There’s a fairly obvious link between the impending economic train wreck in the US and the disastrous response to climate change. Al Gore spells it out.
We haven’t gone nuts — but the “conversation of democracy” has become so deeply dysfunctional that our ability to make intelligent collective decisions has been seriously impaired. Throughout American history, we relied on the vibrancy of our public square — and the quality of our democratic discourse — to make better decisions than most nations in the history of the world. But we are now routinely making really bad decisions that completely ignore the best available evidence of what is true and what is false. When the distinction between truth and falsehood is systematically attacked without shame or consequence — when a great nation makes crucially important decisions on the basis of completely false information that is no longer adequately filtered through the fact-checking function of a healthy and honest public discussion — the public interest is severely damaged.
Al Gore may not always be right. he is human, after all. But I feel he nails it here.
America is at its best when it brings the full diversity of thought to the table, solving complex problems that require many different viewpoints.
When America is lead by people who think only they know the right way, whose view of the other side is that they are traitors or idiots or corrupt or some other ‘other’, whose positions are hardened into concrete, then we all lose.
America is not at its best right now. It has not been for quite some time. Falsehoods, craven lies and bullying are the common tools of the modern ‘conversation of democracy’.