From Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish today:
“Trust is the prime constituent of the social atmosphere. It is as urgent not to damage that atmosphere by contributing to the erosion of trust as it is to prevent and attempt to reverse damage to our natural atmosphere. Both forms of damage are cumulative; both are hard to reverse.
To be sure, a measure of distrust is indispensable in most human interaction. Pure trust is no more conducive to survival in the social environment than is pure oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere.
But too high a level of distrust stifles cooperation as much as the lack of oxygen threatens life,” – Sissela Bok, Common Values, 1995.
This brings up a serious question for me re talk radio. Their stock in trade is not advocacy but scorn and they use very destructive language when targeting a person, a political party, a cultural institution or a government. All about naming people in particular as the enemy of the talker’s audience.
The talk radio world is conservative, but much more significant is their anti-Democrat, anti-liberal narrative, and because it is so focused, it’s bearing negative fruit. To pretend they don’t play an enormous role in the current state of political dialogue is nonsense.
(I wonder if Sissela Bok knew about American talk-radio?)