Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Audacity of Enlightenment

"Those who ridicule such aspirations will find themselves mired in the opposite -- a downward spiral into greed, selfishness, corruption, and mindless mass consumerism."

by Deepak Chopra

Although Barack Obama's slogan is "the audacity of hope," the words have deeper connotations at this moment. One of the most powerful, I think, is the audacity to wake up. In order for the right wing to succeed in its reactionary agenda, the American public had to agree with it. On the surface it wouldn't seem that people could agree to freeze their incomes, give tax breaks to the least deserving, amass a huge national debt, ignore the rising cost of health care, and various other aspects of the right-wing agenda. To offer their agreement, the public had to vote against its own interest, and doing that required them to be asleep.What keeps people asleep? Some ingredients are cultural. The dumbing down of America is a real phenomenon. One person out of five believes that the sun revolves around the Earth, and their ignorance is directly related to a failure of education. Half of high school graduates cannot tell you how many Supreme Court justices there are. Overall, pop culture has trumped political culture, so a glib, attractive candidate who makes a nice image on TV reassures more people than a thoughtful intellectual discussing real-life issues. Having drummed "compassionate conservatism" into the mass media, President Bush went on to pass the least compassionate, most right-wing agenda in history without negative consequences to himself for at least six years. He counted on the public remaining asleep.

Read Entire Article