Thursday, January 26, 2012

Class(less) Participation

("With Audiences Encouraged to React, Primary Debates Seem More Made for TV")

It has been a particularly distasteful audience display throughout this Republican nomination process. In their responses, the crowd has demonstrated, time and again, the most distressing disregard for homosexuals, for the poor, for the unemployed, for blacks. Most recently, the "elite" media has come under audience attack.

Would I rather have an antiseptic arena, in which we are not "distracted" by forces other than those upon whom focus is intended? In a perfect world, maybe. But this world is very far from perfect, and gauging the temperature of our nation, or at least a part of it, by the boos, the cheers and by the respect or contempt shown to the moderators or the candidates is a very real and compelling part of this drama. In seeing how the Republican candidates feed off these prompts, and often exacerbate rather than moderate the worst instincts in those in attendance,  and when they play to the prejudice and the fear, I believe we gain invaluable insight of those on stage..

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