“America’s junk food diet of politi-tainment matters, because self-government depends on having an actually informed citizenry” – but, many Americans are tuning out, Rep. Ben Sasse (R-NE) says.
“Politicized newsrooms and click-bait culture, they don’t just make us dumber,” Rep. Sasse warned in a speech to the Reagan Foundation last week:
“Politicized newsrooms and click-bait culture, they don’t just make us dumber. The main thing they do is they exhaust and alienate almost all of 98 percent America. And so, our neighbors check-out – and they allow the very online, with their rage addiction, to dominate again, to the exclusion of the overwhelming majority of our citizens.”
The lust for “likes,” retweets and attention by media and politicians has become so great that they’re ignoring the country’s decline, Sasse said:
“There are naysayers and doom-peddlers who are content with broken politics and managed decline – so long as they get in a really good burn on the other side, as America’s republic dies out.”
But, the vast majority of the American public is disengaging from “endlessly scrolling on politicized social media” and brain-pickling cable shows posing as news programs, Sasse said. The reason they’re tuning out, Sasse said, is that Americans care about important things:
“All of this disengagement by the big majority, although problematic, really can be the source of some glimmers of hope.
“Why are these folks disengaging?
“They’re disengaging because most Americans have no interest in endlessly scrolling on politicized social media and watching the repetitive cable sort-of-news that pickles your brain, night after night.
“There’s a reason they don’t want to do this: they care about other stuff, and lots of it is more important than what they’re turning off. Most Americans much prefer to be raising their families and building things, than engaging in sludge.”
Americans’ desire for a return to normalcy presents an opportunity for politicians who are willing advocate it and reject “performative weirdness,” Sasse said:
“One of the biggest things we need is right now in American politics is pretty mundane: we need a lot more of these normies to show up just a little bit more often, and roll their eyes a lot more often, at the performative weirdness.
“The opportunity is here, if we’ll see it.”
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