I have to thank Brian Flemming for bringing this speech to my attention. It cuts to the quick of what is wrong with our species.
I've been seeing this fact represented on Television and via what passes for "common knowledge" with rising irritation and frustration over the past decade or more.
The 80's gestated the phenomenon, which was reborn* of the 1960's & '70's eerily dramatic coverage of the Vietnam War, Female Rights, general Civil Rights and the Watergate scandal. President Reagan was a man of very little ability to reason fully and objectively and yet his speeches left television viewers feeling better about themselves; until they actually began to consider the content of those speaches when the rhetorical and oratory gimmicks "the Great Communicator" used lost their glossy effect. Unfortunately, far too few people allowed that effect to wear off.
Most people apparently feel very little affinity for substance when style is, by virtue of its arbitrary nature and inherent malleability, vastly more attractive.
The speech to which this post is linked is by the first of President George W Bush's (Texas had it's share regionally before 2000) national and international political victims: Al Gore. While Gore certainly played into the Media Entertainment Complex's hands with rhetorical gaffs of his own (anybody remember who actually built the DarpaNet?,) and is possessed of a markedly stiffer and less folksy communication style, the content of his agenda has remained steadyand true: Government is responsible for Infrastructure. It must create and maintain the environment for people to produce, trade, educate their children and themselves and travel. In short, the Government is not responsible for our successess (Halliburton, Hummer, the Saudi government AND Israel???) but only ensuring our opportunities to succeed. This government, by dictate instead of by logic or reason, has chosen whom they believe should succeed absolutely. It has taken upon itself to tell the people what should happen instead of utilyzing the forum of Observable Reality and reasoned debate of the obvious and often incredibly hard-won facts which are only to be found through a thorough and transparent investigation of the world as it is, as opposed to how it seems to those in power.
Gore is no innocent when it comes to wielding power. If he was, we would be discussion some other man or woman's entertainment driven decline from that power. Absolute power does indeed corrupt though. This is why our nation, and by extension our world, now finds itself on such a high precipice; with our only means of escape or triumph over the catastrophic failure of our species being Our Own Minds. That is all we ever truly have with which to observe reality and communicate our observations to our fellows. When we abdicate responsibility for what occurs within that space and matter of which each mind is comprised. When we give up our ability to observe objectively and think rationally and, instead, bestow those responsibilities upon the profit-driven empires of the Media Entertainment Complex by giving It free-reign over dispensation of the News and the Freedom of the Press, then we have decided to live in an illusory world and are at the mercy of any who speak - regardless of their sanity - through that outlet.
This is why I blog myself and that is why I read the thoughts of others: because I am capable of discerning the Whole Truth only when all of its details are given the spotlight. It isn't Truth if the parts which reflect badly on those with the most power and responsibility are allowed to be hidden or ignored. Popularity means death when it is based upon what is desired at the expense of what actually Is.
* The concept of those in power having Final Say on what constitutes Reality predates technology of course. It even predates the Roman Catholic Church and Oligarchy of the Imams with which students of Western History are quite familiar.