Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Reality is what Reality does

There do seem to be a run of Conservatives complaining about how stupid we all are. Tony Blankley's latest article is about the democratization of information and how this is a bad thing.
How different, functionally, is the man or woman of 2006 who mentally checks out from the chaos of the world's events and news to that European villager of 1400 who isn't sure who his king is, what he looks like, or what he is doing?

Well, one difference is that today, the people -- whether ignorant or informed, whether wise or foolish -- can strongly influence the state actions of their country. In the 14th Century, kings and princes were free to act unhindered by a public opinion that didn't exist -- although the contingency of riots, rebellions, and revolutions usually hovered at the back of kingly minds.

Of course the sovereignty of the people has -- and I hope will continue to be -- the benefactor of their happiness and dignity. But in the technologically driven growing chaos of public information overload and distortion, the leader must -- by force of mind, word, image and personality -- define for the public some semblance of objective reality. As never before, the leader who fails in that mission will fail in his office.
This is an interesting complaint because Mr. Blankley has been largely supportive of President Bush who, at first glance, would seem to have failed at this task.

President Bush and his advisors claimed we would find Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. That proved not to be the case.

President Bush and his advisors claimed that we would find operational ties between Sadddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. Again that didn't pan out.

President Bush and his advisors claimed we'd be welcomed as liberators. 0 for 3 so far.

OF course I don't want to make it seem like President Bush is wrong all the time. Just when he speaks.

Anyway I tend to agree with Tony Blankley that we do need to focus on objective reality, but I don't think the way to do that is by supporting an administration that believes it can define the objective reality as it sees fit.

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