about the only requirement for a prosperous TV report/commentator job.

Fortunately there are a few exceptions along the way and those of us who want to get to substance have alternatives in npr, the BBC, and a wide variety of internet sources. But one can see why the busy and uninformed voters can be misled by the big lie as utilized by the Nazis and recognized by the ancient Greeks for what it is. Formulate a catchy misrepresentation and repeat it endlessly and eventually it sinks in subliminally to even the most informed minds of us trying to do the right thing.

I can think of no more critical time either for our country or for the countless millions out there at risk. To hear that Americans and Israelis are contemplating an attack on Iran — nearly 70 million people or three times those of Iraq — leaves one gasping for air. I suppose our pols — or some of them — don’t get the fact that such an attack would unify Islam in reaction — Shiites now as well as Sunnis.

Time to pray or whatever. Help!

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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