"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance"

--James Madison--

"The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries, but between authoritarians and libertarians"

--George Orwell--

The Real Distraction

First posted at The Smirking Chimp on September 15, 2007

I hear the same thing here, day after day, time after time. The People of America don't care about anything of substance, because the media keeps bombarding them with American Idol, Britney, Lindsay, missing white girls, etc.
Yet this has always been the case. You could have made the same arguments (and many at the time did) during the Vietnam era concerning the Ed Sullivan Show, Liz and Dick and Burt, even "Is Paul Dead?".

I myself will freely admit to being entertained by the mass media. Even though I spend too much time blogging here and elsewhere I still manage to run a business, stay aware and active, and yes, I watch American Idol. I particularly like "Last Comic Standing".
No, entertainment is not really the worst distraction today. Those who pursue mindless entertainment and ignore politics will be that way no matter what the story of the day is. On the other hand, the Bush administration has come up with the ultimate distraction to those of us who DO care. People like us (meaning people who actually give a shit), have been distracted for years now by the war in Iraq.
The wars on Iraq, Afghanistan and "Terror" have diverted political discussion from other issues. While other issues are still being discussed, most of them are being given short shrift. Don't get me wrong. I do believe that the wars ARE the most important issues facing us today. But many of us are spending too much of our political time and effort on this one subject.
When I first started posting to political discussion forums (mid-90's), the topics of discussion were much more diverse. No single topic dominated for more than a few days. There was much more discussion of taxation, War On Drugs/Freedom, prison reform, etc.
Not that these discussions aren't still going on. They are. The threads here are quite diverse. But a very high percentage of them are devoted to either the wars or Democrat-bashing. Ironically, these are also the two most common topics on Free Republic. This has been the case for about 5 years now.
The Bush administration has succeeded in distracting the body politic to a degree not seen in decades. They have turned one terrorist attack into the single issue (or narrow set of issues) that dominates the political discussion, leaving much less time for other issues. This has infected both sides, right and left, and allowed the cabal to proceed destroying the country at their own merry pace.
This may be one of the most important reasons of all to end the war. To allow those of us who care to get on with other business.