We know that the mainstream media treats deliberate lies as beliefs and places them on the same level as facts. Hence, FOX News treats the birthers as having just as legitimate a belief as folks who point to Obama's birth certificate and the two Honolulu newspaper nmotices of his birth. News is a business, and they do not want to alienate viewers.
Eduction is more of a business than people think. Can you imagine a professor of constitutional law treating nullificatio as just one legitimatge belief among many?
I have been retired for more than a dozen years, but dined recently with a person who teaches constitutional law at an elite college.
We were talking about the expectations of young people. I related what a community college prof told me about the attitude of his students. They are pessimistic and see no good future for themselves.
I remarked that his elite youngsters must have a different view. Yes, they come from money and homes where the parents had good incomes. These kids know doors would be open to them.
I said something to the effect that you would not have to deal with people who believe in nullification, the discredited theory that states can set aside laws of Congress.
He answered that many of his students are Tea Baggers and believe this.
He said he begins by treating it as a legitimate belief. Pedagogically, one has to do that or forever loose the attention of those students.
Then he would work his way through the history of the dispute, but he would not go beyond that and declare trhe issue settled and nullification to be erroneous.
I thought about that for a few minutes and realized the position of a professor and a FOX analyst are not dissimilar.
Had he gone beyond that point, he would might have been brought up on charges.
He would have survived, but there would have been a hearing and he would have experienced some humiliation.
My friends who specialize in the Middle East tell me it is even more dangerous to deal with the Palestinian question ia a balanced way. It is also true that someone who questions some anthropological studies undergirding feminist theory might face a hearing.
If the media and the academy concludes that facts must be subordinated to unsupportable opinion, our democratic process is in deep trouble.
Today we are seeing the politics of the "Big Lie." Some of the lies are absurd and laughable, but they are believed by so many. A few journalists have tried to be truth-tellers, but most have shirked the task. If the people who peddle the lies win big in November, thew Big Lie will be a respected and honored part of our process.
Maybe my view of the process is wrong. From my perspective, we should all revere the process and punish by withholding our votes those who pollute it with lies and appeals to base emotions.
Recently the great German theorist Jurgen Habermas wrote about the German debate over the Greek and Portugese debt. He dismissed the current anger because he knew that when election time came, most voers woulod put aside emotions and look at questions rationally because they so revered the democratic process.
If anyone wrote that about our voters in 2010 we would doubt the writer's sanity.