The States are Insecure in the Way Political Decision-Makers Seek to Control the Message

From Charles Sykes’ The Trumpian Vertigo of American Politics: These are profoundly disorienting times, The Atlantic, MAY 23, 2024, 5:25 PM ET,

But Americans’ reaction is less like numbness and more a response to something like airsickness, which results when we experience a disconnect between our senses—a nausea-inducing conflict between what we know and what we see. Motion sickness is caused by a discrepancy between what the inner ear detects and what the eye sees. The effect can be vertiginous—so the way people avoid being nauseated is by trying to ignore the dissonance.

Faced with all of this, the Republican Party says, Yeah, we want four more years of that [there is a Queensland election coming up]. GOP leaders wearing red ties make lockstep pilgrimages to his felony trial in New York to show their fealty, while wannabe running mates mimic his rhetoric and echo his lies about the 2020 election. And now there’s Nikki Haley, who has called Trump “unhinged,” “toxic,” “diminished,” and unqualified. Yesterday, she said that she would vote for him anyway. The alleged frauds, adultery, sexual assault, threats, and possible felony convictions don’t matter. Close to half the electorate seems to agree.

Which brings us back to our chronic airsickness. Most of us took it for granted that Americans by and large shared certain ethical assumptions. Despite our differences, we imagined, we all used roughly the same moral compass to judge right and wrong.

But what if that’s not true anymore?

I suspect that the great thinker Hannah Arendt would recognize some of the aspects of that world. In The Origins of Totalitarianism, she described the annihilation of truth and the collapse of moral reasoning:

In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true.

Or, to paraphrase the immortal line of Bette Davis’s character, Margo Channing, in All About Eve: Fasten your seat belts; it’s going to be a bumpy year.

And then there are the events closer to home in Australia, as in The Sydney Morning Herald report by Zach Hope and Jessica McSweeney, Australian injured in Singapore Airlines flight speaks from hospital, Updated May 24, 2024 — 7.40amfirst published May 23, 2024,

Bangkok: Australian man Keith Davis, an injured passenger from the ill-fated Singapore Airlines flight 321, has spoken to media from his Bangkok hospital room after being blocked from reporters the day before.

All of these problems would change if we had Political Decision-Makers REFUSING TO Seek to Control the Message, and speak in an intelligent language.

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