Thursday, March 3, 2011

Politico Kabuki Theater: Debate, Insight, and Political Civility

Debate: a discussion, as of a public question in an assembly, involving opposing viewpoints.

Insight: an instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing, especially through intuitive understanding; penetrating mental vision or discernment; faculty of seeing into inner character or underlying truth; an understanding of relationships that sheds light on or helps solve a problem.

“Civility” regarding political rhetoric and political discourse

In recent months a proposition put forth in the political arena has been “civility” regarding political rhetoric and political discourse. Some politicos point toward people supposedly acting in a violent manner due to heated political rhetoric. Other politicos say no connection exists between political rhetoric and exogenous violent events. Still other politicos point to the fact that US politics has never been “civil” and love to point toward the Jefferson -Adams uncivil statements/politics. Yet other politicos point toward continued uncivil rhetoric even after the issue of civility recently surfaced in the political arena e.g. Wisconsin protester rhetoric and Wisconsin democrats rants in the Wisconsin house.

Politicos and the debate environment

Don’t be fooled. One must remember the “civility” proposition is put forth by and for politicos. Politicos always want to shape the environment in which they debate. The current “call to civility” has nothing to do with civility and has everything to do with shaping a debate environment.

Debate vs. Insight

Regardless of civil debate or non-civil debate, politicos rarely have anything to offer remotely resembling insight. Debate and shaping debate environment has nothing to do with insight.

Hence politicos want to shape a debate environment, perform the political Kabuki dance of debate, point-counter point, and give us the normal politico results of zero insight and plenty of politico smoke laden hot air.

You see, since insight is not a politico strong suit, they merely act the part of politicos and focus attention on “civility”, a non-issue issue, direct media attention to “civility” and go about their merry way debating into infinity and beyond with exactly zero insight.

Politicos are Politicos

Politicos want James and Jane Goodfellow to focus on a non-issue issue, shape their own political debate environment, and continue with their 2,362,222 rendition of the Kabuki dance of debate providing their audience with a never ending sting of opposing view points all the while shedding no light on how to solve problems.

The Kabuki dance of debate is to divert your attention. Its frustrated actors, also known as politicos, providing you political entertainment while solving zero problems. Maybe the following quote puts the politico Kabuki dance of diversion-debate-entertainment into perspective:

Remember, every single second on television, no matter what the apparent content, is entertainment. - Don Luskin

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