Morality, Trust, Community, and the End of Attack Politics

How to find the post-pundit future of America

| September-October, 2009

  • Post-Partisan America

    image by Adam Niklewicz /

  • Post-Partisan America

The following is part of a series of articles on reimagining politics beyond the pundits. For more, read  Liberals Aren’t Un-American. Conservatives Aren’t Ignorant.  ,  Not Everyone Is Out to Get You  , and  Daring to Accept Our Differences  .

Remember the good old days? 

Our 44th president was sworn into office after a landslide victory triggered by disgust with the status quo and excitement for real change. A former community organizer and inspirational orator, he looked to have the stuff to heal a divided nation. Business as usual would no longer be an acceptable excuse for legislative gridlock. There would be no sacred cows, no ideas unworthy of consideration, no more of the tired bromides that have defined political discourse since Watergate.

Less than a year into his term, however, President Obama is being vilified on both sides of America’s media-saturated divide. Listen to the right’s verbal bomb throwers and you’d think the republic was on the verge of a top-down socialist revolution. Tune in to the left’s self-righteous blowbags and you’d get the sense Obama is already warming up for the third act of a Shakespearean tragedy, where absolute power can’t help but corrupt absolutely.

So is this the shelf life of hope? Eight months?

It depends on who you pay attention to, the pundits or the public. The Bill O’Reillys and Keith Olbermanns of the world thrive on pseudo-intellectual cynicism and partisan knife fights. It’s in their interests to churn the political waters and convince us that their noise pollution is a true barometer of the nation’s mood.

Julia Jones
9/13/2009 12:44:51 PM

The most disgusting part of punditry is the superior and know-it-all attitudes displayed by these critics on all sides if politics. Leaders always know to question their decisions and actions because they recognize they just might be wrong. Pundits never question, they just pontificate as if they know all the answers. When the world is treated to pundits who are leadership material, then we will have progress.

Joel House
9/9/2009 11:26:10 AM

Shock Jocks make noise for the sake of it. Creating controversy is a business. Right or Left, the Chicken Little screamers get rich creating divisiveness, paranoia and panic. They are assassins of truth. Joe's McCarthy and Goebbels would be proud. We can do little about sheep who believe in the Rush's, Becks, and O'Rielly's of the world, they are willingly shorn. Be nice and speak very very slowly to them. People love progress but they hate change.

9/8/2009 2:10:43 PM

You mean I can stop making plans to hunt down Bill O'Reilly and royally kick his ass for scaring the shit out of my Mom every night? Great!

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